Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee. Song of Solomon 1:4
Most people that would hold the view that drinking is ok if it is in moderation would immediately point to Jesus at the wedding in Cana. Even some pretty good Christians who I know are not solid on this issue sometimes use this line of reasoning. When the Bible speaks of wine, there are only two possible explanations.
One solution is that it is a matter of moderation; a matter of being careful not to consume too much. If we go with this reasoning, then we’d have to ask ourselves why the Bible doesn’t ever tell us definitively how much. If it is ok for a Christian to drink alcoholic wine, why isn’t there one reference that tells us how much is too much? Where are the boundaries?
The other solution is that the word ‘wine’, or yayin, has two meanings. We need to properly define the word for wine. Because of context, in Scripture there must be a wine that is intoxicating and a wine that is non-intoxicating. We drink lemonade, but in the stores you’ll see “hard lemonade.” We have cider, but there’s such a thing as hard cider. So, there are examples in our English language of this already happening, but we’ll look at Scripture and find out that there were both kinds.
We find in Proverbs 20:1 that it is a mocker, it is condemned. We would think and agree that this is intoxicating, alcoholic wine. Proverbs is talking about the wise, and wisdom says wine is a mocker. But then the same author, Solomon, in Song of Solomon 1:4 seems to say that there is good to it. So how could this same writer write two very different things about the same thing?
Several words are used for wine and strong drink. Most of the time it is this word yayin. We see it 141 times. I think if we look in context, 71 times it is talking about an intoxicant, and the other half it is talking about a non-intoxicant.
Examine the context. Don’t take a single verse and make it fit your pre-conceived ideas. Study the Scriptures and let the Word of God speak for itself.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.