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Christians And Alcohol

Proverbs 31:6-7 -- Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitterly distressed; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.

What is the significance of this passage? Is it encouraged to consume an alcoholic beverage to alleviate depression?

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GET THE CONTEXT

When analysing any text, we must keep an essential interpretation guideline in mind. We must take additional caution while reading difficult passages or those that use metaphorical language (as in biblical poetry).

These texts will not provide us with a moral viewpoint that differs from that found elsewhere in Scripture. A complex text should not be made to contradict obvious, simple sections.

SCRIPTURAL FOCUS

Remember the biblical focus on alcohol is as follows,

Proverbs 20:1 -- Wine is a mocker and strong drink is a brawler; whoever goes astray by them is not wise.

Drunkards, according to Paul, will not inherit God's kingdom. Poverty and depression are not excuses for immorality.

1 Corinthians 6:10 -- thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:19-21 -- Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

INTERPRETATION OF THE PASSAGE

What Is the Interpretation of Proverbs 31:6-7? So, what does this perplexing passage mean? Let's take a look at the situation.

What did the queen educate the king about alcohol? Did she imply that monarchs should not drink?

Proverbs 31:4-5 -- It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to crave strong drink, lest they drink and forget what is decreed, and remove from all the poor their legal rights.

Was she saying that drinking is okay for everyone else? Take a close look at this motherly counsel.

The king's mother urged him to avoid drinking. It inhibits decision-making. It results in poor choices. This would have a negative impact not just on Lemuel as a king, but also on the people he ruled over.

People who drink to forget, on the other hand, drink to forget. "Let them do it,' she adds, 'but control the tension of your position so that you can rule with fair justice."

The mother does not endorse a free alcohol program for the poor and lowly or defend its use as an intoxicant for the people; her argument is simply that the king must avoid intoxication in order to properly rule. 

KNOW YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

The contrast to the suffering poor and their use of alcohol is intended to bring Lemuel up to the responsibilities that come with his class and leadership role, rather than to depict some sort of acceptable drunkenness.

What about the believer? If a king needs clear thinking and sound integrity in order to serve the civil interests of the people, does not the Christian require sober thought and ethical influence in order to serve the spiritual interests of the people?

Matthew 5:13-16 -- “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people! You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill cannot be hidden. People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good deeds and give honor to your Father in heaven."

Matthew 28:19 -- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..."

Ephesians 5:18 -- And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit..."

Blessings,

Godwin.

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