What does God say about wine? (continued)

The Bible clearly condemns drunkenness as we have seen.  However, it also speaks positively about wine.

Psalm 104 celebrates God’s provision for his creation:

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man’s heart. (vv. 14-15 ESV)

God’s blessings, poured out upon his faithful people, include wine:  “He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock, in the land that he swore to your fathers to give you” (Deuteronomy 7:13 ESV).  The festive offerings eaten before the Lord include “oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink,” Deuteronomy. 14:26.

Wine, furthermore, figures prominently in the prophetic pictures of the coming messianic kingdom: “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 ESV).  The Lord extends his gracious invitation: “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!   Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” Isaiah 55:1 ESV).

In the New Testament the first miracle that our Lord performs during his earthly ministry is turning water in fine wine at the wedding in Cana, John 2.  In 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul advises Timothy to drink a little wine for the sake of his stomach and his frequent ailments.

God approves the use of wine as his good gift, but never its abuse.  Next: how does that work out in our sin-cursed world?

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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