A Warning Against Drinking Alcohol
Hear the wise words of king Lemuel’s mother as dictated by the Holy Spirit. It is not for kings and princes to consume alcohol. But why? Her warning about drinking alcohol is against the backdrop of preserving justice. Our text is followed by these words, “…Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” What a dreadful thing to forget the very thing you are charged with maintaining or preserving. To whom much is given, much will be required, so to those who have a greater stock entrusted to them, more is expected.
One of the most elite military special operations forces on the planet, the U.S. Navy SEALS, are the subject of legend. Immortalized by Hollywood as a result of documented news stories, membership into this elite group often becomes the aspiration of boys world-wide. They are tasked with duties outside of ordinary military operations and as such require a caliber of man noticeably distinguishable from the majority. Their tasks are so important and the training so rigorous that the attrition rate is approximately 75%. Most who attempt to join, fail. In a story that broke on July 24, 2019, U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill ordered an entire Navy SEAL platoon sent home from Iraq,
…due to a perceived deterioration of good order and discipline within the team during non-operational periods.”
Why was the “deterioration of good order and discipline” perceived? Drinking alcohol. During an Independence Day celebration, among other debauched activity, a female service member was allegedly sexually assaulted. The weight of the responsibility entrusted to this group only added to the disappointment of the event. If it is a shame for the general enlisted man to be drunk, how much more the members of such an elite force?
Experience has readily dictated to most that detrimental decisions are the inevitable result of drinking alcohol immoderately. The bible, far from encouraging drinking, is replete with warnings about the activity even to people who are not kings or princes. Proverbs 23 gives us a very blunt warning about lingering long at the wine or searching for mixed drink, stating that, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things.” While this is a warning to all, how much more the one to whom is tasked a great responsibility? If the average person should guard against impaired judgment, then much more so one who has been tasked with preserving justice in any degree. In this same proverb, some of the ailments of excessive drinking are spelled out for us:
Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?”
This list of 6 alone would act as a general deterrent for most against whatever would cause them. This, of course, is in the “lingering long” aspect. When drunkenness arrives, it subdues rationality with the strength of an ox and the swiftness of a flash-flood.
A most bizarre episode is described in Genesis 19, whereby the daughters of Lot seek to be (and are) impregnated by their father. They accomplish this by getting him drunk which they plotted beforehand. It appears, from this account, that this is not something Lot would have gone along with in a sober state. So it is with those who have “wounds without cause”. They are the result of actions that would have scarcely been entertained under normal circumstances.
Take Heed To Your Witness
We are admonished repeatedly in the New Testament to be “sober-minded”. Peter tells us to, “…gird up the loins of your mind, be sober.” (1 Peter 1:3). It is true that one can be technically “sober” (that is, not drunk), while not having girded up the loins of their mind, so that sobriety of mind may be thwarted by things other than alcohol. Yet, alcohol is certainly the most prominent and likely candidate to so conclusively impair one’s judgment.
From the moment one names the name of Jesus an immediate responsibility is placed upon them to represent Him well, first to other believers and also to the world. Paul says that he would not undertake any activity which would be a cause for stumbling to one weaker in the faith for, “It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.” (Romans 14:21) Be sure then, firstly, to know whether other believers will be made to stumble or not as a result of you drinking in their presence to any degree. Know that many new converts are saved out of a life of dissipation and should, therefore, not be tempted to engage in their former conduct. This applies not only to drinking alcohol, but to all things. Those who are more mature in the faith should be constantly aware of those who may be younger or weaker in the faith than they are and do all to remove any stumbling stone from their path.
We also have a testimony to the world. Unbelievers are generally examining the conduct of professed believers in Jesus to see if there is hypocrisy in their actions that they might accuse them as a means of justifying themselves and discrediting Jesus. They may, and often do, contrive means of concluding this irrespective of our actual conduct, but we must strive not to give them unnecessary ammunition, “…that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Peter 2:12) Consider also the near impossibility of witnessing to people and sharing the gospel with a drink in hand. Perhaps some of you have been in such a situation, whether at a family gathering or some public event. We never know when we may be called upon to share the gospel and if an opportunity presents itself, we must be prepared. We should be looking for ways to be set apart from the world and not one with it. If you are at a restaurant and have beer on your table and some unbeliever you happen to know chances upon you, this will be a completely needless distraction from the holy things that could possibly be administered, even in passing. The world is always watching and looking to see what makes Christians different from them.
Not all are tempted to the same degree by the same things. One may be quite content to enjoy a drink with their dinner with no desire for more, while another might find it incredibly difficult to drink with moderation. If the temptation exists to indulge further, it is better to part with it altogether. Paul says that all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful and we should not allow ourselves to be brought under the bondage of anything.
