“He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate—-bringing forth food from the earth; wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat. Who has we? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints? Who has needless bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is read, when it sparkles in the cup, wen it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of he rigging. ‘They hit me,’ you will say, ‘but I’m not hurt! They beat me, but I don’t feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?’”(Psalm 104:14-15; 23:20, 29-35)
The Hebrews viewed wine with other agricultural products as one of the good gifts of God to humankind. Wine symbolized joyousness and gladness of heart in addition to describing prosperity and success before God. All of this may be true, but as in all situations, it is not the whole truth.
Extremely vivid, this passage may have been written by one who had personally experienced the trauma of drunkenness. Rather that being proud of this, however, the writer wants to warn abusers of strong drink of the consequences they face: quarreling, fights, injuries, ugly physical appearance, confused minds, separation from reality, dangerous loss of feeling, drowsiness, and addiction. To drink alcohol is not bad, but if you cannot stop before becoming drunk, it is a major problem.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, the gift of wine or alcohol, if not abused, is certainly acceptable. For those who can not have a drink, but must consume large quantities of it, have a serious problem that will not go away but just saying, no more. We have seen families destroyed by those who cannot just have a beer or a glass of wine or maybe a mixed drink; they are those with addictive natures and must avoid alcohol for their own benefit and for the benefit of their families. It is also not limited to alcohol, it goes to prescription drugs, illegal drugs and even sex. It is the one who needs help with the disease of addiction, that today we hold up to You, dear Abba, that have such a strong addiction characters, that they cannot stop. We pray for them, we pray for their families, we pray for lost friendships, all because of the disease of their nature. Touch them, Abba, that they might be healed from their things in their life that will separate them from their friends, family, and especially from You. This we pray in Jesus’ name pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Church, ‘Redemption Center,’ No coupon necessary.”
“Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night til they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands. Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” (Isaiah 5:11-12, 22)
These verses pronounce judgment on those who have sought ultimate value fro their lives in strong drink. Alcohol makes us forget what God has done for us and so distorts our moral perceptions we do not realize we stand under divine judgment. I have heard many say these words, but who did not believe it was true for them. Until they come to the realization that addictions are the cause of their problems, they will remain. When they are able to honestly able to name their addictions, the healing process cannot begin. Help is available, but they must seek it.
“The overseer, pastor and church leaders must be above reproach, the husband of but one with, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, non violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. They must manage their own family well and see that their children obey them with proper respect.” (1st Timothy 3:3-4)
Church leaders must set examples for others, to follow. Getting drunk is not excusable for a church leader, ever. First century wine had a lower alcoholic content than other stronger drinks of the time, it just took longer to get drunk on it. In Paul 13:13, he was concerned that one would continue drinking until they reached drunkenness state, and therefore no longer in control of themselves. Christians should abstain from drunkenness to preserve our Christian witness to a world looking for reasons to criticize us.
Second Thought of the Day:
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’ ‘Dear woman,’ why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My time has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said tot he servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’ They did so, and the master of he banquet tasted the water that had been turned into win. He did no realize where it had come from, tough the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had to much to drink, but you have saved the best till now.’ This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory and his disciples put their faith in him.” (John 2:1-11)
This incident, the first of Jesus’ messianic signs, reveals Jesus easily fitting into the enjoyment of the occasion of the Cana wedding. Jesus provides the drink expected at the messianic banquet and replaces the water of purification in the Jewish rituals with the choicest drink of His time. He provide abundantly for the people as was expected in the last days. Make sense?
The signs from John’s description of the miracle at the wedding at Cana is different from the others three accounts. He points readers to faith in Christ so they may participate in eternal life. The first sign shows the water of purification so central to Jewish practice replaced by wine, the symbol of Jesus’ blood. Jesus is the only way to purification before God. Ritual will not work. In Jesus, God’s kingdom has entered the world revealing God’s glory.