by: FCC Staff
Proverbs 31:4-7 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”
Here we continue with the words attributed to King Lemuel’s mother. “What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?” Advising her son to cease wasting his life on women and wine.
It is a good thing to have godly parents but it does no good if you’re not willing to listen to them (Proverbs 1:8; 6:20).
Solomon tells us how it works out in his vain self-indulgence with wine, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.’ But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, ‘It is mad,’ and of pleasure, ‘What use is it?’ I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine…I planted vineyards for myself” (Ecclesiastes 2:1-4).
He also seems personally familiar with the symptoms he describes in Proverbs 23:29-35, “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, like one who lies on the top of a mast. ‘They struck me,’ you will say, ‘but I was not hurt; they beat me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake? I must have another drink.”’
The question often arises, does the Bible forbid the drinking of alcohol? The short answer is no. Jesus not only drank wine, but it was the object of his very first documented miracle at a wedding at Cana. He then served it at the last meal. In fact, on the subject of “tithes” in Deuteronomy it says, “and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen 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” (14:26).
Alcohol like gluttony comes down to extremes. As a saying I read not long ago says, “The drunkard forgets God—the prohibitionist tries to be God.” Or as C.S. Lewis wrote in “Mere Christianity”: “Mohammedanism, not Christianity, is the teetotal religion.” It may be that a Christian finds a need to abstain for a variety of reasons from a variety of things (i.e., wine, marriage, meat, etc.). It’s when they start saying they are bad in themselves or looking down their nose at other people who do use them that shows they’ve taken the wrong turn.
There is a time and a place, and as the Queen Mother says, as a leader, a person in position of great authority over others, it is never appropriate to lose one’s dignity or presence of mind. Lest they forget themselves and act inappropriately or unjustly. This is not just for the “King” but for anyone in an environment where he or she is clearly looked upon as in charge or the decision maker. Whether you’re the President of the U.S., the CEO at the Christmas party or the father of the bride at the wedding party, the person in charge must at all times forgo folly and maintain a clear head. The greater the authority the greater the need for sobriety and clear thinking.
Prayer for today: Father, in all things help me to be of sound mind and use all the good gifts you provide in proper moderation. Received with thanksgiving and praise in the name of Christ Jesus our Lord, amen.