Wisdom teaching on alcoholic beverages

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Proverbs 20

1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler,

And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

The book of Proverbs, as you recall, is a book of wisdom sayings which bring understanding to the simple bringing them from their simplicity to wisdom. This verse of wisdom brings different responses to different people, even within the church. Some of you hold on to this proverb as a good reason not to drink anything alcoholic while others of you will use this verse to remind you never to over-do your alcohol. Whichever side you take, do not miss the point of this wisdom teaching.

A mocker is one who despises wisdom, they scorn that which is righteous. A brawler is a fighter, a person who looks for a reason to fight with another. These two words bring some very vivid pictures to our minds. Wine is given the personality of one who mocks, one who scorns truth. It looks very appealing and can bring some merriment to a difficult day. The flavor of wine comes from grapes that are carefully grown to be made into wine. The alcoholic content is low but it is there. For those who drink wine, the warning is clear, do not be deceived by it. Do not let it lie to you and take you places that you should not go.

The picture of strong drink is one of a fighter, an angry man looking for a fight. Strong drink is that which is intended to make people drunk. We are not to serve strong drink to others. In Proverbs 31:6 we are advised to give strong drink to someone who is dying; for them, it is a sedative. Isaiah 5:11,22 and Habakkuk 2:15 all make strong statements against strong drink and serving it to others.

Yes, Jesus turned water into wine. According to custom, they always mixed their wine with a minimum of seven parts water. Wine both flavored and purified the water. Paul called Timothy to “drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake and for your often sickness.” Wine had a medicinal purpose. But those who wanted to get drunk drank their wine unmixed with an intention for drunkenness which the Scriptures often teach against.

Since we all have propensities for taking things too far, Solomon warned us all about the deceptive and brawling nature of wine and strong drink.


Last night Stefani wanted to watch something with Jared that he likes, so we watched “The Tigger Movie.” Jared was all smiles and very thankful for his sister. He had pizza, French fries, and pop. Altogether, this made a good night for Jared.

 Have a great day in the Lord,


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