“ Girl you ain’t much fun since I quit drinking”
I enjoy driving down south on my way to Florida and listening to local radio stations country songs. This song brought a smile on my face because the words brought about memories of my youthful Friday night single carefree days before having to cope with the realities and responsibilities of marriage and adulthood.
Then I wondered what the wise King Solomon had to say about drinking. After all wine is an alcoholic beverage and mentioned numerous times in the Bible and King Solomon Proverbs.
I surmised what he may have said to the Queen of Sheba about drinking, based on his proverbs, in the following novel excerpts. The novel is a contemporary application of a story form to promote understanding of proverbs and ancient wise sayings in relation to our modern times.
I chose three topics he related to wine other than for nourishment.
“A poor man may drink wine to find respite from intolerable poverty and unbearable toil. Wine is an effective medicine at times for one to bear pain, toil, and sorrow. However, while wine will help to comfort someone for a short time, the next day, he will face the same misery. Wine drunk to excess will effect judgment, vitality, and stamina and shorten life span. Yet, there are appropriate times to wisely make use of wine and alcohol (opiate) as a medicine during extreme times of sickness or misery in their life.” Give alcohol to a man who is going to die, and wine to those who are sad, that they may drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. (Proverbs 31:6, 7)
“As for your question asking why a wise man appears serious and somber when addressing matters brought about by fools. Foolish actions caused by drunkenness may destroy friendships and cause poor judgment. I have purposely engaged in drinking to excess so I can attest to know the danger in drinking wine to a point of drunkenness, especially for a king or person of authority. Those with authority must be on their guard to think clearly, as they administer justice.” It is not for kings, Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, a thirst for alcohol is not for rulers; lest the drink and forget the laws and deny justice to the poor. (Proverbs 31, 4, 5)
Friendship and Moderation
Bilqis became silent for some time as if she was deep in concentration of my explanations. Then she asked her next question in a tone of exasperation.
“Solomon, your explanations seem to focus only on the serious issues of friendship. Does being wise mean you must always think only in serious somber terms? Do you ever feel the need to let yourself go and do something spontaneous, yet foolish with your friends? Have you ever danced with joy and partied with your friends until you are dizzy from drinking too much wine? What about the aspect of wisdom and friendships that brings personal pleasure, joy, and laughter with a friend to celebrate together?”
I paused for a while before I continued and pondered about myself on her question. Was her impression of me that I was too serious and somber in my bearing? Was she searching for more joy and entertainment in her life? I set aside my personal thoughts and continued to answer her concerns.
“Bilqis, wisdom enhances friendships and strengthens the spirits of friends. A wise man understands the value of friends and the joy of friendship. Being wise does not impede a person from being spontaneous or enthusiastic to do the things that bring joy and happiness with friendship.”
“A wise man chooses his friends for their character and reputation rather than their wealth. Apoor man can be more worthy of praise and have more true friends than a rich man because of his reputation of wisdom, love, and charitable deeds. Good friends do not require that they be rich or poor, or must drink wine together to enjoy and foster their friendship. True friends choose you for your blessed and noble reasons.”
“Wisdom teaches us all things in life should be done in moderation. Honey is a nourishing food, with medicinal virtues which promote health. However, if you eat too much of it, you will vomit same as if you drink too much wine.”
“Treat a friend with the same moderation, so you do not over-cultivate the relationship and foist yourself upon them. If you are never away from their door, your presence intrudes on their privacy and leisure. Instead of enriching his life, you will take away from it. He will have enough of you and come to resent your interference by seeking him out to frequently.” If you find honey, eat what suffices you, lest you have surfeit on it and vomit it up. (Proverb 25:16)
As A Lily Among Thorns – A Story of King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Goddess of Wisdom by Rudy U Martinka.
Available as an eBook at most sellers. Read an excerpt by clicking below.
Reference Song HERE
Toby Kieith- you aint much fun