Addicted to Sin

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Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has glazed over eyes?

Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.”

—(Proverbs 23:29-35)

The drunkard slouches in a pool of his own filth. Torn clothes barely cover his bloody body. He is tired and beaten, with no one to help. People look at him with pity, and pass by on the other side of the road. He raises his head to take another sip of the sparkling drink that will solve everything.

Smoothly the wine passes over his rough and ragged tongue. It warms his woeful lips and drips into his inmost being. But the drink can only tease him with shadows and lies. His illusions toss him back and forth like the waves of the sea. He barely wakes to find himself nearly dead; even so, he can’t feel a thing.

The deadly addiction continues. He clutches the bottle closer because that is the only answer that kills the pain. Deeper and deeper, he drinks in the sin. Darker and darker, he disappears down the foolish path. Drunker and drunker, he will never know there is any other life.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has glazed over eyes?

In our proud moments, we scold this drunkard. We avoid the woe and sorrow and strife. We tell him to clean up and try harder. We want him to follow the path of righteousness and everything will be better. So we wait for him to stop drinking... we expect him to choose the way of wisdom.

In our silent moments, we fear we are this drunkard. We have woe and sorrow and strife. We are addicted to sin. There are those secret things we hold close, and we conceal them deeper and darker. Drunker, we fear that we will never know any other life. Slouching in a pool of our own filth, we deserve every beating and lashing, all the scorn and shame.

Since our fatal compulsions began, back in the Garden of Eden, people have never seen their way out of the drunken stupor. They stumble and fall down the dark path of death, and they don’t even know it. Who can possibly see the truth in the midst of haunting delusions? Who can dare to stand before the Almighty God soiled in vomit? Who can escape this addiction to sin?

But finally, the drunkard slouches on a cross, covered with the filth of the world. Torn clothes barely cover his bloody body. He is tired and beaten, with no one to help. People look at him with pity, and pass by on the other side of the road. He raises his head and says, “I thirst.”

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God pours out His deadly cup of wrath for His Son. This bitter, sour wine passes over His rough and ragged tongue. It burns His woeful lips and drips into His inmost being. This heavenly drink of death bites like an ancient serpent. Yet, Christ chokes down every deep dark addiction that has ever touched God’s creation.

Who has woe and sorrow and strife? Our God-made-flesh soberly suffered at the hand of His drunken idiots. The beloved and obedient Son who became the sinner is abandoned by His Father. The Word of Life Who drank the sour wine is dead.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has glazed over eyes?

The One who never needed escape, is the One Whom you killed. The glistening poison you can’t put down, is the very same drink that stopped His pure heart. The drunkard who you hide inside, is the drunkard who He was born to kill—by His own death.

But, Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. He was the “Who” that saw the truth in the midst of delusions. He was the “Who” that stood before the Almighty God soiled in your vomit. He was the “Who” that swallowed all of your addictions to sin and came back to life as a new man. The drunk man has been killed—and a clean clear smile has risen in His place.

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has glazed over eyes?

In Christ, the drunkard is no more. In Christ, that terrifying cycle no longer traps you in the darkness. In Christ, that is just not who you are, anymore. You who were addicted to sin died with the drunkard on the cross. You are given a new breath and you are put on another path. You are awoken from the confused stupor and raised up into a bright new life.

But even now, the dirty shadows of our past terrify our memories. The shameful addictions sparkle even more intensely. The evil Foe reminds us of the drunkard that we so badly want to be.

Yet, a smoother wine passes over your rough forgetful tongue. It warms your woeful lips and drips into your inmost being. The blood of Christ has forgiven this addicted drunkard. You are awake! And you must have another drink.