Alcohol – Sipping Saints and Drunkards Part 3

Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 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. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not; when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again  (Prov. 23:29-35).

FRUIT OF THE VINE?
These verses from Proverbs indicate that drinking alcohol reaps the following results:

  • Woe: Destruction, grief, and despair.
  • Sorrow: Sadness; pain because of unmet expectations and desires.
  • Contentions: Arguing, quarreling, and brawling.
  • Babbling: Senseless talking and complaining from regret of lost fortunes, health, and friends.
  • Wounds without cause: Physical and emotional injuries resulting from conflicts that would have usually been avoided.
  • Redness of eyes: Bloodshot eyes and reduced vision.
  • Tarrying: Long hours spent wasting time.
  • Seeking: Wasted effort in searching for, desiring, and demanding alcohol.

TRAITS OF ALCOHOL
Also in Proverbs 23:29-35, note how the Holy Spirit describes alcohol and its effects:

  • When it moveth itself aright: Alcohol tastes good, brings excitement, and stimulates conversation.
  • Biteth like a serpent and stingeth like an adder: “At the last,” it’s like being bitten by a poisonous snake that affects the whole life—body, money, health, brain, morals, and reputation.
  • Eyes shall behold strange women: It causes one to see things differently, especially lust and immorality.
  • Heart shall utter perverse things: Drinking distorts values of right and wrong, which leads to saying wicked things.
  • Lieth down in the midst of the sea: One who drinks is like a drowning person who seemingly is unaware of the possible consequences.
  • They have stricken me and I was not sick: Alcohol numbs physical feelings so that pain is not felt or avoided.
  • When I awake I will seek it yet again: Even with all of these negative results, people will go after it again because alcohol is addictive and leads to bondage.

FORGETTING GOD’S LAW
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink; lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted” (Prov. 31:4-5).

These verses indicate that drinking alcohol causes a person to ignore or cease to care about God’s law. It also results in changing or altering the basis of good decision-making.

THERE WAS NO PROFIT
“I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life…. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labor that I had labored to do; and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Eccl. 2:3,11).

“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher; all is vanity” (Eccl. 12:8).

Solomon said that, among other things, he made a moral decision to seek after and search after wine. But, after drinking, he realized that it was worthless, useless and unprofitable, and it fed upon and grasped at his spirit.

Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling? Who hath wounds without cause? Who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. 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. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not; when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again (Prov. 23:29-35).

The judgment of God is against those who make drinking alcohol a priority and allow it to control their lives. It causes people to disrespect, look down on, and not pay attention to the work of the Lord; it hinders them from gaining understanding and trusting in what God is doing, and it increases ungodly desires.

“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment” (Isa. 28:7).

This verse says that drinking alcohol causes a person to wander or go astray from God’s way because it deceives and misleads. It hinders their spiritual vision and judgment by causing instability and leaving the ways of God.

“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Isa. 56:10-12).

Spiritual leaders are to warn of danger, but are hindered by alcohol from seeing, understanding and preaching against false doctrine because they are asleep spiritually. They are controlled more by their selfish emotions and desires than the benefit of others. Even though they have little or no spiritual discernment, they will drink again tomorrow and be deceived into believing that it is an even better day.

“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself” (Dan. 1:8).

Daniel and his friends asked if they could be put to a test for 10 days to prove they would be in better condition than those who drank alcohol and ate foods contrary to God’s principles. They turned out physically, mentally, and spiritually better than the others, which verified their stand for the things of God.

“Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone” (Dan. 5:3-4).

The drinking of alcohol caused the king and his nobles to desecrate the vessels they had taken from the house of God and used them in worshiping idols that resulted in the judgment of God.

The context of these verses is about the Israelites:

  • Trusting in a false peace because of pride in their self-righteousness (Amos 6:1).
  • Taking for granted the blessings of the Lord (Amos 6:2).
  • Refusing to listen to predictions of God’s judgment (Amos 6:3).
  • Living in luxury while sinning (Amos 6:4).
  • Using music for entertainment instead of worship (Amos 6:5).
  • Drinking alcohol from bowls used for making sacrifices in the temple (Amos 6:6).
  • Using the Holy anointing oil to anoint their bodies during their parties and worshiping idols (Amos 6:6,13; 5:26).

“Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Yes also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto him all nations, and heaps unto him all people” (Hab. 2:4-5).

These verses indicate that sinning in drinking alcohol leads to pride and not living by faith. The desire for alcohol is never satisfied like hell and death that are continually drawing and pulling people to them.

“Woe unto him that gives his neighbor drink, who puts your bottle to him, and makes him drunken also, that thou may look on their nakedness” (Hab. 2:15).

This verse specifically refers to the Jews in the Babylonian Captivity who were exposed to the drinking of alcohol and immorality involved in the Babylonian’s idol worship. It can also apply to those who make and distribute alcohol or to those who give alcohol to other people.

but and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays His coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Mat. 24:48-51).

These verses describe a person who was once a believer, but who became unfaithful, careless, hypocritical, and indifferent because of unbelief. He continued claiming to believe and pretending to do the Lord’s work, but he began abusing his authority over others for his own gain, stopped rebuking and confronting sin, separated from the saints, and chose friends in the world. He stopped living for the eternal in exchange for the temporary. Since his heart changed to believing God’s judgment would not soon come, he believed he could live it up now and get ready later. It does not say he got drunk, but he was drinking with the drunkards.


“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous” (I Tim. 3:2-3).

Although there can be some controversy about the phrase “not given to wine” and “vigilant” in these and other verses, let us focus on the word “sober.” It means to be of a sound or right mind. How can a Christian be in their sound mind if they have been drinking any alcohol? It also means to curb, control, or restrain one’s desires, impulses, and passions. If a person is certainly hindered in these areas when they are drunk, are they not partially hindered in these same areas if they take any alcohol?

Similar terms are used for elders (Titus 1:8); aged men (Titus 2:2); young women (Titus 2:5); young men (Titus 2:6); women (I Tim. 2:9,15); and all believers (II Tim. 1:7; Titus 2:12).


Therefore, the Bible teaches Christians should not drink any alcohol.