Old Testament Nazarites Shunned Alcoholic Wine
In the Old Testament, there was a group of people known as Nazarites that took a vow to separate themselves unto the Lord and therefore they would not drink any wine or alcoholic beverages.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried. Numbers 6:2-3
We must all give an account of ourselves before our Lord. What would please Him? Would it not be pleasing to Him if we loved others enough to give up those things we could have, for a greater cause? Would it not be a more powerful witness to others in our age to stand out as one who did not drink alcoholic beverages because we had no need to do so. When we are filled with the Spirit of God, His spirit gives us the joy and release that many are seeking by drinking. May we instead desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have no need for spirits.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess but be filled with the Spirit Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ Ephesians 5:18-20
So It Is Okay To Drink Alcohol
You still have to follow the laws, my friend, so underage drinking is NOT OK. âº However, when you are of legal drinking age, there is nothing in the Bible that forbids a Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink containing alcohol. There are even verses that talk about alcohol in positive terms. For example, Ecclesiastes 9:7 says to “drink your wine with a merry heart.” Psalm 104:14-15 says that wine is a gift from God “that makes glad the heart of men.”
The Evil Effects Of Alcohol
Lets begin with the words of Proverbs 20:1, Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise. In the United States of America, 700,000 people receive treatment for alcoholism every day. In the year 2002, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 41 percent of all the deaths that occurred in traffic accidents were alcohol-related. That means that every 30 minutes, someone was killed in a traffic accident because of alcohol.
If there was a disease that was killing off this many people, the government would be vehemently warning against it. Funds would be given to study it to find a cure. We would be having telethons to raise money to find a vaccine. Instead, alcohol is promoted and advertised at every turn. In the year 2000, the alcohol industry spent 1.42 billion dollars on television, radio, print, and outdoor advertising. The resources spent on advertising alcohol are enough to feed 20 million people. One study says that young people view approximately 20,000 commercials each year, of which 2,000 are for beer and wine. That is an average of more than five TV commercials per day. The median age at which people begin drinking is 15.7 years. One statistic said college students spend approximately 5.5 billion dollars each year on alcohol. Thats more than they spend on soft drinks, milk, juice, tea, coffee, and books combined.
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Is Drinking Alcohol A Sin In The Bible
According to the Bible, there is nothing inherently wrong with food or drink. In fact, when it comes to drinking the Bible encourages us to do what we think is right.
Therefore, dont let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day. Colossians 2:16 CSB
At the same time, the scriptures call us to be wise in assessing whether or not to drink as well as how much to drink.
Dont Be A Stumbling Block
If youre with others who struggle with the temptation of drinking too much, you shouldnt drink alcohol around them. Dont be a stumbling block to others.
All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall, .
Our company influences us . Dont allow yourself to be a bad influence on others.
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Not All Wine In The Old Testament Is Wine
We must understand an important point. Just because someone is said to have been drinking wine does not mean they were necessarily drinking alcohol. Did you know that many of the Hebrew words translated, wine, do not necessarily imply an alcoholic beverage? We even read in passages such as Isaiah 65:8, the new wine is found in the cluster.
Obviously, today we would not say wine is found in a cluster of grapes. We would say juice is found in a cluster of grapes. In Hebrew, however, their words for wine were more generic, applying both to intoxicating and non-intoxicating beverages made from grapes. If you are interested in further study on the words used in the Old Testament for wine, consider these articles: Drinking in the Old Testament and, What About Social Drinking and the Old Testament by Wayne Jackson.
So, while there are many references to wine in the Old Testament, not all of the references are to alcohol. The only way to tell whether or not an intoxicating beverage is being referenced, is by the use of context clues. Do not make the mistake of assuming a drink is alcohol just because the word wine is used!
