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It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,
5lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
   and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
   and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty
   and remember their misery no more.*
Proverbs 31:4-7

People who say the Bible is silent on the topic of addiction are using the wrong terminology! The Bible addresses this sin problem frequently in the Scriptures.

What I think we can learn from this passage is that leaders do NOT need to drink or use drugs because it perverts (or twists) their ability to make wise decisions as servant-leaders who are caring for the lives of others. The reason for this is that strong drink (also could be medicines today) is great for helping someone in a physically terminal illness to forget their pain while dying. That is NOT the state the Lord wants His appointed leaders to be in! That state of being is God’s grace to those who are suffering in pain with a terminal illness!

Often, those struggling with an addiction are looking to escape pain AS IF they are dying on their deathbed of cancer; therefore, they seek after a drug (or strong drink) to escape from pain into pleasure because this proverb 31 passage is true! But that is not God’s intended purpose and will ony lead to heartache according to Ephesians 5:18: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”*

*The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Eph 5:18). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

-Mark (for more, read The Heart of Addiction from www.focuspublishing.com)