I smile inside every time I hear someone say the Bible is irrelevant. Right away, I know that person is not at all acquainted with the pages of God’s Book. As one who has been an expositor of Scripture for more than five decades, I am still occasionally stunned at how up-to-date and on-target the Bible really is.

As a good example of the relevance of Scripture, consider the daily grind of addiction. For many today, the physical and emotional dependence upon a particular substance is a grim, unrelenting reality, and statistics suggest that substance abuse isn’t going away. If anything, the problem has expanded to include more people than ever. Long ago, alcohol and drug addiction left skid row to prey upon children in school yards. No longer is addiction the disease of the economic and cultural fringe; it is now a middle-class-family epidemic. Is there, then, any subject of greater relevance than this one?

Centuries ago, when the Lord directed His messengers to record His truth, this was a subject He chose not to overlook. So now, here we sit in the twenty-first century, surrounded by modern conveniences and unprecedented technology, yet the ancient sayings of a long-ago writer speak with fresh relevance.

This collection of wise sayings includes pertinent words and warnings for all who may be held captive by the effects of alcohol or the allure of other mind-altering substances. Chemical abuse is no longer hiding, whispered about by a select body of professionals behind closed doors; it is now out of the closet. All across the country groups gather in communities, colleges, and churches, not to scold or scream, preach or moralize, but to offer support. Trained professionals and recovering addicts take time to encourage, support, guide, and train one another. Most of them have been through the hellish nightmare of addiction themselves, so they understand what it feels like to be trapped, held captive by a bottle, a pill, a snort, an injection.

Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Proverbs: Insights for the Daily Grind (New York, NY: Worthy Books, 2012).

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