Being A Thoughtless Jerk Is A Sin
Okay, the Bible doesn’t say that specific phrase, but the idea is still there. First Corinthians 8:9-13 is the passage that talks about not causing another believer to “stumble” in his spiritual walk. That is, if your drinking causes another Christian to be tempted to go against his conviction not to drink, then don’t drink in front of him. We should be helping each other , not making life harder.
Also, keep in mind that you are called to be a light to the world. Ephesians 5:8 says that “at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” Stumbling around drunk doesn’t exactly send the message of God’s light and love. But there is nothing wrong with drinking responsibly with friends.
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Drinking Alcohol Effects On The Spirit
Even casual use of alcohol can depress self-control, judgment, and a sense of balance. By contrast, the Holy Spirit produces self-control, good judgment, and balance.
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws. Galatians 5:22-23
Thats why we cant be controlled by alcohol and the Holy Spirit at the same time. We must choose.
And dont get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: Ephesians 5:18
I hope the Bible verses about drinking alcohol help you to better understand God’s Word and making the best choice for your own life.
It would be helpful for everyone to consider What does the Bible say about drinking? before making a decision about the use of alcohol. Without a doubt, the scriptures are clear that the use of alcohol can have either beneficial or harmful effects on a persons life.
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Bible Verses Prohibiting Drunkeness
Over-indulgence of anything is sinful, especially alcohol. The Bible is clear about not drinking to the point of drunkenness. When you indulge in too much alcohol, you give way for the enemy to take advantage of your vulnerable state which can cause you to sin even more.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious.envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these thingsas I warned you beforethat those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19, 21
For there has already been enough time spent in doing what the Gentiles choose to do: carrying on in unrestrained behavior, evil desires, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 1Peter 4:3
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Drinking Alcohol Effects On The Body
Theres not much argument that alcohol adversely affects the body. Blackouts, behavior changes, slurred speech, addictions, and liver and heart damage are just a few of the effects alcohol can have on the body.
In 2018 an estimated 88,000 people died from alcohol-related causes annually, making it the third leading cause of preventable death. Besides that, alcohol is a contributing factor in many cases of physical and sexual assault and alcohol-related traffic accidents.
Wine gives false courage hard liquor leads to brawls what fools men are to let it master them, making them reel drunkenly down the street. Proverbs 20:1
Woe to you who get up early in the morning to go on long drinking bouts that last till late at nightwoe to you drunken bums. Isaiah 5:11
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has conflicts? Who has complaints? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has red eyes? Those who linger over wine those who go looking for mixed wine. Dont gaze at wine because it is red, because it gleams in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end, it bites like a snake and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and you will say absurd things. Youll be like someone sleeping out at sea or lying down on the top of a ships mast. They struck me, but I feel no pain! They beat me, but I didnt know it! When will I wake up? Ill look for another drink. Proverbs 23:29-35
A Little Wine For Your Health
As stated above, there will be some who will hang on to the idea that the original Greek and Hebrew words for wine always meant fermented. These same people will sometimes point to where Paul told Timothy to drink some wine for health purposes as justification for them to be able to drink.
Even if you choose to go down this road and way of thinking, with todays medical advancements, vitamins, and supplements, there is little reason for having to rely on an alcoholic beverage to improve your health. There is to many other healthy alternatives that wouldnât be a stumbling block to others.
As in the case with the wine at the wedding, the advice Paul gave Timothy makes plenty of sense when we understand he was telling him to drink unfermented juice. Paul would not have been telling Timothy to drink alcohol, which would also have been very inconsistent with the rest of the Bible.
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Effects Of Alcohol And Wine On Our Bodies
The Bible is clear that our bodies are temples of the living God via the agent of the Holy Spirit. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received of God? . . . . Therefore honor God with your body . God is concerned with how we treat our bodies, including what we eat or drink. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God . The wise Solomon said, Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler whoever is led astray by them is not wise . Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper .
