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July 26 – Wine

“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 20:1-5

I am writing this devotion in the midst of wine country. There are vineyards and wineries scattered by the dozen throughout the region. It raises the question, what does the Bible say about wine?

Psalm 104:14,15 informs us that God causes vegetation to grow and brings forth food and “wine that makes glad the heart of man.” Wine was a significant part of life, honoured by our Lord Jesus when He provided the wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It brings joy to the heart. Wine is a gift of God.

At the same time, we must recognize that it is given along with the warning that we find in our proverb. It can easily lead one astray. God has given us minds to control our behaviour and wine can disrupt our thinking so that appetite, lust and passion take over that control. This leads to the bites and stings reported in Proverbs 23:32 as well as the sorrows, contentions, complaints and wounds reported in the same passage. This is why the Scriptures command us not to get drunk.

The Bible’s ultimate counsel to us for this problem is found in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.” This gives us both God’s prohibition and requirement. Don’t get drunk. Rather be filled with the Spirit who enlightens our minds to control our behaviour according to the Spirit-inspired Scriptures. Thus we avoid the dangers and enjoy God’s blessings.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask God to fill you with His Spirit so that you can control your life according to His word.

Rev. James Reaves served his last congregation, Grace Reformed Church (URCNA), in Kelowna, BC. He retired in 2014 after fifty years of ordained ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at

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