Jump Start # 3059
Proverbs 23:31-32 “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper.”
Hollywood actress Renee Zellweger has been outspoken against doing nude scenes in movies. In a recent Variety Magazine interview she reported that one producer wanted her to take her clothes off for a scene in a movie. She was uncomfortable with that and thought it would take away rather than add to the moment in the movie. The producer told her to drink a glass of wine. He told her, ‘Here, drink this wine, ‘cause then you’ll do it.’ Instead, she asked for a phone to call her agent.
There are several things disturbing about this story. Hollywood has left modesty in the dust decades ago. More than one hundred years ago, movie posters flaunted immodest women to draw the attention of the public. This story about Zellweger also shows the impact of alcohol. The producer understood a sober minded person would not do this, so add a bit of alcohol and the clothes will come off. What a powerful statement against drinking this makes. And, yet, across this country, more and more brethren are wanting to justify, engage in, and support the drinking of alcohol. ‘There’s nothing wrong with a glass or two,’ so many are saying today. Zellweger’s producer knew better. How is it that those in the world seem wiser than the people of God? A glass of wine and the clothes will come off, but the voice of God’s children is, “I see nothing wrong with it.”
There are several lessons here for us:
First, it is easy to believe the lies of Satan. God says do not look at wine as it sparkles in the cup. Other “do nots” are taken seriously in the Bible. Do not commit adultery. Do not take God’s name in vain. Do not commit murder. We recognize the seriousness of those things. Yet, when Proverbs tells us do not look at wine when it sparkles in a cup, we think no big deal. Satan will tell you that a little alcohol doesn’t hurt anyone. Satan will tell you that the medical community believes a little alcohol is good for your health. Satan will tell you that no one gets hurt by a little alcohol. Satan will tell you it’s ok, just know when to stop. Zellweger’s Hollywood producer saw through Satan’s lies. Drink the wine and the clothes will come off.
Second, sometimes we can think that God is just a bit out of touch. Wine won’t hurt you, we believe. Stay away from the hard stuff, but wine, no big deal. Does God know what He’s talking about? Is God out of touch when it comes to modesty? Is God out of touch when it comes to divorce? Is God out of touch when it comes to what it takes to succeed in life? Maybe God needs to stay in religion but out of life? Maybe God needs to be listened to about worship but not business? Maybe it’s best to keep God in the church building, but let us deal with the real things in life? This sounds more and more like the religious community around us today. They can get drunk on a Saturday night and go to church services on a Sunday morning and see absolutely nothing wrong with that. Practical, godly living is not talked about. Righteousness has nothing, they believe, to do with playing sports, dealing in business or raising a family. How twisted, messed up and wrong this thinking is and how sad it is to find it among the people of God today.
Third, we often have too much confidence in ourselves and too little in God. A little wine, I can handle that. I won’t be any different. Really? Hollywood producers think otherwise. What about a little porn? No problem? What about a little marijuana? No problem. What about a little dishonesty, especially if it brings in more money? No problem. All of this seems like one is stepping closer and closer to the devil and farther away from God. In Proverbs 31, the virtuous woman chapter, a mother tells her son, the future king, to stay away from alcohol. She knows. Hollywood producers know. God knows. Why don’t we know? Paul told the Corinthians, take heed lest you fall.
Fourth, maybe the underlining reason why so many of God’s people are wanting to drink alcohol is that our faith and our convictions are not strong. We would never want to admit that. We want to believe that we are growing and are walking with the Lord, the same time, we carry a bottle of alcohol in our hands. That picture just doesn’t fit in the image of a child of God. There is nothing good that comes from alcohol. It won’t bring you closer to the Lord. It won’t honor Jesus. It won’t make you a better worshipper. It won’t help your marriage. It won’t make you a better parent. But what it will do is tarnish or destroy your influence. It will take you one step closer to being addicted to the stuff. It is not something you’d want your children to do. It has the potential of getting you into trouble. It can wreck your marriage. It can cost you your job. It can lead to the people of God no longer fellowshipping you. It can ruin your soul. It’s powerful. It is dangerous. It’s something that a serious disciple of Jesus would want to get as far away from as he could.
Drink the wine and you’ll take your clothes off…what a profound statement. And this actress saw right through it. Sure wish God’s people could be this wise.