Wine and the Kingdom part 1 – tension?Chris Ridgeway | 9 Jul 2006 | 08:31
Last week, I gave a talk with Nick M called “Miller Genuine Draft and the Kingdom of God.” We explored the Christian’s view of alcohol, and not simply from a moralistic perspective. I think I’ll do several posts on the topic, outlining a few of our points, but also adding extra research, thoughts, and questions that came up, but maybe we didn’t include in the final talk.
This time, let me start with just asking, “What does God think of alcohol?”
Wine is mentioned 234 in the scriptures (NIV). 194 in the Old Testament, 40 in the New Testament. From Noah to Revelation, it’s present in scripture. Let’s see what’s written.
Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. (Proverbs 20.1 NIV)
Woe to those who rise early in the morning
to run after their drinks,
who stay up late at night
till they are inflamed with wine. ~ Prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 5.11 NIV)
Go eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. ~ Solomon (Ecclesiastes 9.7)
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.
(Psalm 104.14,15 NIV)
Hmm. How about the New Testament?
Watch out! Don’t let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. ~ Jesus (Luke 21.34 NLT)
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. ~ Paul (Ephesians 5.15 NIV)
Six stone waterpots were standing there; they were used for Jewish ceremonial purposes and held twenty to thirty gallons each. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled to the brim, he said, “Dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So they followed his instructions.
When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “Usually a host serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone is full and doesn’t care, he brings out the less expensive wines. But you have kept the best until now!”
11This miraculous sign at Cana in Galilee was Jesus’ first display of his glory. And his disciples believed in him. ~ Apostle John (John 2 NLT)