Shelby G. Floyd

Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. (Prov. 23:31-32)

The Bible has much to say about strong drink, and the evils that are associated with it. Solomon is noted for his wisdom, and the books that are written by him are inspired. In the book of Proverbs we have some of the greatest principles on ethics and morality that can be found.

There are some persons who have tried to use the Bible as approving the use of wine, But Solomon says, “Don’t even look at that colorful stuff bubbling up in the glass! It goes down so easily, but later it bites like a poisonous snake” (Proverbs 23:31-32 CEV). That is from a contemporary version. Here are Solomon’s words from the ESV:

“Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
In the end it bites like a serpent
and stings like an adder.”

Therefore, when wine is mentioned in the Bible in the sense of intoxicating drink; it is always condemned.

A Nation of Alcoholics and Drunkards?

It is a dangerous precedent for any nation of people to become a race of alcoholics. Abraham Lincoln once said,

“Whiskey has many defenders, but no defense.”

President Lincoln was a great opponent of strong drink. It is still true that whiskey and strong drink has many defenders, but there are no plausible arguments that can be made in its behalf. Strong drink is one of the greatest curses that have ever beset our country. There are millions of alcoholics. There are an equal number of persons who are classed as problem drinkers. The drinking of strong drink and drunkenness causes thousands of deaths annually on our nation’s highways. Many times this number of persons is injured for life, resulting from accidents caused by drinking drivers.

Wine is a Mocker
Wine is a mocker,
Strong drink is a brawler,
And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
(Proverbs 20:1 NKJV).

Wine is a mocker in that the man who drinks wine mocks things that are decent and wholesome. Those who drink wine and strong drink are deceived, and they are not wise. In the New Testament Paul said,

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians. 6:7).

Those who drink wine and strong drink usually come to poverty, because the labor of their hands is used to buy the fiery liquid. Their families are de¬prived of food, clothing, and other necessities of life in order to gratify their desires for strong drink. Solomon said,

He who loves pleasure will be a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
(Proverbs 21:17).

He also said,

Do not mix with winebibbers,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags. (Proverbs 23:20-21).

The liquor industry advertises its products in glowing terms. Strong drink is usually associated with the young and those who are successful; but such is far from being a true picture of those who are taken in by such deceitfulness. Solomon describ¬ed the humiliation brought upon those who go to wine when he said,

Who has woe?
Who has sorrow?
Who has contentions?
Who has complaints?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who linger long at the wine,
Those who go in search of mixed wine.
31 Do not look on the wine when it is red,
When it sparkles in the cup,
When it swirls around smoothly;
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
And stings like a viper. (Proverbs 23: 29-32 NKJV).

Copyright © 2021 Shelby G. Floyd, All Rights Reserved

Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142