Torah Portion HA’AZINU – Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:1-52 Haftarah: Hosea 14:2-10
“Amen, I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God.” Mark 14:25 TLV
We can see that Yeshua did not oppose drinking the fruit of the vine, which mistakenly is equated to the commercial product you can find in shops nowadays. The wine of the Biblical era was much weaker than the wine we know today. While one reason for this was the addition of water, another reason was that naturally fermented wine (wine that does not have additives) was the only wine available during this time. Wine made in biblical times underwent a much simpler process, grown and produced naturally without chemical processing or anything being added or removed. It would have tasted quite different from the wine we enjoy today which is full of chemicals and additives but was perhaps more like fermented grape juice.
Why Was Yeshua Given Wine Mixed with Gall?
Gall refers to a substance made from Myrrh, which was mixed into the wine offered to Yeshua the first time. Yeshua tasted it and realized that this concoction was designed to dull His senses and ease some of the pain from His crucifixion. Aside from that, the combination is narcotic, which could have been given to Him in an attempt to end His life and suffering sooner.
The second wine was offered to Him in a sponge, and the wine was sour. Sour wine in Roman times was used as a refreshing way to quench their thirst. It is presumed that the bystander who offered Him this sour wine did so to extend the time He was awake and thus His suffering.
Old Wine and New Wine
Old wine is fermented and has an alcoholic content. The new wine mentioned in the Bible is usually grape juice and has little or no alcoholic content.
The strongest alcoholic beverage that was accessible to the New Testament authors and their original readers was natural wine which had an alcoholic content of 11-12 percent (before dilution). Also, ancient wine was normally diluted before drinking, probably to an alcohol content of 5-8%, both to avoid too much intoxication and to make it last.
Do you wonder why people find themselves “tipsy” after just one glass of wine? As it turns out, wine is stronger than it used to be, as strong as 14-20% alcohol, and people who drink do not dilute it; thus, it can cause much more addiction and alcoholism. Additionally, a joint study by Cornell and Iowa State universities found that the size and shape of a glass can affect how much people pour in various circumstances. One glass of chardonnay could be all it takes to cause a deadly drunk-driving crash. (https://usa-law.org/can-i-drive-after-one-glass-of-wine/)
The Bible talks a lot about wine’s beneficial properties as well as its dangers when abused.
“They hit me! But I was not hurt. They beat me up! But I did not feel it. When will I wake up? I will look for another drink.” Proverbs 23:35 TLV
Many of the car accidents in the USA today are because of DUI, driving under the influence of commercial wine, or another form of alcohol that is popular today, e.g., beer or other spirits. Many families throughout the world have been torn apart because of alcoholism. Many children have been abused and even raped by alcoholic parents under the influence of wine or another form of alcohol.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, while guns are indeed responsible for more fatalities overall, drunk driving actually kills more people on a per capita basis. In other words, you are more likely to be killed by a drunk driver than by a gun. (https://www.davidazizipersonalinjury.com/is-it-more-dangerous-to-be-killed-by-a-drunk-driver-or-agun/#:~:text=A%20recent%20study%20by%20the,driver%20than%20by%20a%20gun.)
Most of the work-related accidents are caused by drug or alcohol abuse.
The U.S. Department of Labor claims that 65% of on-the-job accidents are related to drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace. According to the Addiction Center, “drinking on the job can also lead to aggravated assault and sexual battery charges,” resulting in higher healthcare costs for any employees affected secondhandedly. Not only is your company going to face financial issues, but company employees become at risk and experience a lower level of safety at work. (https://ondemandoccupationalmedicine.com/addiction-in-the-workplace/#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20Department%20of%20Labor,alcohol%20abuse%20in%20the%20workplace)
According to a paper by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), different studies have found that substance misuse is involved in 40% to 60% of the reported incidents of domestic violence. Additionally, more than 20% of male offenders report using alcohol prior to their most recent and severe violent acts. (https://alcohol.org/women/domestic-abuse-and-alcoholism/#)
For those of you who excuse your wine or alcohol addiction by saying that the Bible sanctions drinking wine, please be aware that you have misinterpreted the Scriptures and not heeded its warnings. Your addiction to wine and any alcohol may cost you your kingdom inheritance for eternity!
“Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, those who practice homosexuality, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
We have already established that the wine you drink is not the same as the Biblical wine. If you insist on drinking this commercial substance called “wine” today, at least do yourself and your loved ones a favor: Dilute it by two-thirds, so you have one-third commercial wine and two-thirds water. This will decrease your addiction and prevent serious problems.
