God, the Creator of everything, created the first vineyard and engineered the first grape. With full knowledge of the consequences of fermenting and processing these grapes into wine, He still chose to serve it in the church’s most important meals (Matthew 26:27). While it is clear that God loves good wine and allows His children to enjoy it, we must not forget that He also warns us about its potential for abuse.
Wine, even in moderation, can be a traitor, as warned by the prophet Habakkuk (Habakkuk 2:5). The Bible is filled with cautionary tales of alcohol’s dangers, from Moses describing it as “the poison of serpents and the cruel venom of asps” (Deuteronomy 32:33) to the judgment that falls on those who indulge in excessive drinking (Proverbs 23:29–35). In light of these warnings, let’s explore the five great dangers of alcohol abuse: confusion, perversion, instability, paralysis, and futility.
- Confusion: Alcohol clouds our judgment and perception of reality, leading us to see things that aren’t there or view them incorrectly (Proverbs 23:33). Just as God warned Aaron and the priests not to drink before entering the tent of meeting (Leviticus 10:8–9), we too must be cautious of alcohol’s potential to blur the lines between holy and unholy.
- Perversion: Excessive alcohol consumption is often linked to immoral behavior, particularly sexual immorality (Proverbs 23:33; Hosea 4:10–11; Joel 3:2–3). Alcohol can exaggerate sin’s pleasures and obscure its consequences, leading us down a path of corruption.
- Instability: Alcohol can render a person incapacitated and oblivious to danger (Proverbs 23:34). As a result, the individual not only endangers themselves but also those who rely on them. Moreover, alcohol can turn a person into a volatile, unpredictable force, contrary to the calming nature of Jesus.
- Paralysis: One of the most terrifying consequences of drunkenness is the numbing effect it has on a person’s ability to perceive danger (Proverbs 23:35). Drunkenness leaves us vulnerable and unresponsive, potentially leading to dire consequences.
- Futility: The endless pursuit of satisfaction in alcohol is a futile effort (Proverbs 23:35; Ecclesiastes 2:3–11). Despite this, many continue to drink in a vain attempt to quench their thirst, only to find themselves consumed by their addiction.
Despite these warnings, we can still appreciate the goodness of wine when enjoyed in moderation. The key to avoiding the dangers of alcohol is to fill ourselves with God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). By immersing ourselves in His Word, engaging in prayer, expressing gratitude, and participating in the community of believers; we can guard our hearts against the temptation of drunkenness. In doing so, not only do we protect ourselves from alcohol’s destructive power, but we also fully enjoy its divine delight.