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Proverbs 20:1

Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise.

Here is a wise warning about wine and/or alcohol – Only fools treat these substances or this proverb lightly! There has been unfathomable damage done in every part of life, society, and even religion by the abuse of alcohol. While today’s Proverb does not go so far as to prohibit its “proper” use, it does raise plenty of warning flags that only a fool would ignore.

How does wine produce a mocker? A mocker is someone who boasts and scorns…someone who is given to cutting others down. The idea here is that when a person drinks too much wine – to the point of being led astray by it – they are not wise but a fool. When someone is intoxicated by wine they no longer think clearly and can easily say or do things they regret later. The alcohol deceives the mind and inhibits self-control, which is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Loose lips and loose eyes are just some of the fruits of drunkenness and make it impossible to be wise.

Alcohol, in this passage, refers to drinks stronger than wine that can lead you much further down the same dark trail. In the original language, the word translated here as “brawls” is the Hebrew word “hamah” and it means to murmur, growl, roar, or howl. When someone gets to this point their behavior becomes aggressive and belligerent. Have you ever known an angry drunk? This is the type of trouble that consumption of strong alcoholic drinks can lead to. Yelling. Screaming. Threatening. Hating. Intimidation. Violence. This type of alcohol-induced behavior should have absolutely no place in the life of a Christ follower.

If you drink wine or other alcohol without sober fear for these dangers, you are a fool. Drunkenness can creep up on you and relax you into its warm folly before you realize it. No wise Christian will drink without definite limits and conscious care to avoid drunkenness. Every true Christian should be committed to prudent conduct, which does not allow for even small amounts of folly (Eccl 10:1), so he will not risk his reputation by even getting close to drunkenness.


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