Alcohol has been a part of human consumption for thousands of years, and is now considered a source of entertainment for those who wish to indulge in pleasure. The topic of drinking alcohol has been debated and discussed for thousands of years among Christians. The Bible never condemns the consumption of alcohol, but it does warn about the dangers of drunkenness and describes certain situations that may occur when the human body is intoxicated with alcohol. Since the Bible does not directly forbid drinking alcohol, it is a personal decision whether someone should drink. With the information I have gathered from the scriptures, I will give you my opinion on whether the consumption of alcohol is a sin before the Most High God.
During biblical times, wine was the most popular alcoholic drink
One thing the scripture was able to tell us is that wine was the most sought after drink during biblical times. Noah drank wine from the vineyard he planted, which led to him becoming drunk.
20 And Noah began to farm and cultivate the ground, and he planted a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine and became drunk, and he was uncovered and lay exposed inside his tent.Genesis 9:20-21
Melchizedek, king of Salem, who was a priest of the Most High God, brought wine and bread as a token of appreciation to Abraham, and ended up blessing him as he gave them to him. Melchizedek provided Abraham with food for a feast, which included wine, as an expression of their friendship.
17 Then after Abram’s return from the defeat (slaughter) of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek, king of Salem (ancient Jerusalem) brought out bread and wine [for them]; he was the priest of God Most High.Genesis 14:17-18
When we examine this Bible verse, we can see that wine was used as a symbol of appreciation rather than as an object that glorified sin. We can also take into consideration the fact that wine was a more popular combination to eat with bread during the biblical era. Christ, the Messiah, also did the same with his followers.
According to the covenant between God and the nation of Israel, the Israelites would receive abundant wine and other central crops such as grain and oil if they kept God’s commandments. However, if the Israelites failed to keep the covenant, their wine would be taken away as a curse if the Israelites failed to keep the covenant. This is another Bible verse that shows how important wine was during the Biblical times.
38 “You will bring out a great quantity of seed to the field, but you will gather in little, because the locusts will consume it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them, but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because the worm will eat them.Deuteronomy 28:38-39
In the Song of Solomon, wine was compared to intimate love.
“May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth!” [Solomon arrives, she turns to him, saying,]Song of Solomon 1:2
“For your love is better than wine.
During a wedding ceremony at Cana of Galilee, Christ the Messiah performed one of the greatest miracles ever when he turned water into wine.
2 On the third day, a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’s mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding as well. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’s mother told him, “They don’t have any wine.”
4 “What has this concern of yours to do with me,[a] woman?” Jesus asked. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 “Do whatever he tells you,” his mother told the servants.
6 Now six stone water jars had been set there for Jewish purification. Each contained twenty or thirty gallons.[b]
7 “Fill the jars with water,” Jesus told them. So, they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head waiter.”[c] And they did.
9 When the head waiter tasted the water (after it had become wine), he did not know where it came from—though the servants who had drawn the water knew. He called the groom 10 and told him, “Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people are drunk, the inferior. But you have kept the fine wine until now.”
11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.John 2:1-11
Christ, the messiah, also criticized the Pharisees because they saw him eating and drinking wine and called him a glutton and a wine lover.
31 “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other:
We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance;
we sang a lament,
but you didn’t weep!
33 For John the Baptist did not come eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 35 Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”Luke 7:31-35
During the last supper, Christ the Messiah shared wine and bread with his followers:
17 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. 18 For I tell you, from now on, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks, broke it, gave it to them, and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
20 In the same way he also took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for youLuke 22:17-20
According to what we can gather from this passage, wine was used for many positive reasons, and most importantly the last supper. The book of Timothy indicates that moderate consumption of wine is healthy for the human body.
23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.1 Timothy 5:23
Wine can be used as a source of sustenance to the Most High in the book of Ecclesiastes.
7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.Ecclesiastes 9:7
The book of psalms also states that wine is a creation of the Most High God:
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.Psalms 104:14-15
In the same scripture, it is said that consuming excess alcohol can lead to drunkenness, which in turn can lead to sin, especially the sin of the flesh. We can take lessons from how Noah, who consumed excessive alcohol, led his children to sin.
How alcohol exposed Noah to sin
In the Book of Genesis, it is said that after the flood, Noah planted a vineyard and made fine wine. He was often imbibed with this wine, which on numerous occasions caused him to become intoxicated. Moreover, not only was he drunk, but the effects of the too much wine made him sleep naked inside his tent. It is important to understand that Noah might have slept naked in his tent for healthy reasons, like most people do today. Regrettably, that practice led Ham and possibly Canaan to sin because they saw their father, Noah, naked and did not cover him. It is also said that they may have done some evil things to their father while he was drunk and unable to respond.
