Is alcohol a real consolation for the embittered and poor men?


Seeking something in the Bible, I stopped to look at some interesting verses that I could not explain it to me at the moment. These are verses from Proverbs 31:4-7, where it is clear that strong drink would be an useful solution for the poor and embittered man. Is it really so? How do you explain those incentives? I think it is important to be clarified lest some find justification in these verses for their sinful passions.

In the beginning let us look at …

The text in its context

Which says this:

The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him: What, O my son? And what, O son of my womb? And what, O son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, or your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to desire strong drink, for they will drink and forget what is decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to him whose life is bitter. Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. (Proverbs 31:1-7)(NASB)

In this text there are clear the following truths:

  1. This is the teaching that the king Lemuel received from his mother.
  2. It is not for kings and rulers (leaders, people who are delegated with public accountability) to drink wine and desire strong drink, because …
  3. Those who use strong drink forget the law of God and violate the rights of those afflicted.
  4. Those who are perishing and whose life is bitter drink wine and they do this to forget their poverty and not remember their troubles. So they run away from reality while they are drunk, but they do not actually change the situation for the better and the danger does not runs from them. Their solution is similar to that of the ostrich that hides his head in the sand when he sees the danger, thinking that the danger has passed and it is safe this way. Exactly the same effect alcoholic beverages have on the embittered and poor men who use them.

Besides, also in the book of Proverbs it is written that wine is:

The cause for conflicts

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)(NASB)

The cause for poverty

He who loves pleasure will become a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not become rich. (Proverbs 21:17)(NASB)

In the New Testament God says to all Christians:

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)(NASB)

God help us to live in holiness and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Translated by Felicia Rotaru