August 16, 2017

Wine is a Mocker

Dan Pelletier

clip_image001Please pray for a poor man who fell on the sidewalk outside our church in the middle of the night tonight.

For some reason, I felt prompted to awake and check our security monitoring system. I noticed him sitting on the sidewalk writhing in pain, and called the paramedics.

I went down in my night clothes to speak to him from a second-story window to see if he was ok. Before the medics could get here, he got up and attempted to leave, using a rickety walker. He walked into several things as I tried to talk with him from the window, and then he fell on his face … almost into oncoming traffic.

I quickly dressed and got down to the corner to check on him, just as the paramedics arrived to haul the bloodied, mumbling man off in an ambulance.

Apparently, they knew him as an addict from the Tenderloin District – just a few blocks away.

These homeless souls are a real burden to my heart. Jesus died for them. We need to try to reach them! Yet, the ravages of sin seem to have almost stolen away their souls, turning them into zombie-like characters who are nearly impossible to communicate with.

Don’t tell me that it’s ok to play with liquor, marijuana, and other drugs! Don’t tell me that the Christian response is anything less than what God calls for.

LISTEN TO GOD’S MIND ON WINE, let alone any of the harder stuff!

It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
– Romans 14:21

Who hath woe? who hath sorrow?
who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things. Yea, thou shalt be as he that lieth down in the midst of the sea, or as he that lieth upon the top of a mast. They have stricken me, shalt thou say, and I was not sick; they have beaten me, and I felt it not: when shall I awake? I will seek it yet again.
– Proverbs 23:29-35

Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
– Leviticus 10:9-10
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
– Proverbs 20:1

It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
– Proverbs 31:4-7

Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
– Isaiah 5:21-23

I hate this stuff and what it does to people – and any decent human being should, too!


Pastor Dan Pelletier serves at Hamilton Square Baptist Church, San Francisco, California.


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