What exactly does Scripture say about drinking? Today, Jeff dives into the Bible to explain what it teaches and breaks down both the benefits of drinking, and the dangers of drinking excessively.
Snippet from the Show
“Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will’s mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable.”- CC 1809
Did Jesus Drink?
Jesus turned water into wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana.
On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. – John 2:1-11
Jesus drinking and eating with sinners.
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”-Matthew 11:17-19
What does the Old Testament say about drinking?
Melchizedek gave an offering of bread and wine- a precursor to the Eucharist.
“And Melchiz′edek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High.” – Genesis 14:18
Wine can be healthy for the body.
“Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, your vats will be bursting with wine.” –Proverbs 3:7-10
“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” – 1 Tim 5:23
“Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress”-Proverbs 31:6
Wine is considered to be sweet offering (it’s good).
“Wisdom has built her house, she has set up her seven pillars. She has slaughtered her beasts, she has mixed her wine, she has also set her table. She has sent out her maids to call from the highest places in the town, “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here! To him who is without sense she says, “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Leave simpleness, and live, and walk in the way of insight.’”– Proverbs 9:1-6
“And for the drink offering you shall offer a third of a hin of wine, a pleasing aroma to the LORD.”-Numbers 15 :7
Wine makes the heart glad, it’s a festive drink!
“and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” – Psalm 104:15
“On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” – Isaiah 25:6
Watered down wine is seen as a bad thing.
“How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers. Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water.”-Isaiah 1:21-22
Warnings Concerning Drinking
Drinking excessively causes us to say unwise things.
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler; and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”– Proverbs 20:1
Drinking excessively leads to excess pleasure.
He who loves pleasure will be a poor man, he who loves wine and oil will not be rich– Proverbs 21:17
Drinking excessively leads to a chaotic, sinful and dangerous life.
“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.”-Proverbs 23:20-21
“Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice. My son, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.For a prostitute is a deep pit; adulteress7 is a narrow well. She lies in wait like a robber and increases the traitors among mankind. Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.”- Proverbs 23:25-32
Drinking while carrying or discharging duties is unwise.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire, strong drink; lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.”– Proverbs 31:4-7
Mixing worship with alcohol is not permitted.
“Drink no wine nor strong drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations”. -Leviticus 10:9
“No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.”-Ezekiel 44:21
Wine can enslave the heart and lead to addiction.
“wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.”-Hosea 4:11
All things are lawful but not helpful.
“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.”– 1 Corinthians 6:12
Drinking excessively can lead to manipulation.
“Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink—you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!”-Habbuck 2:15
Drinking excessively can lead to an unbalanced life.
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!”-Isaiah 5:11
Drinking excessively is a grave sin.
“envy,drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”- Galatians 5:21
“nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”-1 Corinthians 6:10
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God.”-1 Corinthians 10:30-31
Temperance is a virtue.
“But as for you, teach what befits sound doctrine. Bid the older men be temperate, serious, sensible, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”- Titus 2:1-2
“Deacons likewise must be serious, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for gain.”– 1 Timothy 3:8
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Meet Your Host: Jeff Cavins
Jeff Cavins is passionate about helping people understand Scripture and become disciples of Jesus Christ. Though he was born Catholic, Jeff went to Bible school and served as a protestant minister for twelve years before reverting to the Catholic Faith. Jeff then received his MA in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Since then, he has become a leading Catholic evangelist and author.
Jeff created The Bible Timeline learning system, which revolutionized Catholic Bible Study for millions of Catholics. Since its introduction, Jeff has developed The Great Adventure series of Bible studies to help people better understand Sacred Scripture and its meaning for their lives.