I want to be very clear here: The bible does NOT command abstinence from drinking alcohol and one is quite within their Christian liberty to enjoy alcohol in moderation; yes, enjoy. The wine Jesus made at the wedding in Cana was fermented, real wine. He obviously did not intend or condone drunkenness, but some have spuriously claimed that this was merely grape juice in their attempt to be “holier” than the Bible. Drinking alcohol moderately, falls withing the spectrum of Christian liberty, but we must examine our contexts personally and culturally that the Lord would be glorified and others edified by our conduct.
This is not intended to be a call to abstinence concerning the consumption of alcohol, nor should this clarification necessarily be viewed as a deterrent from abstaining. I would rather caution against it than to encourage it, but what preceded are merely the warnings set forth in scripture so as to temper us in this area which is, for many, a great stumbling block and which has historically proven to be a potential danger. I particularly caution against drinking publicly for the reasons stated, but there is no compulsory prohibition. Those who make this a command are going beyond what scripture says, and those who do not approach this with great care are not going far enough to heed the very clear warnings set forth. Let us be balanced and aware; always mindful that we are ambassadors of Jesus and that whatever may stand to potentially misrepresent Him must be examined. Let those who are tasked with greater responsibilities caution themselves against being too cavalier in their approach to drinking alcohol, that their liberty would not be a cloak for imprudence and that justice might be preserved if it is in their hand to preserve it to any degree.
It is not for kings and princes to imbibe.
You should change your moniquer to Joshua Chavez, still a slave under the law. DRUNKENNESS is the danger and for those who have no tolerance for alcohol, i.e. alcoholics, then by all means avoid alcohol. For those who aren’t, “drunks” by all means ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM IN CHRIST and have a nice glass of merlot if you so choose but don’t drink until you get drunk. THAT is how Jesus drank.
“It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.” Romans 14:21
It seems prudent to remember that our first and foremost calling as Christians is not to enjoy our personal “freedom”, but to extend Charity to God and to others.
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.” 1 Corinthians 10:23
nice work with the Sword,
The bible calls wine both a blessing and a curse, the best exhortation I have ever heard on the subject is one done by John Muncy titled “The Two Types of Wine in the Bible” on YT I mirrored it with permission of bro John on my channel and I also transcribed his whole series. Also bro David Wilkerson wrote a good book on the subject as well called Sipping Saints, which one can barely find these days. I highly recommend you listen to John’s study on the subject Joshua, I think it will open you to even more truth on the subject. God bless you. Love you young fellow. Helen B.
Drinking alcohol in an American culture is greatly trained by alcoholism. Drinking alcohol and drunkenness are not synonymous. I believe you are in great deception from your ideology.
“Do not taste or touch” is a pagan philosophy. You seem to be walking on Christian adiaphera (probably miss spelt).
I’d have to say your video on false church’s you placed a picture of many men some good some not so good. I wonder do you think yourself to be better than them. It is the view of the Pharisee. Pure and high. Be carful least you fall.
You either didn’t read the article or you suffer from amnesia. I didn’t say drinking alcohol and drunkenness were synonymous. You are bearing false witness or unwittingly testifying to your own confusion. Read the article in full before ignorantly commenting. Thanks.
P.S. it’s “adiaphora” and I’m still not sure what your point is, especially about the church system video. Goodness.
It is 2019; we don’t need to drink….
Always be ready to share the Word. Ye can’t be a good witness with alcohol on your breath… be filled with Truth (Holy Ghost) not wine or beer.
Come out from amount them!
PS: I work at a Rescue Mission and see the effects of One drink… it’s one until thee other…
I would add that alcohol should have no place in church gatherings (aside from Communion wine).
This isn’t just because alcohol can lead to drunkenness, but that it also leads to complacency. Certain church small group get-togethers, which were once prayer-filled and spiritually-serious Bible studies, have become relaxed social gatherings replete with yard games and craft beer. Complacency can be worse than other sins, because its often tough to spot. Like the Laodiceans, its a sign of lukewarmness in a church, not faithfulness.
Complacency is also commonplace relating to alcohol in the broader culture. It really is the truth in this culture, one simply cannot effectively witness while drinking. People go out to bars or sit around drinking with neighbors just to pass time or dull their minds off the workweek. But how do we square this with the times in the Bible that alcohol was permitted? Well, contrast complacent drinking (which leads to drunkenness) to people drinking at a wedding feast, in which the marriage is being celebrated.
When it comes to alcohol, a Christian should be asking himself this: what am I celebrating beyond the alcohol I imbibe? If it is something like a wedding, great! There’s biblical precedent for this. If it is the remembrance of Jesus shedding his blood to atone for our sins and done in a worthy (sober) manner, all the better. Maybe an anniversary or nice dinner with your spouse would be another good time to share a drink. But when there is no reason to be drinking alcohol, why waste time with it?
