The English word “wine” appears 231 times in the KJV; (202 times in the OT and 29 times in the NT. The first time that we see it is in the account of Noah after the flood waters had receded from off of the Earth. “And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.” (Gen 9:20-21) It is interesting that the ill use of wine is the first time that we see it mentioned in the scriptures. This is but a proof of the depravity of man by nature. For Noah abuses that which GOD has given unto men for a blessing and turned it into a curse.
There are many who consider that wine itself is an evil, because of the propensity of men to misuse it, and to drink to excess. Yet as with all things (such as food), the evil is not in the substance but in the regard and overindulgence of it by sinful men. “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.” (Psa 104:14-15) GOD has provided all things in the earth for the ultimate benefit of HIS children as we read in Romans 8:28.
While GOD’s children are, nowhere in the scriptures, prohibited from drinking wine, they are given ample exhortations and warnings concerning the misuse and overindulgence of it. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” (Php 4:5) “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” (1Cor 10:31-32) “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:17-18) “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Pro 20:1)
While these warnings do indeed exist in the scriptures (for good reason), the predominant consideration of wine in the scriptures speaks to the blessing of the LORD’s people. After the account of Noah’s misuse of wine, the next mention of it is when Abraham was returning from engaging in battle with Chedorlaomer, “Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” (Gen 14:18) Is this not a picture of that which CHRIST has set forth for HIS children to remember HIS death until HE comes. “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” (1Cor 11:23-26)
We would not spend much time in either encouraging men in the drinking of wine nor in abstaining from it, but we would desire to be found encouraging the saints of GOD to remember HIM who was crucified in our behalf. Is this not the “cup of blessing which we bless?” (see I Cor 10:16) Often, in the Old Testament, the house of Israel was told of the blessings which awaited them by the promise of wine in abundance. “And he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee.” (Deu 7:13) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” (Pro 3:9-10)
Yet the carnal blessings of this world, wine included, are not to be compared to that greater blessing which the wine is given to portray. When Jacob blessed his sons from his death bed, he singled out Judah as that one from whose house would come that ONE who is the LION of the tribe of Judah. “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.”(Gen 49:10-12) HE is that same ONE of whom we read “Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone.” (Isa 63:1-3)
Each time that a cup of wine is set before the sons of GOD, their eyes ought to be turned, not upon the cup itself, but upon HIM who poured out HIS life’s blood in their behalf. HE who loved not HIS own life, but laid it down as a ransom for those whom HE loved.
In evil long I took delight, Unawed by shame or fear,
Till a new object struck my sight, And stopped my wild career.
I saw One hanging on a tree, In agonies and blood,
Who fixed his languid eyes on me, As near his cross I stood.
Sure never till my latest breath Can I forget that look;
It seemed to charge me with his death, Though not a word he spoke.
My conscience felt and owned the guilt, And plunged me in despair;
I saw my sins his blood had spilt, And helped to nail him there.
A second look he gave, which said, “I freely all forgive;
This blood is for thy ransom paid; I die that thou may’st live.” #1025 Gadsby’s by J.Newton
This “CUP of RED WINE” is the grandest of blessings for those who are athirst. It’s power to quench that thirst is not diminished. HE is that ONE who is “mighty to save”. None who drink from it shall ever perish for it is a life giving elixir to all who are given the privilege to taste it. “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17)
This “CUP” is “in the hand of the LORD.” He giveth it to whomsoever HE will. Some might ask, who such a people are who are so privileged. They cannot be known except in one fashion, for they are such as call upon HIS NAME. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom 10:13) They are such as believe on HIM. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
This is also a “CUP” “that is full of mixture” and HE poureth out the dregs for the wicked to drink. Who are these wicked? They are such as will not come to HIM that they might have LIFE. CHRIST is that ONE who is the CHIEF CORNERSTONE of the Kingdom of GOD. “And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.” (Mat 21:44) HIS mercies are new every morning for those who are HIS, while HIS judgement awaits those who will not drink of this CUP of RED WINE. Have you drunk thereof?mam