Look not upon wine when it is red or when it sparkles
Proverbs 23:30-32 -
They that tarry long at the wine; They that go to seek out mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, When it sparkleth in the cup, When it goeth down smoothly: At the last it biteth like a serpent, And stingeth like an adder.
People may think this scripture is about wine.
Like all other Bible scriptures this too is multidimensional and attends to the simple minded as well has those who are blessed with wisdom, the dose is little as well as great for the respective.
Let me attend to the first and then the second.
The Bible talks a lot about wine. There are many Christians especially the Catholic community which states the first miracle Jesus did was turn water to wine that is why they honour Him by drinking wine (including alcohol).
At parties when I tell people I do not have alcohol not even wine they ask me if I am really a Christian (confusing me to a Catholic).
The Bible is very clear that God's people are forbidden from consuming alcohol including wine. The confusion comes between alcohol (spirits), strong wine, mild wine and fresh grape juice for all are translated as wine. It is only when we check their Greek or Hebrew words we see there are different words used in Greek and in Hebrew which describe what kind of wine mentioned in the respective scripture. Greek language (NT) has 2 different words defining wines, while the Hebrew language has 5 different words specifying 5 levels of wines.
In Greek there are totally 3 words used for wine:-
Oinos - oy-nos - (Strong 3631) - wine in general whose fermentation levels may vary to from mild to medium - John 2:10, 1 Tim 3:8, 1 Tim 5:23
Gleukos - glyoo-kos - (Strong 1098) - high fermented wine - Act 2:13 (only scripture)
Parvinos - Par-oy-nos - (Strong 3943) - given to wine or getting drunk with wine - 1 Tim 3:3
In Hebrew there are totally 7 words used for wine:-
Tiyrowsh - Tee-roshe - (Strong 8492) - fresh grape juice - Gen 27:25
Aciyc - Aw-sees - (Strong 6071) - fresh wine not fermented - Joel 1:5
Yayin - Yay-in - (Strong 3196) - fermented wine - Gen 27:28, Joel 1:5, Proverb 23:30
Mamcak - mam-sawk - (Strong 4469) - spiced wine - Proverb 23:30
Shekar - Shay-kawr - (Strong 7491) - Alcohol or strong drink or spirit - Num 28:7 (only scripture)
Cobe - so-beh - (Strong 5435) - getting drunk with strong wine - Isaiah 1:22
Enab - Ay-awb - (Strong 6025) - to bear fruit or grape as a fruit or wine - Hosea 3:1
There is only one scripture in Aramaic referring to wine:-
Chamar - Kham-ar - (Strong 2562) - an Aramaic word for wine - Ezra 6:9
By checking the respective scripture to the kind of wine mentioned we see that strong wine is forbidden and what wine Jesus turned the water to, was fresh grape juice. It was so very fresh that it caused the host to comment; a day old or half a day old would cause mild fermentation. Fermentation is a process where the sugar is broken into carbon dioxide and alcohol.
In today's message the Lord says do not consume the wine when it is strong or when it sparkles. It is found sparkling wine (like Champagne) runs into our blood stream faster than normal wine therefore can cause a person to be intoxicated faster.
Coming to the second dimension of this scripture, here wine symbolizes carnal desires like lust, temptation or just desires for worldly things.
The Lord is giving us a very simple and easy way to overcome the carnal person and that is not to fight it but just delay or postpone acting on it. Paul also put it as flee from temptation; he does not say fight temptation.
The only thing that overcomes the carnal person is Truth. That means to overcome temptations, lust or worldly desires one need to have the Truth in him or her. Truth does not mean knowledge of the Bible but the understanding of the Bible. It is only when we act on the knowledge we get from the Bible do we get its understanding. Therefore until we come to a stage where we realize the vanity of acting on temptation, or lust, or desires of the world, we should refrain from acting when we are tempted or have a desire which is worldly.
That does not mean we just keep running, to stop the running we need to fill ourselves with understanding of the Kingdom of God.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You came as ordinary man but yet You did not become like us. You overcame the world. You were tempted like us that too when You were weaken in the desert yet You overcame temptation by the Truth. Lord, as your Spirit works in us and reveals more and more of your Kingdom to us, help us not to act on our desires which are worldly or fall when temptation comes...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
1 Corinthians 6:18 - Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
1 Corinthians 10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Timothy 6:10-11
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
2 Timothy 2:22 - Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
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