Saturday, August 20, 2011

Proverbs 23:29-35 commentary; Christians and booze

29 ¶ Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? 30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. 32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. 33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 34 Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. 35 They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.

Here, that harsh mistress of alcohol is raised again. The Christian is further commanded;

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;


Romans 13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

Galatians 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

It is a sad thing to see a Christian who needs alcoholic beverages to relax him or who spends any amount of time trying to justify drinking them as some kind of right. This particular set of Proverbs is about the effects of drunkenness which most Christians, even the carnal ones who drink alcohol as a relaxing entertainment, would not argue with. Anyone who has been drunk and sick can understand that this Proverb is a reference to the alcoholic poisoning that many people love to endure time after time until it wears down their body and kills them after destroying much of the value of their lives. Recently, a promising young man I know was convicted of vehicular homicide in the death of a friend he was driving home. Drunkenness has many more downsides than just a hangover.

Popular songs are filled with references to being sick from alcohol such as the old line from the Jimmy Buffet song, “my head hurts, my feet stink, and I don’t love Jesus,” and from another song popular in the early 1980’s, “coulda been the whiskey, mighta been the gin, coulda been the three or four six packs, I don’t know, but just look at the shape I’m in,”. Our culture laughs at these maladies but they are a sign of a spiritually dead person, whose flesh controls them.

There is no justification for a Christian to drink alcoholic beverages. It’s a simple principal that doesn’t require a degree in rocket science to understand.

God doesn’t want people in His presence being under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Under the Law God did not indwell the people in general. The priests came into His presence as part of their duties.

First, understand that the tabernacle was where God would meet with the Hebrews.

Exodus 29:42 This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.

And then;

Leviticus 10:8 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, 9 Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: 10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean; 11 And that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them by the hand of Moses.

The Christian is always in the presence of God because He has God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, which is God, as well, living in his body which the Old Testament Hebrews did not.

1Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

10 ¶ And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

Case closed. No argument. I am not interested in laws forcing non-Christians to comply with principles such as this. Prohibition didn’t work. You can’t force holiness and separation from the outside. The Christian has to submit to God’s word to have God change his or her desires from the inside. A Christian who drinks alcohol is not in submission to God or to His words. Period. You, Christian, need to examine yourself and submit your unholy thirst to the Holy Spirit.

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