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Disorientation, lack of self-control, lack of awareness, unguarded speech, physical abuse…the Bible is full of warnings about the troubles that can come from indulging in “strong drink.” This is a great study for teenagers, college-agers, and adults who have developed a taste for alcohol or could use some reminders about potential dangers. (If you’re looking for a Bible-marking topic to help someone struggling with alcoholism, see “How to Overcome an Addiction.”) Many of these verses also mention how to safeguard against the dangers of strong drink. In the front of your Bible, write:
Strong Drink- Prov. 20:1
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.
Circle “wine” and “strong drink.” Underline “mocker,” “brawler,” and “whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” At the end of the verse, write 23:29-35.
Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes?
Those who linger long over wine, those who go to taste mixed wine.
Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things and your mind will utter perverse things. And you will be like one who lies down in the middle of the sea, or like one who lies down on the top of a mast.
“They struck me, but I did not become ill; They beat me, but I did not know it. When shall I awake? I will seek another drink.”
Circle the occurrences of “wine/ mixed wine.” Underline all negative things attributed to one imbibing (woe, sorrow, contentions, complaining, wounds without cause, redness of eyes) and the dangers mentioned (bites like a serpent, stings like a viper, eyes will see strange things, mind will utter perverse things…). Verse 35 describes one who is oblivious to the painful things happening to him while under the influence. He is apparently unconscious. Despite all the dangers, he already anticipates his next drink. Squiggly underline the safeguard in verse 31, “Do not look on the wine.” At the end of verse 35, write Isa. 5:11-12.
Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may pursue strong drink, who stay up late in the evening that wine may inflame them! …they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands.
Circle “strong drink” and both occurrences of “wine.” Underline “inflame” and in the margin next to it write its meaning, “burn; hotly pursue.” Those who pursue strong drink end up being pursued BY strong drink. Also underline “they do not pay attention to the deeds of the Lord, nor do they consider the work of His hands.” At the end of the verse, write 28:7-8.
And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; they reel while having visions, they totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place.
Circle all occurrences of “wine” and “strong drink.” Underline “reel,” “stagger,” “confused,” “totter when rendering judgment” and “filthy vomit.” In the margin next to it, write “the true picture!” At the end of verse eight, write Hos. 4:11.
Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.
Circle “wine” and “new wine.” Underline “take away the understanding.” The NKJV reads “enslave the heart.” In the margin, write “Alcohol does not ‘free’ one from problems.” At the end of the verse, write Hab. 2:15.
Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, who mix in your venom even to make them drunk so as to look on their nakedness!
Circle “drink” and “drunk.” Underline “so as to look on their nakedness.” It’s scary to think that strong drink can be used to manipulate others. In the margin, write “unnatural behavior through alcohol.” At the end of the verse, write Rom. 13:13-14.
Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.
Circle “drunkenness.” Underline “flesh” and “lusts.” We are told to “cast off the works of darkness” and “put on the armor of light” (v. 12). In which category does drunkenness belong? It is not considered proper behavior (v. 13). Squiggly underline the safeguard in verse 14, “make no provision for the flesh.” At the end of verse 14, write Gal. 5:16-21.
Envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Circle “drunkenness” (v. 21). Underline “works of the flesh” (v. 19) and draw a line connecting that phrase down to “drunkenness” (v. 21). Also underline “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Squiggly underline the safeguard, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” (v. 16). Underline the warning in verse 17 concerning the Spirit and the flesh, “these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” At the end of verse 21, write Eph. 5:18.
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.
Circle “drunk with wine.” Underline “dissipation” and in the margin next to it, write the meaning of it, “reckless abandon.” Squiggly underline the safeguards, “be careful how you walk” (v. 15) and “be filled with the Spirit” (v. 18). At the end of verse 18, write 1 Pet. 2:11-12.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Circle “fleshly lusts” and underline “which wage war against the soul.” We’ve already seen that drunkenness is considered a fleshly lust. Not only does it war against the drinker’s soul but there is also the danger of harming one’s influence. If others observe us indulging our “fleshly lusts,” it can keep them from glorifying God (v. 12). Squiggly underline the safeguards, “abstain from” and “keep your behavior excellent.”