"It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts."
I have taken a few days off because I did not think I was in a place to be publishing things on the internet about the Bible. It's been one of those starts to the week that make me feel like I am not qualified to even HAVE a Bible, much less expound on verses. But I need to come back to this study. This is the exact chapter I need right now.
On these verses--I think they are quite wise reflections on what the use of alcohol should be, or would have been before medication. The dying and the depressed are covered in these verses as people who should use alcohol. Once again, these were the days before medication when we could "make someone comfortable" on their death bed, and before anti-depressants. Also, I do not see that these verses are talking about Christians in particular, but those people who may not have God and need comfort. That of course brings up the issue of Christians and depression. I really do not know what my thoughts are on the subject! I have gone back and forth so much and have come to the opinion that it's God who is the judge, not I, and that I cannot say that Christians should not take drugs for depression. The only thing I know for sure is that God CAN cure anything (not sure about the issue of trials and such), and that everyone needs a little sunshine and a good fish oil. lol. Whew, that was quite the rabbit trail.
So, my extra-Biblical opinion on alcohol is that Christians should not consume alcohol. I say extra-Biblical because while I believe strongly that the principles are very clearly in the Bible that the use of alcohol is not wise for most people, there is no verse I can go to that says "Christians should never drink". But verses like the above abound. I can see through these verses that it's easy to drink *juuuust* enough to be of impaired judgement. I am called to be under the influence of the Holy Ghost. If I am under the influence of alcohol, I am NOT under the influence of the Holy Spirit (notice, I did not even get to "drunk" because I think we can all agree that being drunk is wrong). So many bad decisions are made when people are only "under the influence" of alcohol because of the lowered inhibitions. I am to ALWAYS be on my guard, to ALWAYS protect my testimony. I have enough problems doing that *without* the effects of alcohol (however subtle). So maybe I'll get flamed here, but I am hoping that my convictons and opinion will at least be respected--dare I say even considered?
Regardless of one's opinion of Christians and alcohol, these verses are very clear that I am not to engage in behavior that puts the wisdom of my decisions at risk. This applies much more so if I am in charge of anyone else.