Proverbs 23:33-35 - [Under the influence of wine] your eyes will behold strange things [and loose women] and your mind will utter things turned the wrong way [untrue, incorrect, and petulant]. 34Yes, you will be [as unsteady] as he who lies down in the midst of the sea, and [as open to disaster] as he who lies upon the top of a mast. 35You will say, They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it! When shall I awake? I will crave and seek more wine again [and escape reality].
Proverbs 31:17a - She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task]...Food & wine. Proverbs 23 talks directly about both subjects and most definitely gives us warnings in regards to both! Just for the sake of shedding some light on something new, I figured we'd touch on alcohol today. It was not something foreign in the days of Jesus, and definitely is not something foreign today. Now... don't get your stones out quite yet... keep them in your bag. I'm going to give you maybe just some insight, opinions, and a look into what the Word says. Take it for what it is, and if you disagree, that is OK too!
As I read Proverbs 23 this morning, I had a flashback to my early days of college. Maybe like some of you, I too had some wild days before really becoming sold out to my Maker. Memories that maybe I'd rather forget, but are still there, in the deep recesses of my mind. I specifically remember a party I was at one summer, and Proverbs 23:35 describes my sense of "awareness" and rather "lack of awareness." "They struck me, but I was not hurt! They beat me [as with a hammer], but I did not feel it!" This verse is talking about someone who definitely had a lot to drink! This person would not even feel it if they were beat. Unfortunately, I can remember a time being in that state. (Praise the Lord for redemption, huh!?)
Proverbs 23 is talking about not getting to this point. Not getting to the point of, lets say, "tipsy" or to the extreme "drunk." A bit earlier in Proverbs 23, in verse 20 it goes to the extent of even saying, "Don't associate with winebibbers." Winebibbers in the Hebrew is described as: drunkards, to drink heavily or largely.
The Proverbs 31 woman girds herself with mental strength. If one were too swayed from alcohol, or drunk, it would be a little difficult to be mentally strong. It may be a little challenging to pursue the God-given task set on one's life.
This is not meant to be an "in-depth" Bible study on drinking, but there is a lot you could study in the Word about the subject if you are interested. Did Jesus drink? From my minimal study on the subject, yes He did. But was it fermented wine or unfermented? :) From the standpoint of Proverbs 23, our main take-away could be this... Don't get drunk. Let's not allow alcohol to impair our mental capacities to make decisions, impair our judgement. Wine with a glass of dinner? What is my opinion? My opinion is, check it out for yourself. See where you want your stand to be. Maybe if one is in a ministry leadership role and it would make someone else stumble... maybe it's not such a good idea. If someone is not, then maybe for you, it's OK. To drink or not to drink? That is an question I will let you determine the answer for yourself.
Have a blessed day! :)