I really appreciate you Joshua,Thank you for your insight.I’m really glad I was led to you a short time ago.
I agree with you on this,and interestingly enough I just saw Durbin’s “3 Pastors and a Beer” video and left a similar comment as your post, in his comment section.
I actually came here tonight to message you for your thoughts,but didn’t need to!
Love and Blessings,
I pray this has been of some use to you. Jeff Durbin is a massive problem and a man who embodies so much of the spirit of Diotrephes. Paper theology is his God, and covert self-promotion is his end. His pseudo-comedic “next week” wannabe talk show thing is a complete farce and a desperate ploy to be like the world. Sadly he exerts influence over many and feeds their fleshly desires by promoting tattoos and craft beer rather than holiness and sanctification. What a joke. Nevertheless, I pray you continue to be edified by whatever you find here. God bless.
I’m back after a bit of an attack I’ve been dealing with.
Already perusing the rest of your written and video teaching.I agree Jeff Durbin is absolutely a massive problem,and what you say of him is true.
There are many things I’d like to eventually talk with you about,but for now know I’m praying for you, as you are in a position of great responsibility.
I had been backslidden for a very long time and greatly deceived.I am now growing and learning as I should have long ago,so yes.I am also edified through you.God bless you!
Says the guy with the giant neck tattoo? Btw, I just found your channel, and I’m loving your teaching.
I agree 100% with you on Durbin (I have a friend who lionizes him). He is an arrogant, self-contradicting , self-promoting neo-Calvinist propagandist. Great article btw. I watched my own father drink himself to death over the course of 40 years and choose drink over everything else to the detriment of himself and family. Furthermore, Ive made pat decisions while intoxicated that continue to dreadfully reverberate into the present and can safely say without repentance and faith in Christ would have ultimately destroyed me as well. It all boils down to sinful choices and drinking alcohol is not necessarily that but drunkenness is, and you did an excellent job illustrating that. Have you ever watched vids by Leighton Flowers? Just curious
Jason in NC
Again, Great article and the exegesis and balance of scripture rightly dividing is excellent.
Joshua , Keep up the great work!!
You’re calling is sure and consoles the Truth Seekers who are constantly getting attacked.
Thanks for some great tackling of controversial christian topics Josh. The church needs more discussion on these topics. I want to ask you to address another controversial issue when you have time. The topic of pornography. 91% of men watch it, many christians seem to not be able to stay away from it, and it is corrosive to the mind and soul of christians who may appear to be healthy believers on the outside but in the secrecy of their bedrooms they engage in fantasy of it very often. How can we break the addiction and how can we seep from opening our souls to its poison?
Thank you Josh
it’s called the wine of the whore, spiritual babylon, she as well as her wine and intoxicating drink, the kings of the earth shall drink, specifically those prophesied about, she’s spoken of in spirit in Proverbs 31, she’s part of the parables and riddles, she’s the very same harlot John warned about, Revelation 17, these things are spiritual as well, be wise and wary, and innocent of shame, in His Name, kk
Well stated, “we should not allow ourselves to be brought under the bondage of anything.” I would also mention that David knew the destruction of alcohol which is why he made sure that Uriah was drunk before sending him to battle, in other words, he knew it was a great stumbling block and definitely a potential danger to Uriah’s life. I will also put is this way figurative speaking… though David conspired this wickedness what I call it, he was in a way drunk with the beauty and nakedness of Bathsheba, so we need to be careful that no one makes us see something that we should not be looking at, neither put ourselves in such a position.
Maybe I’m missing something here but it seems that there are some people leaving comments arguing against your post by agreeing with your post in their comments?
What word would describe this?
I enjoyed reading this article. Growing up I never saw alcohol being used for anything other than drunkenness and I praise God that He has kept me from it and I pray He continues too. Thanks for the article, it’s always good to be reminded about the dangers of drink.
One another note, what does your logo mean?
All the best,
I pray it was of some encouragement and confirmation for you. God bless, Victoria.
It is indeed frustrating to witness the pride of man mingle with the traditions and general societal “norms” of man. Not a great combo. Nonetheless, we must always go back to Christ as the standard to follow for all things. The Father said, “this is my son, whom I’m well pleased”; and Paul tells us that the Father was “pleased” to fully dwell in him. Wow! What more can be said of this great Savior? When teetering between to drink or not to, or when and where; humbly ask: Father, are you pleased to dwell in me in this experience?
Great treatment of this topic.++
Consideration of the next generation should also be discussed. Partying with alcohol is very dangerous for numerous reasons. Thank you for bringing the topic to the table.