Alcohol

Once we reach 21 years of age, it is often thought that we should have our first taste of alcohol. Some of us, having already made confession of faith, have had wine at the Lord’s Table. Beer and wine are popular choices among those of us who are young adults and these drinks may be enjoyed when consumed in moderation. Sometimes, however, there are those who consume too much liquor and become drunk. Noah according to Genesis 9 became drunk at one point after the flood. He had planted a vineyard and became a husbandman. This was not wrong in itself, but in becoming intoxicated, he took off his clothes in his tent and became naked. He repented of this sin. Too much alcohol then can make us lose our inhibitions and make us say things that we otherwise wouldn’t. Ahasuerus divorced his wife and married Esther after becoming drunk at a party held in his honor ( Esther 1). Herod was so pleased with Salome’s dancing that while drunk he promised her anything she wanted, and as a result John the Baptist was beheaded and his head was put on a platter and delivered to her mother. He regretted this promise, but had to follow through because there were those around him who heard what he said and made sure that he followed through on it. In the present day one danger that happens increasingly frequent is the “21 shots on the 21st birthday”. When someone turns 21, they and their friends go to a bar, and the birthday boy has to drink 21 shots of alcohol in one sitting. This can lead to alcohol poisoning and in some cases death. With all of these dangers does this mean we should avoid beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages? I don’t believe we need to, so long as we bear in mind what the Bible says about them. In Psalm 104:15 David lists “wine that maketh glad the heart of man” as one of God’s good gifts. In 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul tells Timothy to drink “a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” Jesus himself turned water into wine at Cana of Galilee as His first miracle. As we have also seen, however, the Bible repeatedly warns against drunkenness “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). Ephesians 5:18 tells us “be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” When we are careful in our alcoholic consumption, we can enjoy a glass of wine or a can of beer in good conscience, knowing that God has given it to us for our pleasure.
Kevin Rau

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