When I saw this one, I was struck with the pin-point accuracy of the wording. You will find this in Hosea 4:11. “Alcohol and prostitution have robbed my people of their brains.” The NASB puts it this way: “Harlotry, wine, and new wine take away the understanding.” Whenever a person pulls his car onto Alcohol Lane he is immediately on the road that leads to stupidity. Alcohol does not make one smarter. It does not give a person more control over themselves. It does not make them wiser. It does not enhance their cognitive abilities. It does not lead to better choices. If you do not want to arrive at where the road leads, then why get on the road? It is like my preacher said last Sunday about when a young person should begin dating. If you are not ready to settle down, get married, and raise children for the next 20 years, then do not enter the danger-zone of dating.
Brain robbery is much more serious than train robbery. How does prostitution rob our brains. Both sex and alcohol alter the brain. I don’t plan to get too technical here. I am not up on all my brain chemistry. I do know that in sex and drinking there is a point of no return. If you plan to say NO to illicit sex it is probably too late when you are in the hotel room with a prostitute who is undressing in front of you. Where is your brain at that point? It has been so flooded with chemicals that feels physically good and gives one such a false sense of well-being that robbery is the only word to describe it. The only difference is that in this case a person has consented to the robbery. Most robberies are done without the knowledge, or the consent of the person being robbed. But in sex (unless it is rape) and drinking (drugs) the participant is willing.
Prostitution has many levels depending on the circumstances. In Hosea’s experience prostitution was associated with Baal worship. The man who joined with a temple prostitute believed (or wanted to) that the sexual act would connect him to the god and provide some blessing. This is a slick form of robbery. In this robbery the person being robbed is convinced that the thief is doing them a favor by stealing their brains. “I am going to steal your brain now and you are going to be glad I did.” The victim of the robbery responds, “O Okay. Let me take my clothes off and down a fifth of Jack Daniels so that you can remove my brain without me feeling anything.”
When I was a teenager, I was the designated driver for my buddies who would get stoned on Cold Duck. As we would be driving along, someone would cry out, “Pull over, quick!” I knew they either needed to throw up or pee. They turned green. They moaned. They walked and talked funny. And I laughed at their stupidity. On those nights I was the only one who kept my brain in my head.
The brain is amazing. You will need it all your life. Keep it locked up safely in that hard shell that surrounds them. And if you see a sultry beauty, come towards you with a bottle of Cold Duck, run and lock down your brain, lest you lose it.