The Evil of Liquor

Eph. 5:17-18 – “Do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.

People’s lives are either dominated by sin which will drag them to hell, or by the Holy Spirit who regenerates and sanctifies them in preparation for a life in heaven. It is God’s will that we follow the way to heaven. If we don’t do that He calls us unwise people and fools who are responsible for their own spiritual ruin.

A big problem, also in ancient times, is drunkenness. Paul describes it as the opposite of a life under control of the Holy Spirit. Unlikely as it may sound, there are nevertheless people who try to justify the use of alcohol from the Bible. One of the most common arguments used by them is that Jesus made wine. It is a blasphemous to allege that the Son of God promoted the liquor industry by His miracle at the wedding in Cana. This act of Jesus was a miracle through which he demonstrated His deity. The Son of God would never have done anything that would detrimentally affect people’s lives. The same Jesus who warns us in His Word not to drink will not do anything which contradicts His teachings.

From the Old Testament it is obvious that different terms are used for liquor. This allows us to make a clear distinction between the types of liquor which God condemns and that which He recommends:

Jajin. This word occurs 133 times in the Bible and is consistently translated as wine. It is a well known fact that jajin was fermented, intoxicating wine. It is often condemned by the Lord (cf. Prov. 23:29-36; Hab. 2:15).

Tirosh. This term is used 38 times in the Bible. In 11 cases it is translated as new wine, 26 times as sweet wine and once in a neutral form. It is generally accepted that tirosh is unfermented grape juice, which is positively evaluated by the Lord (cf. Jer. 40:10,12; Ps. 104:15).

Shekar. This term is encountered 29 times and is always translated as strong drink or intoxication drink. The Lord condemns it, e.g. in Proverbs 20:1, where He says: “Wine is a mocker and intoxicating drink arouses brawling, and whosoever is led astray by it is not wise.

In the Greek terminology of the New Testament, no distinction is made between the various types of liquor, and they are only translated as wine. But from information in the Old Testament one can easily determine which kind of wine Jesus would have made at the wedding in Cana – definitely unfermented tirosh.

The allegation that Jesus made intoxicating wine contradicts the whole Bible, and such allegations come straight from the devil. He is the big liar who comes in a highly deceptive way as an angel of light to deceive people (2 Cor. 11:14). It is in his nature to justify intoxicating liquor, and to defend and promote its use.

Who influences and controls your life? Is it the god of liquor, Bacchus, the god of money, Mammon, or any other idol or sin? “For by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage” (2 Pet. 2:19). The Lord Jesus has come to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). He sets us free so we don’t need to be slaves of sin. In the new life which He imparts to us we are filled and controlled by His Holy Spirit.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, give us the determination not to become slaves of sin, but to trust You for salvation and to live lives under the guidance of your Holy Spirit. We don’t want to live licentious lives but lives which are well pleasing to You. Help us take the right decisions against sin and to always pursue your righteousness. Amen.”

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