The Drink Offering Empty Hope

You can’t tell it by the commercials or to listen to some news commentators or morning show hosts, but there is a drink which seems to be the beverage of celebrities, and those famous and those not so famous, even the infamous. There seems to be a power it holds over those who relish its mystique, its smoothness, its seeming beauty and flow.

Commercials make it look as though it is the best looking, most successful, and most life enjoying people who party with the drink, and they seem Oh so happy. My question to that is: If you are happy why do you need the drug of alcohol? Why does one need the alcohol when life is at is best? The answer to that is: You don’t.

Contrary to what many Christian leaders are saying there is much in the Bible that will give wisdom concerning the avoidance of beverage alcohol. Some would say well there are medicinal qualities in Red Wine, and there is plenty of evidence from scientific studies, that shows that the red grape, and red grape juice has the very same medicinal qualities as Red Wine without the alcohol. The alcohol is a means of false hope, and false courage.

Hear what the writer of Proverbs says concerning the beverage alcohol of wine –

“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.” Proverbs 23:29-35 (KJV)

Remember I realize that there is no Scripture which says to us, “Thou shalt not drink beverage alcohol”, or anything similar to that, however, there is plenty of practical evidence to show us the evils of drinking the beverage. I have given that to you previously in the drunkenness of Noah, and Lot. I have also shown you that God has commended a family for never putting alcoholic beverage to their mouths (Jeremiah 35), but you will find no such commendation for any who drink that with an empty hope. Since the Bible does not specifically forbid drinking beverage alcohol, then maybe we can use that argument for a lot of other things as well. Let’s justify abortion, by saying, “The Bible doesn’t say, ‘Thou shalt not commit abortion”. The individual who is for abortion could rationalize and say, ‘Well then, since this is not a person, not an individual, then I can rid myself of it”. The man who wants to have more than one wife can rationalize, “Since the Bible doesn’t forbid polygmy, then I can have all the wives I want”. The man who wants to view pornography can rationalize the same way, since “The Bible does not say…” Some have argued and say, “These are strawmen”, very well then the argument for rationalizing the drinking of beverage alcohol is strawman thinking as well.

Notice what the writer of Proverbs says about the affects it has on the drinker of the woes; The ones who “tarry long at the wine have woes, sorrows, contentions, babblings, wounds without cause (probably caused by stumbling, falling, etc.), and red eyes. The alcohol controls their lives, their thinking, and their health. How can we as Christians sit and justify the Beverage with false hopes when we see so many teens who are killed by it, and their parents killed by it. It is foolish for the Christian to argue over the “right to drink”, and call it legalism when we should be opposed to all that is directly harmful to the human race.

When the soft wine is not enough the wine drinker usually will go after the stronger drink; the mixed wine. The phrase “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth its color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” is speaking clearly of alcoholic beverage. It is clearly said, “Look not thou upon the wine…” Does that mean if you close your eyes before you drink then that is okay? Don’t kid yourself. It means don’t drink it. How much clearer can it get. This is speaking of the wine when it has turned alcoholic.

Notice the results of the one who passes by these verses, ignores God’s warnings, and the consequences they suffer: 1) It bites like a serpent – the serpent is sneaky, beautifully deceitful, and poisonous and will kill; 2) It causes eyes that were not lustful before to become lustful, and a man can find himself with a strange woman, not his wife; 3) language one has never spoke will come from the mouth, because they have a perceived courage they never had, and can even find themselves cursing and blaspheming God; 4) One will find themselves unable to stand, it would be similar to a man who is out on the open sea for the first time in rushing, rising and falling waves, and sickness sets in; 5) will have the marks of being beaten senseless yet not have felt it; and 6) senselessly seek to do it again.

What is the point of drinking beverage alcohol? It is popular, it seems to offer prestige, it seems to offer power. With the exception of “popular” the other two are just outright lies of deception. The man or woman who refuses to drink alcoholic beverage is the one who holds the real power. They have the power to say no to the crowd. They will be admired for their strength and courage. Now that would really be prestige, and prestige worth having.

The wisdom of God is DON’T DRINK beverage alcohol. Drink the water of life that flows from Jesus Christ Himself.

-Tim A. Blankenship

4 thoughts on “The Drink Offering Empty Hope

  1. How to spot legalistic teaching: Does it say Jesus sinned?

    I’ve encountered an annoying thing quite a bit lately: people who think that it’s perfectly ok to go along with whoever has the most legalistic thology in order to avoid “offending” them. Playing cards or various other games, watching movies, drinking alcohol, limitations on Sunday activity and dancing (even with your own spouse!) are prime targets. For some reason, it’s perfectly ok to be offensive to those who do these things, after all, Jesus never healed on the Sabbath (Luke 6:6-11, 13:10-17), or allowed his disciples to pick a bit of grain to eat on the Sabbath (Luke 6:1-5), right? After all, Jesus wouldn’t dare break the rules we make up to define holy living, since it might cause someone to stumble…

    This brings me to my point: if the logical conclusion of a teaching is that Jesus sinned, the teaching is wrong. Not really all that difficult, right? You would hope, but it requires both Biblical knowledge and thought. For alcohol, look to the wedding at Cana and Luke 7:33-34. But some will say “Doesn’t the Bible condemn drinking alcohol?” A bit more reading will reveal that, while the Bible condemns *drunkenness*, it speaks of alcohol as a blessing from the LORD. (Incidentally, that’s why I dislike the word “alcoholic”, as “drunkard” is the Biblical word, and much more clearly identifies what is a sin.) God even specifically listed “wine or other fermented drink” to be purchased with one’s tithe and consumed as an act of worship. (Deuteronomy 14) When the Corinthian church had problems with people getting drunk at communion, Paul advocated drinking at home instead!