Remember that Yeshua invites us to become a new wineskin for the new wine that does not intoxicate but rather nourishes, as it has either no alcohol content or extremely low alcohol content. However, He said that people prefer the high alcohol content and reject the new wine.
No man who drinks old wine wants new, because he says, ‘The old is fine.’ Luke 5:39 TLV
Recall that old wine was fermented grape juice, while new wine is what we call grape juice today.
“They have eaten but will not be satisfied. They have fornicated but will not increase. For they stopped giving heed to Adonai. Prostitution and wine—even new wine— it takes away understanding.” Hosea 4:10-11 TLV
In Hebrew, old wine is the word Yain while the word for new wine is Tirosh, which is nonalcoholic grape juice. The Holy Spirit is likened unto this new wine. We must keep drinking of Him to stay fresh and vibrant in our walk with Him. We are warned not to get drunk with wine.
“And do not get drunk on wine, for that is recklessness. Instead, be filled with the Ruach,” Ephesians 5:18 TLV
It is not a sin to drink a small amount of fermented wine. It is a sin to abuse it.
Some of us are called, like the Sons of Rechab, not to drink any alcohol.
“The words of Jonadab son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are observed, and to this day they drink none, for they listen to their father’s commandment. Yet I have spoken to you, early and often, and you have not obeyed Me.” Jeremiah 35:14
Also, John the Baptizer was commanded to be a Nazarite by not drinking any fruit of the vine. The yeast in the air will cause fermentation and alcohol even in the grape juice.
“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael and say to them: Any man or woman who desires to vow a Nazirite vow to be separate for Adonai, is to abstain from wine and any other fermented drink. He is not to drink any vinegar made from wine or any fermented drink, or any grape juice, or eat grapes or raisins.” Numbers 6:2-3
And remember that priests were not allowed into the Holy Place after drinking any form of wine or alcohol.
“Do not drink wine or fermented drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, so that you do not die. This is to be a statute forever throughout your generations.” Leviticus 10:9
Kings were advised not to rule when drinking fermented grape juice or other strong drinks.
“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to crave strong drink, lest they drink, forget what is decreed, and pervert justice for all the oppressed.” Proverbs 31:4-5
Noah lost his modesty and dignity when he made himself fermented wine from the grapes he planted. This brought a curse to the son of Ham and his generations.
Then Noah, a man of the soil, was first to plant a vineyard. He drank some of the wine, got drunk, and was uncovered in his tent. Genesis 9:20-21
When considering whether to drink or not to drink wine, or any other alcoholic beverage, please submit yourself to the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) within you and see what His leading is over your life.
“For if you live according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Ruach you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live. For all who are led by the Ruach Elohim, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:13-14
And when in doubt, then do not drink. It is safer that way and you will not be harmed if you do not drink. And if you are permitted by Yah to drink occasionally and your drinking causes others to stumble, then refrain from drinking at all in front of them.
“But watch out that this freedom of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9
The Biblical kind of naturally fermented grape juice wine may be beneficial in measure. Paul advised this to Timothy:
“(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach and for your frequent ailments.)” 1 Timothy 5:23
But please remember that this wine was not the commercial product of today. It was naturally fermented grapes, and it was diluted. Paul was saying to add a little fermented grape juice to your water. You must be honest with yourself and be led by the Spirit, as in every area of your life.
“…so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach.” Romans 8:4
He may lead you to:
- Not drink wine or alcohol at all.
- Make your own fermented grape juice at home to use occasionally.
- He may allow you to drink a very small amount during celebrations and occasions.
- He may allow you to drink a super-diluted glass of commercial wine occasionally.
- He may only let you cook with it.
Make sure you obey Him as it will save you, your loved ones, and humanity as a whole an untold amount of embarrassment and woes. It can even save you from eternal damnation.
“Everything is permitted for me”—but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permitted for me”—but I will not be controlled by anything.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
If you are addicted and cannot live without your wine, beer, or any alcoholic drink, you need to STOP and confess it to someone who walks with Yah in holiness and power and ASK FOR PRAYER!
“Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Ya’akov (Jas) 5:16 CJB
If you want to get rid of your addiction to wine and alcohol, kneel where you are and ask forgiveness from YHVH in the name of Yeshua. Then reject your addiction out loud, remove all wine and alcohol from your house, and resist the temptation until it leaves you. Ask the Ruach HaKodesh to help you and He will!
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist (and keep resisting) the devil, and he will (eventually) flee from you.” Yakov (James) 4:7
I strongly advise that you take our GRM Bible School which I call “The Heavenly Washing Machine”, as it will equip you in the faith and help you to start afresh.
“I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call on the Name of YHVH.” Psalms 116:13 STB
Lechayim! To life!
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