Jesus Banqueted With Wine To Demonstrate The Joy Of The Nearness Of The Kingdom Of God
One of the marks of Jesus ministry was table fellowship. Jesus is often found eating in others homes or hosting meals. These instances of table fellowship left a deep mark on those who observed them or participated in them. These were not merely times to share food, but were platforms for Jesus to challenge social norms and make profound theological statements about himself and the kingdom of God.
What were these moments of table fellowship like? The Gospel of Luke offers us many glimpses. These were far from casual meals. Repentant sinners impacted by Jesus message would hold great feasts, and together Jesus and his disciples would recline with tax collectors and other notorious individuals . Jesus would even host his own banquets . These joyful feasts were settings where Jesus would call sinners to repentance , where men publicly turned from sin , and where Jesus spoke of the joy of the angels when even one sinner repents . The meals might even be interrupted with sobering moments of remorseful weeping as Jesus declared sinners forgiven . Some were miraculously healed . During these times, eager listeners would sit at His feet to hear His words . He would rebuke hypocrisy and empty religion , teach about genuine humility and honor , and challenged the social norms that divided rich and poor .
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Parental Responsibility In Drinking
Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are sitting at home, when you are out walking, at bedtime, and before breakfast! Deuteronomy 11:19
The mandate to parents is to live out the Word of God all day long.
You can tell your kids they dont need alcohol to be sociable, but do you model that for them?
You can tell them to drink responsibly, but do you do the same? Do you cross the line? Do you say things after a couple of drinks that you wouldnt say beforehand?
Do you need a drink to relax? To cool your anger?
While my daughters were young, I made the decision to abstain from the use of alcohol so I could model for them how to live without it. I wanted them to see for themselves that we could laugh and enjoy life without a beer or a glass of wine. I also wanted to show them that being sociable, handling stress and dealing with anger were things God could help us with.
Although I didnt take a Nazirite vow Ive continued to abstain. And even though I dont believe the scriptures frown on responsible drinking, my decision not to drink was the best decision for me.
As a Bible teacher and a staff member of a Christian recovery center I knew I was responsible for not causing someone under my teaching to stumble in their faith simply because I insisted on taking a drink. All that time, God has proven to me that I can enjoy life and handle its difficulties under the power and control of His Spirit.
Bible Verses About Drinking Water
The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lords anointed but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.So David took the spear and the jug of water from beside Sauls head, and they went away, but no one saw or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a sound sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.
This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you must surely die, because you did not guard your lord, the Lords anointed. And now, see where the kings spear is and the jug of water that was at his head.
So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks and he called to her and said, Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.
Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?
We have to pay for our drinking water,Our wood comes to us at a price.
They give drink to every beast of the field The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Speak a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord God,Put on the pot, put it on and also pour water in it
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Pop A Cork For The Kingdom
Yes, there are some Biblical Reasons We Should Appreciate Wine
Bottom line: if you dont like wine, dont drink wine.
If you enjoy wine, enjoy it to the glory of Godresponsibly and with great joy.
If you dont drink wineand there are many reasons to abstain from itdo so with the attitude that wine is a blessing from which you are abstaining.
If you drink wine, remember wine is a celebratory drink, and as Christians we have every reason to celebrate.
God Invites His People To Celebrate In His Presence By Drinking Wine
Year after year the Lords people brought a tithe of their crops to Jerusalem. There, where God made his name to dwell, He said they should eat the tithe of their grain, oil, meat, and even their wine. This regular feast in Gods holy presence was instituted so that they might learn to fear the Lord your God always .
Others had a longer journey to Jerusalem so they sold their crops, took the money with them, and purchased goods for the feast when they arrived. Listen to the very liberal and celebratory words God speaks to them: spend the money for whatever you desireoxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household . Whatever you desire, whatever you craveeven if it is wine or strong drinkbuy it and bring it to the worship feast.
God says the same thing about the age to come. In that day, Israels oppressors will never rob them of grain or wine again, but those who garner it shall eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather it shall drink it in the courts of my sanctuary .