    How about dancing? Was it David or his wife who was condemned as ungodly in their argument about dancing? (2 Samuel 6:12-23)

    Questions:
    Can anything unclean be offered to God?
    Notice that a “drink offering” was to be made from “strong wine”.
    See tithe rules in Deuteronomy 14:22-29
    When the Corinthian church had people getting drunk at communion, what remedy did Paul command? Did they continue to use real wine? (Yes)
    Luke 7:33-34 Who is holier, John the Baptist or Jesus? (And is that why so many Baptists oppose alcohol?)

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    1. I think you need to realize that what is called wine is the “fruit of the vine”. Even the grapes on the vine are often referred to as “wine”.
      When Scriptures tell us that Jesus turned “water to wine” would He contradict His word that says, “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.” Proverbs 23:31?
      Jesus never once went against the clear teaching of God’s Word; He never sinned but was completely obedient.
      I have no right to condemn anyone who chooses to drink alcoholic beverage, and I don’t. Please don’t use my perfect Savior and Lord to condone an act that has poisoned and ruined lives all over the world.
      Thanks for your comment. I have written more on this subject. Just click on the tag “beverage alcohol”.
      T.A.

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      1. “I think you need to realize that what is called wine is the “fruit of the vine”. Even the grapes on the vine are often referred to as “wine”.”
        I think you need to realize that grapes begin fermenting on the vine and, without pasteurization, will inevitably become wine rather than alcohol-free grape juice. (Indeed, this is part of why the church was originally reluctant to join the secular Prohibition movement, as wine is a mandated part of communion.) If God wanted his people to not drink wine, the way to accomplish that is to disallow grapes along with the pork. And let’s not put wine in a special category, Deuteronomy 14 specifically permits using the tithe to purchase “wine or other fermented drink” and to consume it in God’s presence as an act of worship. I’m sure you agree that sin can never be done as an act of worship. I hope you can see that using the phrase “*other* fermented drink” rather specifically states that the wine is fermented.

        I agree completely with you on this point: when one finds that two passaged appear to disagree, the interpretation of (at least) one is wrong. I disagree with you as to which verse is being interpretted incorrectly however. Proverbs is speaking against being entranced by wine in that passage, which would mean one was already drunk. My advice in this situation is the same as when someone I know declared that Jesus being in the tomb 3 days is a contradiction to him having died on Friday and raised on Sunday. If two passages appear to disagree, take the clearer passages to improve your understanding of the others. (In that case, why do we assume that they had the same hang-up about 1 day being precisely 24 hours as we Americans do? He was in the grave on Friday Saturday and Sunday, even if it was only about 46 hours)

        I take it you did not read Luke 7:33-34. If you re-read it, you will find that the Pharisees found it so strange that John did not drink wine that they accused him of being demon-possessed. Now, if there was any God-given law against such an obvious thing, how would the Pharisees have missed it? And would Jesus not have followed John’s example if that were a law from God?

        Your argument that one should never drink alcohol due to the damage caused by alcohol abuse is interesting. Many people have also been harmed by sexual immorality, do you advocate against marriage? Many have been hurt by gluttony and its aftereffects, should we abstain from food? God speaks of wine as a blessing and one of the curses of disobedience is that he takes it away, does that sound like something he opposes? Consider Isaiah 25:6-9, if God himself is providing “strong wine” (or “aged wine”, depending on the translation) does that fit with drinking alcohol being a bad thing?

        You say that you have no right to condemn anyone who drinks alcohol, yet in the sentence before and the sentene after you say that it is a sin? Don’t you know that if you see your neighbor in sin and do not warn him, you share his guilt? (Leviticus 19:16-17, among many others) If it is sin, you have every right to condemn it! As it is, I advise you to neither choose to ignore what the Bible says nor to accuse Christ of sin.

        To conclude:
        A) The wine was fermented (See Deuteronomy 14:26)

        B) If God specifically states that drinking alcohol is permissible in his presence, it is not a sin, and therefore Jesus could have done so. (Isaiah 25:6-9, Deuteronomy 14:26. This creates a problem with your understanding of Proverbs 23:31.)

        C) Even the Pharisees, known for expanding God’s law on any physical act, thought one would need to be demon-possessed to abstain entirely from wine. (Luke 7:33-34)

        D) Jesus drank wine. (Luke 7:33-34, Matthew 26:27-29, indeed he used the fact that he wouldn’t drink wine again on earth to tell the disciples just how soon he was going ot be crucified!)

        E) The Bible condemns drunkenness. However, just as it condemns sexual immorality and gluttony does not mean we consider marriage and food to be sinful, neither should we claim that drinking alcohol is a sin.

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