Drink No Wine?

Read through the Bible: Leviticus 10

This chapter begins with the death of Aaron’s two oldest sons who foolishly burn “unauthorized” incense to the Lord. Then the Lord tells Aaron,

“Drink no wine or strong drink,
you or your sons with you,
when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.”

Leviticus 10:9 ESV

Do you think there’s a connection between alcohol and Aaron’s sons making this foolish choice? I’m not sure, but it sure seems like a reasonable guess.

In fact, just yesterday I was preparing to teach a study on 1 Timothy 3, so I was reading Chuck Smith’s commentary on 1 Timothy 3:8, “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine…”

Read this very interesting, and timely, excerpt:

“We have a very interesting case in the Old Testament when God commanded Moses to build the tabernacle and He gave him specific instructions as to the materials and the dimensions and the sizes, the whole thing. He gave him his careful instructions in building. Once they had built the tabernacle, had set it up, had set up the altar and the whole framework for the sacrifices, the time came to inaugurate now the temple or the tabernacle worship of God. And so the altar was built, the sacrifice was placed upon it and fire came from heaven and sort of lit the fire of the altar. A supernatural manifestation of God. The presence of God came down, the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. The priest, because of the glory of the Lord, sort of swooned, they weren’t able to stand up.

And in the midst of this moving of God among the people, a couple of Aaron’s sons got excited. And they had little bowls with incense that they were to offer before the Lord and they went in to offer this incense in the excitement of the moment and the fire came from the altar of God and consumed them. And later, God commanded Moses to speak unto Aaron that when they were doing the service to God, they weren’t to drink wine. Made very specific commandments. The intimation is that the two sons of Aaron perhaps had been drinking a little wine and had lost their sense of good judgment. And that is why they were consumed by the fire of God when they sought to offer strange fire before the Lord.”

Chuck Smith – Commentary on 1 Timothy 3-4

And what about Ephesians 5:15-18 ESV? “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,”

I’ll close today’s lesson with Chuck Smith’s own prayer from his 1 Timothy 3-4 lesson –

Father, as Your Holy Spirit has again tonight caused us to look in the mirror, to see the truth, to face the reality of what we are, help us, Lord, not to be so foolish as to just go away and forget what we saw. But Lord, I pray tonight that there might be within our heart that renewed commitment to the things of the Lord. Things of the Spirit. Lord, we know that we are in the last days. Many have departed from the faith. Have been caught up with these seducing spirits, following after the flesh, turning away from the things of God. Being drawn into the things of the world. God, help us in these days to be like You. God, give to us a renewed experience in the Spirit that we might walk in the Spirit and live in the Spirit and be led of the Spirit. A new sense, Lord, of spiritual values. The examination of our priorities, our energies going into those things that are going to fail and those things that are going to crumble and those things that are going to be reduced to ashes while we neglect the eternal. Physically fit but spiritually bankrupt. God, may that not be our case. Renew our hearts in the things of the Spirit, our walk and life with Thee. In Jesus’ name, Father, Amen.

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