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Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy - 'Funny' can also be tragic

Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy - 'Funny' can also be tragic

Thinking of God with Larry Sheehy - 'Funny' can also be tragic

Larry Sheehy


       Some of the most humorous things in life are also among the most tragic. Many entertainers have made slapstick comedy a staple of their acts. The tragedy is that sometimes the physical and mental effects of alcoholic beverages serve as the basis for the humor.
      The Statesboro Herald carried a story several years ago about two intoxicated men who rode horses through the grocery section of the Wal-Mart store in El Dorado, Arkansas. In contrast to those who laughed at the men in court, Judge George Van Hook "called the incident dangerous and said people could have gotten hurt."
      In addition to charging them fines totaling several hundred dollars, the judge required them to write letters of apology to the public, which were to be published in The News-Times in El Dorado, Arkansas.
      God warns us over and over in Holy Scripture of the hazards associated with consuming beverage alcohol. After exiting the ark, Noah, called "a man of the soil" (Genesis 9:21), planted a vineyard and became drunk from its wine, which led to Ham, his youngest son, sinning against him. David's son Amnon was killed by his brother Absalom when Amnon was "in high spirits from drinking wine" (2 Samuel 13:28).
      Defenseless, he was unable to avoid Absalom's vengeance for his sexual violation of their sister Tamar.
      In an effort to encourage holy living by the Christians in Ephesus, the apostle Paul told them to "not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit." (Ephesians 5:18) Synonyms for "debauchery" include "wickedness," "depravity" and "self-indulgence," which are totally contrary to God's will for us.
      Paul may have been thinking about the sober warnings about alcoholic beverages from Solomon in Proverbs 23. Give a little serious thought to these excerpts:
      "Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. .... Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. .... You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. .... ‘They hit me,' you will say, ‘but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?'"
      When I was younger, "tragic humor" illustrations sometimes found their way into my sermons. I've since tried to avoid them because, though they may cause a chuckle, they always call to mind the tragedy of human weakness.

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