Why does God say to give strong drink to one who is ready to perish?


A listener wrote asking about this proverb.  Here was his question.  Why does God say to give strong drink to one who is ready to perish?  That sounds like God advocates drinking.  Is this talking about one who is not saved?

Here’s our answer:
Prov 31:6 is referring to the same practice that doctors use today when they give Morphine to people who are suffering with a great deal of pain while they are dying.  It’s called comfort care.  In another sense, before the days of anesthesia, doctors would sometimes give alcohol to patients before surgery to help them with the pain.

Our governing verses in this Proverb, on the use of alcohol, are verses 3 & 4.  The two things that will really take a man down are women and alcohol, or as some say, “wine and women” [verse 3].  Consider what those two vices have done to high profile figures like preachers and politicians.  Consider what they have done to us or to our friends.

Alcohol is “that which destroyeth kings,” [v. 3] and “it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink,” [v.4].  So, this proverb has specific application to us because when the Lord returns, we are going to be KINGS and priests with him [Rev 1:5-6].  Even right now, we are a “royal priesthood,” [1 Pet 2:9].  Did you get that?  “Royal” priesthood, like we are in the royal line of kings.  So, we are not to drink alcohol.

Verse 5 explains why drinking alcohol is not right for kings and princes and, therefore, not right for us.  It causes them to forget the law and pervert judgment.  If you have ever been drunk, you know exactly what that verse means!!!

Hope this helps,

Pastor Bevans Welder