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Proverbs 23:31  (King James Version)
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<< Proverbs 23:30   Proverbs 23:32 >>


Proverbs 23:29-35

A lack of self-control is commonly shown in lust, greed, gluttony, alcoholism, conceit, sexual sins, gossiping, violent quarreling, and false and reckless speech, and many other sins that Satan can tempt us to commit if we allow him.

Martin G. Collins
Self-Control



Proverbs 23:29-35

These verses are among those often quoted by those who believe that it is wrong to drink alcoholic beverages. They claim that this passage proves it is sin to drink wine, and by extension, any drink containing alcohol. However, this scripture does not say these things. What then does it say?

It warns that:

» The excessive drinking of alcohol is a sin. The winebibber drinks too much and too often.

» Improper use of alcohol is as poisonous as a snake's venom (verse 32).

» God's children should avoid company with winebibbers (verse 20; see also Matthew 24:49; I Corinthians 5:11).

» Poverty is just one potential negative result of drunkenness (verse 21).

» Other potential—even probable—negative consequences of chronic drunkenness include woe, sorrow, contentions, complaints, bloodshot eyes, hallucinations, nightmares, addiction, lack of self-control in speech and other matters, and bodily injuries without apparent cause—the cause being forgotten because of drunken stupor (verses 29, 33-34).

» We should not tarry long at wine (verse 30).

On this last warning, we know that a person who lingers where alcohol is consumed can so easily become a winebibber, or in plain, modern English, a drunkard. God, through Paul, lists drunkenness as one of the works of the flesh, warning that no drunkard will inherit God's Kingdom:

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, . . . envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19, 21; emphasis ours)

Staff
Is It a Sin to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?



Proverbs 23:31

This verse offers some seemingly unusual advice: "Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly" (NKJV). The "old" King James version puts it this way: "Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright." What does this mean?

The terms "red" and "moveth itself" refer to wine when it is in the process of fermentation. This is the period before the wine is fully fermented. If during this time a person "looks on it," so as to finally drink it, he may become sick and possibly even die. In fact, instances are recorded of winery workers becoming asphyxiated by merely leaning over the wine vats to "look on" the fermenting wine, and being overcome by the poisonous gases, falling into the vats and drowning.

"What a great way to die!" we might joke, but not so long ago, just such an accident happened at a winery in Canada. Here is an excerpt from a recent fatal accident alert in the Workmen's Compensation Board of British Columbia's Health and Safety Centre:

The owner of a winery collapsed while taking a sample from a wine fermentation tank. A second person entered the tank in an attempt to rescue him, and he also collapsed. They could not be revived.

Both men died because they looked upon the wine when it was red! So we see, once again, that God's advice was not just for the people of previous millennia. It is, in fact, right up to date.

Staff
Is It a Sin to Drink Alcoholic Beverages?


 
<< Proverbs 23:30   Proverbs 23:32 >>



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