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January 6 – Proverbs on alcohol

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1

Scripture reading: Proverbs 23:29-35

God gave alcohol as a blessing to man, not a curse. Jesus personally made barrels of fine wine for people to enjoy at a wedding. Christians drank wine at fellowship feasts. So wine is not sinful.

The trouble comes when this gift of God is abused, when it is consumed in inordinate amounts, or when it is consumed by those who should not use it. But just as you may not blame food for being fat, you must not blame alcohol for drunkenness. The abuse of a gift doesn’t make it a bad gift.

What are the consequences of drunkenness? Poverty. Spousal abuse. Murder. Consider Solomon’s direct words from Proverbs 23:19-21,

Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way. Do not mix with winebibbers, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty…

Yes, the abuse of alcohol does bite like a viper, but ultimately, the greatest consequence of alcohol abuse is hell.

How can you prevent drunkenness? First, if you do drink alcohol, make sure it is in moderation. And you will have to stand before God and account for “moderation.” Second, remember that you don’t need to drown your troubles or escape reality with alcohol. The Lord will help you through your trials. You are His. Third, remember your sufficiency is in Christ. He meets the greatest needs of your life. Learn to be satisfied in Him.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you will guard against drunkenness in your life and that you will not use alcohol to avoid dealing with troubles in your life.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Mitchell Persaud is pastor of New Horizon URC in Scarborough, ON, a mission church under the oversight of Cornerstone URC in London, ON. He was born in Guyana, South America, into a Hindu home, baptized Roman Catholic, raised Pentecostal and then became Reformed.

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