What is Alcohol?

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

                According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 86.4 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 70.1 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.0 percent reported that they drank in the past month.  That being the case, it’s safe to say that about half of American adults drink alcohol on a regular basis.  And though the legal drinking age is 21 years old, a good number of young people use alcohol as well.

                As a pastor, I’ve heard all the reasons that alcohol use should be considered acceptable.  Some say, “The Bible doesn’t say ‘Thou shalt not drink.’”  That’s a true statement, but it doesn’t tell the whole story.  There are many verses that discourage the use and abuse of alcohol, and today’s verse is one of them.  Solomon tells us that “wine is a mocker.”  The Hebrew term translated “mocker” carries the idea of scorn, so Solomon is saying that the use of wine can turn your life into mockery and shame.

                He also tells us that “strong drink is a brawler.”  To the ancients, “strong drink” would’ve been wine allowed to ferment for a longer period of time, thus increasing the alcoholic content.  Those who’ve had too much booze are infamous for becoming combative and fighting.  Solomon leaves us with a word of wisdom – “whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”  In my opinion, the best way to never be led astray by alcohol is to abstain from using it.  Remember, every alcoholic started with his first drink.

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