What Does The Bible Really Say About Alcohol?

I have heard many alcohol drinking Christians- when defending their habit of one glass per meal- arguing that if not used excessively, alcohol is not a problem. Well, I have a different take on that! And I know I may lose few friends because of this post, but here it goes! What does the bible really say about YOUR alcohol?

Lets start with Proverbs 20:1 (NKJV)- Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.


a) Wine is a mocker

The one who mocks you treats you with ridicule; and that can cause you distress and pain(Read here about Noah’s distress and pain!). So, when the bible says wine is a mocker’ what that means is it has the potential to cause you distress and pain: anguish, sorrow, fights, complaints, unnecessary bruises, bloodshot eyes.

And the reason is simple- You spend long hours in taverns… It’s not me; it’s your bible- Proverbs 23: 29- 30(NLT)

b) Strong drink is a brawler

A brawler is a person who fights angrily, noisily, disorderly, and unfair fights. If you challenge him  in the ring, be assured that you are about to lose an ear, some teeth and a lot of blood because he fights dirty. So, when the bible says ‘strong drink is a brawler’, what that means is if you are one-on-one with any strong drink, expect to lose because just like any brawler, strong drinks attack at the person’s weakest moment.

Five stages you’ll go through in your challenge with alcohol (as a brawler)

– Taught by Proverbs 23: 31-35(NLT)

1. The Luring Stage

Verse 31- Don’t gaze at wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down.

Every brawler I know starts by luring his opponent and making him think he’s in control so that he neglects giving sufficient attention to block the attacks.

Alcohol does the same too. Some people are lured in thinking they:

  • Drink just for fun
  • Drink for the taste
  • Drink for the “status
  • Drink for the “happy” feeling it gives
  • Drink because “it’s good for the heart.”
  • Drink because it goes well with a meal.
  • Drink because “Jesus turned water into wine”
  • Drink because no scripture says drinking is a sin.

And what they don’t know is the next stage is not very far anymore!

2. The Stinging Stage

Verse 32- For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper.

In the midst of his opponent’s complacency…BAM! A brawler releases the powerful blow!

And alcohol; just like any brawler; does the same as well. It allows you to lax a bit; and then…BAM!  It stings where it hurts the most! Lets be honest, no one starts out intending to become an alcoholic, but many people get caught in the snare of alcohol, and in the end gets stung with the poison of alcoholism!

3. The Staggering Stage

Verse 33-34- You will see hallucinations…You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea, clinging to a swaying mast.
An experienced brawler always knows where exactly to hit you. Sometimes, just one powerful blow either to the jawline, or temple can make one lose consciousness. You start losing awareness of your environment.
Alcohol does the same. You lose control over your life. You display personalities, behavior and actions that make everyone around you uncomfortable.

4. The Denial Stage

Verse 35(a)- And you will say, “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know it when they beat me up.

I took these lines from an article in Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation website:
“Refusing to accept a painful reality that alters the perception of ourselves is a psychological defense called denial. As human beings, we may use denial to protect ourselves from awareness that threatens our self-esteem,…or security.”
I have seen opponents of brawlers sometimes denying that they are hurt to protect their ego.
Opponents of an alcohol as well, most of the time, convince themselves through justifying, that they are not stung, yet to everyone around them it is obvious that they are. You hear them say things like “Alcohol doesn’t have a hold on me! I could quit anytime I want.”

5. The Finishing Stage

Verse 35(b)- When will I wake up so I can look for another drink?”

Once an opponent refuses to accept that the blow of a brawler got him, the next time he comes back to his senses will be when he is helped from the ground, and he hears the referee counting…one- two- three- gone! That is the finishing stage…

Now; again; I have never met anyone experimenting with alcohol for the first time, and having at the back of his head an intention to develop an addiction; but many people end up being bound by it  because the word “addiction” is derived from a Latin “enslaved by” or “bound to.” So alcohol- like any drug- will not ask for your permission before it binds you. It just goes ahead without you even suspecting it might! And that my friend; we call alcoholism- The finishing stage!

Whenever a person comes to the point where he cant wait to wake up and start looking for another drink, he is bound! Alcoholism is a disease where addiction hijacks the brain!

And before we get to the last part of  Proverbs 20:1(NKJV)- …and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Here is the important Lesson learned from this post:

Lesson #1:

No one- when starting to experiment with alcohol- plans to become an alcoholic; until an addiction hijacks his brain!

  • Rather don’t start to avoid becoming a casualty!


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2 thoughts on “What Does The Bible Really Say About Alcohol?

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post elder Gape owed to the break down of Proverbs 20 and I agree with what I have read. My question however is the question I have so often heard people ask about wine: Why did Jesus turn water in to wine if Proverbs speaks at such lengths about wine? Could you please shed some light on the theological meaning and purpose of Jesus turning water in to wine?

    1. Wow, thank you so much my elder. I finally found 1 who can explain to me the side effect of alcohol though I don’t drink; but I got frustrated when some leaders will just demand or say: «We can’t accept people when drink in our team» without allowing the person to really understand what does God think about alcohol.
      Well, I like Phindile’s question. I remember listening to a preaching from pastor Mohamed Sanogo, french speaker on “how to have a successful marriage? “. Indeed he spoke about the first miracle of Jesus: turning water into wine. He illustrated the purpose of alcohol (in wine); how it makes people feel and that we must be filled with wine which is the representation of “love”. Married people must be drunk of love for each other. And something amazed me when he then said: even if the first love doesn’t give a nice taste due to circumstances of life, all you’ve been through as couple, a new or renewed love is possible; referring to the better taste of wine Jesus made miraculously. The MC of the ceremony told the groom that the best wine is first served and then the ones lesser good. Pastor Mohamed then said that even if situations in life turned your marriage into something different from the perfect plan of God for you, the Owner of this marriage, the 3rd Person can make things work even better with new ingredients and spices, make it takes greater and sweeter; teaching you maybe how to deal with this kind of issues or…
      So, yeah this is how I see the miracle Jesus performed at the wedding; but I’ll be very glad to hear from you leader 🙂

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