20 Noah, as a man of the soil, began by planting[b] a vineyard. 21 He drank some of the wine, became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 Then Shem and Japheth took a cloak and placed it over both their shoulders, and walking backward, they covered their father’s nakedness. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father naked.
24 When Noah awoke from his drinking and learned what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said:
Canaan is cursed.
He will be the lowest of slaves to his brothers.
26 He also said:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem;Genesis 9:20-27
Let Canaan be[c] Shem’s slave.
27 Let God extend Japheth;[d]
let Japheth dwell in the tents of Shem;
let Canaan be Shem’s slave.
In Noah’s life, this episode serves as a reminder that even those saved by the grace of God can be vulnerable to sin.
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took some of every kind of clean animal and every kind of clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, he said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of human beings, even though the inclination of the human heart is evil from youth onward. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.Genesis 8:20-21
It is a warning about how careless decisions can destroy a man or woman’s reputation. That is especially true when it comes to drinking alcohol.
What circumstances could have caused Noah to drink wine more often?
The bible doesn’t specify why Noah became drunk. Despite the numerous possible scenarios, none of the possible scenarios change the responsibilities of the people involved. Noah was accountable for his actions, as were his sons. This begins with Ham, who seems to have responded to his inebriated father with mockery instead of compassion.
22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside.Genesis 9:22
This, of course, is merely my guess. One possible explanation for Noah’s frequent consumption of wine is that he was plagued by memories of the flood and sought to numb his pain with wine. If we connect this theory with today, we can see that people today abuse alcohol because they want to avoid negative feelings. A heavy burden would probably have been placed on people trying to rebuild a shattered world after the terrible loss of human life. Noah may have felt this way, which is why he drank wine frequently.
Another of my guesses is that Noah’s drunkenness was unintentional and due to old age. That is, Noah might have got drunk unintentionally. Remember that after the flood, the veil of trust between man and the Most High God was torn, which resulted in mankind ageing much more rapidly. Noah may have felt his age more than he realized, and was unable to hold as much wine as he once could. This is one of the key dangers of alcohol, and it is important to avoid alcohol in moderation. Alcohol tends to make people lose their good judgment.
Another possible explanation is that Noah was not accustomed to drinking large quantities of alcohol, and therefore became drunk. Although grapes existed before the flood, man would have had the ability to press grapes before Noah entered the ark. However, according to the Bible, Noah was the first to plant a vineyard.
20 Noah, as a man of the soil, began by planting[a] a vineyard.Genesis 9:20
A vineyard that is taken care of will produce more fruit, juice, and wine than wild vines. Noah may have had access to more wine than he had ever had before. He may have consumed more than usual, which resulted in his drunken state.
As I mentioned earlier, the Bible does say that wine is good for cheer, without even taking the issue of Noah into consideration.
Wine that makes human hearts glad—Psalm 104:15
making his face shine with oil—
and bread that sustains human hearts.
It also warns, however, that it can be very dangerous, especially for those in positions of authority.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel— it is not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
Several passages in the bible clearly condemn drunkenness, which is the aftermath of consuming excessive amounts of alcohol. The book of peter says that drunkenness is part of ancient pagan traditions:
3 For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.1 Peter 4:3
Again, the book of Romans explains how excessive alcohol consumption can lead to sexual immorality and other sins:
13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.Romans 13:13
According to the book of Galatians, drunkenness is viewed as being as sinful as other types of sins that would prevent us from entering the Kingdom of the highest God.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.Galatians 5:19-21
The scriptures indicate that wine was commonly used for entertainment, nutritional value, and sometimes given as a gift. Wine is a beverage which is produced from the fermented juice of the grape, a product of the work of the Almighty God. Therefore, it is not a sin to drink it as long as you do so responsibly. Alcohol can only become a sin to the Most High God when it is consumed to the point of complete drunkenness, which leads to immorality. When you are in a state of drunkenness, your soul is vulnerable to demons who may take advantage of you and encourage you to commit sin.
The scriptures condemn drunkenness because it can corrupt the human mind, leading it to sin as well as making others lead you to sin. According to the Book of Genesis, Noah took too much alcohol and went to sleep, but it was not enough to stop his children from doing wrong things around him.
If you ask me whether drinking alcohol is a sin, then my answer is no. Sin usually begins with drinking to the point of being drunk and then doing something sinful afterwards. My advice is that, if you can refrain from alcohol, then do so. If you have the capacity to drink it responsibly, without being tempted to sin, then go ahead. It is important to understand that it is the intoxication caused by alcohol that leads people to sin, and this can only happen if one drinks excessive amounts of alcohol. As Always, it’s my opinion.