Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What About Psalm 104:14-15?

Do you believe that consuming alcoholic beverages is sinful or unwise? Have you ever read Psalm 104:14-15? Take a gander:

He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, 
And vegetation for the service of man, 
That he may bring forth food from the earth, 
And wine that makes glad the heart of man
Oil to make his face shine, 
And bread which strengthens man's heart. 

The Psalmist states that God causes vegetation to grow so that we may bring forth wine, which makes our hearts glad.

Let’s summarize this:
  • God causes grapes to grow.
  • God wants us to turn these grapes into wine.
  • God wants us to consume this wine.
  • God wants this wine to make our hearts glad.
Do you believe each of these statements?

Not only is it okay to drink wine, but it is okay to feel the effects of wine, so that your heart rejoices.  

Not only is it okay to feel the effects of wine, but it is godly to do so. 

(By the way, “grape juice” has never made a heart glad. Ever. This is alcohol. If you think otherwise, read this.)

God brings forth grapes, so that we will make wine, so that we will drink wine, so that our hearts will be glad, so that we will give thanks to God.

When we drink wine until our hearts are merry, we glorify God because we use his good gifts according to the purpose for which he created them. 

(Of course, there is a difference between drunkenness and glad hearts. Drunkenness is sin, but glad hearts are not. But, this Psalm is not about drunkenness.)

Some are horrified at the thought of feeling the effects of wine in any way. 

But, God is not horrified by this.

God is horrified when we reject his good gifts. 

God is horrified when we when call good evil. 

God is horrified when we try to be “holier” than he is. 

God is horrified when we try to be “wiser” than he is.

Legalism is just as dangerous as licentiousness. 

So, repent by opening up a bottle of good wine. Enjoy the aroma – hopefully a flutter of nutty Edam cheese. 

Take a sip and enjoy! As long as it’s not Merlot!

If you think drinking wine is sinful or even unwise, I ask you, what about Psalm 104:14-15?


dk said...

Great post, Eric. I still shake my head in amazement at how so many legalists become contortion artists in using scripture to make the use of alcohol a sin. (I can understand where drinking white wine might be a sin, but certainly not red wine!)

We once left a church because they required us to sign a statement of abstention in order for us to teach and serve. The pastor had even gone to great lengths to publish a small book explaining why wine in the Bible was not really wine. Just incredible. My point to them was to just consider all the obese people that attended our church. Yet the church encouraged and enabled their obesity/gluttony by offering potlucks and numerous desserts. So why the distinction with alcohol?

Anyway, thank you for your clarity and insight on this topic.

As a sidebar, I've always wondered how wine could be used at a Passover meal. Wine requires yeast for the fermentation process, and the end product still contains some yeast. Yeast is forbidden for Jews at Passover. Yet wine is still OK. Maybe wine is in fact such a blessing, that it gets a divine exception?

Eric Adams said...

dk, I would not die on this hill, but the "leaven" that was forbidden at Passover was not what we call yeast. Using leftover dough as a starter was prohibited. They were to make a clean break from Egypt by baking bread with new dough.

And, I would have to excommunicate you for your views on white wine. White is the liturgical color of the resurrection, which is why we always serve Champagne during Easter communion. So there!

ShawnN said...

Nice post Eric. Glad to see you are blogging again. I was just listening to a sermon by MacArthur the other day where he was making the same point about the break from Egypt. This seems to make sense.

Steve Marshall said...

Hey Eric. I am trying to find a way to get in touch with you. I am a pastor in North Carolina and have recently changed my doctrine to post- millennium. I have some questions. Would you be willing to answer some questions. I think that you and I have the same background theologically and I am on the same path that you have already traveled.

Eric Adams said...

Hi Steve, sure, go ahead and fire away

Harley Wait said...

Isa 28:7  But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.