Summary: Hebrew/Greek Word Study lays foundation for powerfully moving message you can’t argue with in good conscience! Link included to Formatted Text and Powerpoint Presentation.

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Prov. 23:29-35

Powerpoint for this and hundreds more free sermons at our website at bottom.

We have a drug problem in the U.S. We could talk about:

cocaine, marijuana, meth, or heroine.

America’s #1 problem drug is not any of these illegal substances,

But a legal drug called ALCOHOL.

1. Most death

Produces more death than any other drug. Over 55% of highway deaths are alcohol related. It causes heart probs, liver probs, and powerful addiction.

2. Most addiction

There are over 17 million alcoholics in America today, and rising. They, by far, outnumber the addicts of any other drug.

3. Most misery

Think of the death, disability, psychosis, addiction…it produces more misery than any other drug.

But…what makes alcohol so dangerous is that it is sold legally.

Not only is it sold legally, but it is as widely available as a bottle of ketchup, a bottle of shampoo, or a baby’s bottle of milk…it’s just another bottle!

$25 billion will be spent this year on beverage alcohol. Not million, billion!

While it is the most dangerous drug in the world, there is no warning label on the bottle! The can doesn’t read, “#1 producer of death”, “#1 producer of addicts”, “#1 producer of misery.”

Advertisers will spend $600 million telling you that you ought to drink.


TV used to limit alcohol advertising to beer, but as of Jan. 1 of 2002, even hard liquor is allowed to advertise!

With so many telling us why we should drink, I don’t mind tonite sharing what God says about it.

Abe Lincoln said, “Alcohol has many defenders, but no defense.”

Let’s look at what God’s Word says:

1. Description of Alcohol

2. Destruction of Alcohol

3. Deception of Alcohol

4. Deliverance from Alcohol

1. Description of Alcohol

Here’s a blanket command God gives concerning the use of beverage alcohol:

v. 31 “Don’t look at it!” At what? “wine”.

Here’s some controversy: “what does wine mean?”

“Wine” in the Bible is a generic term. It is a general term that may at times refer to an intoxicating beverage, or at times it may not.

Like we use the word “drink.” “I gotta have a drink!”

We assume they mean alcohol.

In a restaurant w/ attached bar, the waitress may ask you if you would like a drink before dinner. In that context, you understand she means alcohol.

Or, you might be traveling down the road w/ the family, and one of the kids might ask to stop so they can get a drink. They probably mean soda.

Bro. Bob may walk thru the lobby by the fountain and say, “I need a quick drink before church.” We all trust he means water. (If after deacon’s meeting…then who knows what he might mean!)

Allow me to introduce you to a little Hebrew and a little Greek:

(they went in together and started a pizza shop down the street!)


“Shekar”—that which intoxicates.

Always translated in KJV as “strong drink”. Every time this word is translated wine or strong drink, it is always condemned…

…with one exception: as a narcotic.

When there is great physical suffering or distress.

Prov. 31:4-6 Position of responsibility at all…NO!

Medicinal purposes…YES!

Alcohol is still used in this way today. “Baptist Bourbon” NyQuil (25%)

Hospitals used to use it and now have better drugs than alcohol to accomplish the task of relieving pain.

Of course, this has nothing to do w/ social drinking.

“Tirosh”—wine or new wine

Always a reference to grape juice, non-intoxicating.

Is. 65:8—“new wine is found in the cluster” (still on the vine)

“yayin”—may be fermented, maybe not…depending upon the context

Is. 16:10 [on screen]

We’re in the vineyard, treaders are stepping on grapes. What is exploding out of the grapes? Wine! Fermented? Intoxicating? Of course not! It’s grape juice!

Same word, however is used in Prov. 20:1. Look at it. [on screen]

This verse is talking about intoxicating, fermented wine…and warning against it.

In the NT, there is a 4th word used…

…the Greek word “oinos”, which also may or may not mean fermented wine.

I Tim. 5:23—“infirmities”, again, medicinal in nature.

Just 2 chapters previous Paul used the same word, or derivative, and told Timothy not to be given to wine, and that the deacons should abstain as well.

The distinction is clear that these men of God should not drink socially, but then balance is given medicinally…

…imagine one of our deacons in the hospital in pain, and Mrs. Sharon or Mrs. Kim comes in and says, “in accordance w/ I Tim. 3, you’re gonna have to suffer!” Chapter 5 would entitle you to that morphine you’re in need of!

Prov. 23:31—“look not upon the wine…” what wine are you talking about?

He goes on to explain, “when it is red”, lit. when it turns rosy. This is a picture of what happens in fermentation.

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Talk about it...

David Carroll

commented on Nov 10, 2006

We need to have this sermon preached from all of our puplits.

Alan Cobb

commented on Nov 11, 2006

Great Bible study on the words used to refer to strong drink and wine.

Bo Brown

commented on Nov 12, 2006

Once again Bro. Jerry has blessed us with another anointed sermon. I PRAISE GOD for you allowing Him to use you in such away. It was just this week that I was praying about this very subject and how to deal with it and Praise God He shows off for us. This is a great need in our churches and we must stand firm and dealing with it. I pray that you will continue in allowing the Spirit of God bless and lead you. Thank you Bro. Jerry for your faithfulness!

Ronnie Nemoede

commented on Feb 19, 2009

Great sermon,could really use more of this in the world today.

Kenny Bodvarson

commented on Mar 31, 2011

Wow this is not a good sermon. I can''t believe you guys think it is so good. This is exactly what should not be preached in church

Rev. Matthew Crain

commented on Apr 17, 2015

Seriously? You CANNOT argue with or deny God's Word. The problem with most people is that they look for scripture that backs up their opinion, instead of letting God's word be the final authority. Too many of you want your ears tickled instead of your hearts being convicted.

Paul Walters

commented on Aug 2, 2012

Thank you for this information and grat sermon. May God continue to bless you

Michael Johnson

commented on Aug 18, 2012

I really appreciate the tremendous sermons of Pastor Shirley. This is definitely 5 star. A very accurate, pointed, powerful message.

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