To the great number of festivals and holidays we have, some years ago the Wine festival was added, a day to boast for some and to blame, or even curse for others. I myself have heard a woman in the National Square who said: “It is not enough that our husbands come home drunk almost every evening, now they have got a festival that encourages this behavior…” Almost all those who were around, especially women, agreed with the words of that woman.
On the other side, wine industry is a basic branch of the economy of our country and I suppose that those who decided to institute this holiday thought to use it to facilitate the wine marketing, that is a produce and a result of the work of many people from Moldova.
Wine is mentioned many times on the pages of the Holy Scriptures and it has a large and a very profound meaning for every person. As a priest, I have the duty and the joy to share with you what God teaches us about wine in the Bible.
Wine is a symbol with a profound meaning
Symbols have a great role in our activity, because we learn from them and in this way we remember the important things of life. So, the cross in the Roman Empire was used as a tool to execute the slaves and the murderers. The participants at Spartacus’ uprising were crucified on the crosses spread on the road that led from Sicily to Rome. After the Lord Jesus was crucified and executed in a horrible way, the cross became a symbol of all Christians. Many believers use to carry this symbol with them to manifest and proclaim their faith in the Lord Jesus, but, unfortunately, most people who carry this symbol nowadays, don’t live in accord with the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. So, as the cross is a symbol, in the same way the wine has a deep meaning in the Bible. I will enumerate two of them below:
Wine is the symbol of prosperity
When Isaac blessed his son, Jacob, he
said, ”See, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the LORD has blessed; Now may God give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and an abundance of grain and new wine!” (Genesis 27:27–28)(NASB)
Let us be thankful to God because He gave us a blessed and prosperous country.
The wine symbolizes the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, shed for the atonement of our sins
Apostle Paul writes:
For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. (1 Corinthians 11:23–26)(NASB)
Christians who entered the covenant of the Lord Jesus by faith and received the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life have the commandment from the Lord Jesus to celebrate His sacrifice and the event of entering this covenant. This feast is the Lord’s Supper. It is a dishonor to God when some people drink, get drunk and then they excuse themselves, saying that the wine they drink is “the blood of the Lord”. This is not compatible with the character and living of a child of God, because God says…
Don’t get drunk with wine!
Once I have received a message from a Christian young man, who wrote the following:
Today, at the driving school which courses I attend, a specialist from the Narcology Centre came to us and taught us a lesson about the situation from Moldova. In the country there are 50,000 persons dependent on alcohol, 3,500 of which are children of alcoholics, born being exposed to alcohol dependence. There were 600 alcoholics registered in 2003 and other 1000 alcohol addicted in 2004. In a school from a village, a girl who was in the third grade fell off the chair during the lesson, being drunk. Investigating the case, they found that all her classmates were drunk too.
We pretend that we realize how difficult it is to have someone close to you drunk always, but we can not understand to the end what hell is in those houses. Here are some motives why God is totally against drunkenness.
Drunkenness makes people lose their competence and integrity
King Solomon relates us in the book of Proverbs how a mother advises her son, Lemuel, who was a king. Here is what this wise woman, inspired by the Spirit of God, advises him:
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. (Proverbs 31:4–5)(NASB)
Drunkenness is dissipation and it leads to dissipation
Apostle Paul writes in the Epistle to Christians from Ephesus:
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)(NASB)
There are many iniquities done while people are drunk, and they bring a lot of grave consequences. The Bible relates such a case. Lot was a righteous man, but because he was inattentive and wanted to have a more “civilized” life, he accepted to live with his family in the city of Sodom for a period of time, a locality where people tolerated all kind of sexual perversions that spread very much and affected his family. His daughters, in that context, even if they where virgins physically, their mind was badly affected by the dissipated environment from Sodom. It will be the same effect for Moldova since the Ministry of Justice adopts a Bill on Preventing and Resisting Discrimination, where they included the syntagma “sexual orientation” as a criteria for discrimination, the true purpose of those who introduced this syntagma is to give full expression to immorality.
After God destroyed the city of Sodom with all its inhabitants, the consequences had to be shown up. Something similar happens in our country, when someone tried to introduce the course “Life skills” in our schools, where they tried to teach the students immorality and selfishness. If we don’t intervene now to stop the spread of immorality, it will cost us very much in future, as Lot didn’t intervene in time and he had to pay grave consequences. Here is what the Bible relates:
Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived. Lot went up from Zoar, and stayed in the mountains, and his two daughters with him; for he was afraid to stay in Zoar; and he stayed in a cave, he and his two daughters. Then the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of the earth. ”Come, let us make our father drink wine, and let us lie with him that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night, and the firstborn went in and lay with her father; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. On the following day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father; let us make him drink wine tonight also; then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve our family through our father.” So they made their father drink wine that night also, and the younger arose and lay with him; and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. (Genesis 19:29–36)(NASB)
Can we imagine what a pain Lot had in his heart the last years on this earth? This were also the consequences of drunkenness. Wise Solomon, being inspired by the Holy Spirit, said:
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things and your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, or like one who lies down on the top of a mast. (Proverbs 23:29–34)(NASB)
Today, there are many families in our country destroyed because of drunkenness and many children suffer because of the parents who have been caught in the claws of drunkenness.
Drunkenness leads to poverty
Solomon also says:
Listen, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way. Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine, or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe one with rags. (Proverbs 23:19–21)(NASB)
Wine addiction makes the Word of God be dishonored
When someone claims to be a Christian and is a person addicted to wine, by this he puts shame on the faith he confesses, on the church and on the family. Muslims do not accept the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only way to get to the Kingdom of God. They do not want to accept the Truth of God’s Word, because most of those who claim to be Christians live in drunkenness and dissipation. These “Christians” will give account at the judgment seat of the Lord Jesus of they way they now live. Those who love the Lord Jesus are obedient to the words written in the Bible. Men who are an example for others are suitable as priests
For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain. (Titus 1:7)(NASB)
The same thing is required from Christian women
Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored. (Titus 2:3–5)(NASB)
According to the texts read from the Bible, it is important to keep in our hearts the following eternal teachings for this day and for the rest of our life:
Wine is a symbol of prosperity and we have to be thankful in our hearts for the blessed country God has given us.
Wine is the symbol of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the atonement of ours sins. To have this forgiveness, we have to believe in the Lord Jesus and to repent from our sins (including drunkenness).
Drunkenness is dissipation and it brings the collapse of the personality, of the family, the lost of the competence and integrity of people and it dishonors the Word of God.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9–11)(NASB)
God help us to be obedient and in this way to have blessed lives, families and country.
Translated by Felicia Djugostran