"Be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise" (Ephesians 5:15).

I watched as I poured the contents of an expensive bottle of wine down the sink and out of sight into the drainage. It was a gift. But after an innocent request from a three-year old girl asking for a drink of juice with the bottle of wine in her hands, I decided to take the matter into my hands. No strong drink will my children ever see in this house, if anything is up to me. Wasted? No, not if it's  down in the drain and not in somebody's throat.

I have seen how intoxicating drink has ruined lives, rendering human beings with the power to reason into nothing but mere automaton, thinking and behaving under the will of a substance. Relatives from both my parents' side have ended up wasted--- one lost his mind, another lost his life in a drunken fight. And they thought they were simply going to have some fun. That fun had turned to another fun and before they knew it, they were unable to have fun without anything that would numb their body and mind but would move them around like puppets on a string.

Nabal and Abigail

I don't know much about Nabal. But what I do know about his life was mostly the end of it. The last mile that he trod on this earth, sums him up, rightly bypassing anything good that he may have done previously. His choices formed his character and which led him to his final destination. 

Okay, who is Nabal? He is Abigail's fool of a husband (1 Samuel 25:25). That's actually what his name meant--- Fool. What happened to him? What has he done? Just got himself and his family in trouble, was judged and found wanting. His wealth did not save him at all.

David was hoping for some kindness in exchange for the goodness he has done for Nabal (1 Samuel 25:22). But as most foolish people are, Nabal was ungrateful, arrogant and likes to belittle or insult people. He thought everybody would tremble at the thought that he was wealthy. If he didn't have an 'intelligent and beautiful' (verse 3) wife, he could have wiped out everybody living in his household and be responsible for their blood as David would have annihilated them. Why in the world did he do that? He was mean and surly (verse 3). He loves his intoxicating drink (verse 36). Alcohol is a depressant, no wonder Nabal is a grumpy fellow.

In contrast, his wife is described in the Bible as intelligent and beautiful--- qualities that most women want to possess. As her husband put their whole household in danger, she acted right away (verse 18)--- pulling out every reserve of courage and wisdom that, I believe, took years to store up. She prevented bloodshed. 

Here is a woman who waited on God. I can't imagine how miserable she must have been living with a wicked man, who only lived for pleasure and himself. I can imagine though how he must have accused her of not doing anything at home, while he labors in the fields to get all those sheep and goats. But the 'God who sees' saw her faithfulness and meek obedience, and saw her fit to become the wife of a king. In life, people may not be fair, but there is One who is and He sees all that happens, and rewards all according to their deeds.

Belshazzar and Daniel

And there was king Belshazzar (Daniel 5). The only record in the Bible of him was of him being all drunk-ed up. His life has the theme of 'eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die'. His was a life wasted. The divine judgment 'Mene, mene, tekel, parsin'  sums him up (Daniel 5:25-28). He left a legacy of a destroyed kingdom.

I cannot help but compare him to Daniel, who at a young age knew how to say 'no' when offered even the 'best' drink from the king's own table--- wine (Daniel 1:5). Daniel, together with his three friends, refused to 'defile himself with... wine' (verse 8). And with God's hand orchestrating in the faithful life of Daniel, it was not surprising that he rose from just being one of the captive boys to the second ruler of the kingdom. By the time of Belshazzar's reign, he has retained much of the wisdom that God has given him. No arrogance was found in him for he knew 'who holds his life and all (of his) ways' (Daniel 5:23). He left us a legacy of a faithful life to follow.

No God, No Point

The day my husband had his birthday this year, the calendar in our room had the verse above and this telling quote: "Our days are identical suitcases--- all the same size--- but some people can pack more into them than others." And some deliberately poke holes in their suitcases, wasting life away the way I poured that bottle of liquor down the drain.

The Bible has this to say about women who can easily waste life. "(She) is clamorous; She is simple, and knows nothing" (Proverbs 9:13). "She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, and she does not know it" (Proverbs 5:6). She 'pulls down' her own house 'with her hands' (Proverbs 14:1). There is a big sign on this verses--- "HUWAG TULARAN" (Do not imitate)!

For sons, here is a wise counsel from a mother who cares. Take note that everyone of us has been called to lead, if not a kingdom, then in our own sphere of influence.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
 Do not spend your strength on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.
 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
 Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

Jesus, our Savior, has poured out his life for us, not so it would be wasted, but for us to live life abundantly. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." That doesn't sound like a license to waste away our life, but to live it right for all eternity. When we waste away our lives we are but fools who say "in their hearts, "There is 'no God'" (Psalm 53:1).

And as one enlightening saying says, "A life without God is like an unsharpened pencil. There is no point." Wasted.

You may also like to read...

To Drink or Not to Drink
Getting a Sense of Direction
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