1 Peter – Chapter Four V

by Ed Urzi

“For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3 ESV).

The next entry in our catalog of sinful behaviors from 1 Peter 4:3 is drunkenness. One commentator defines this word in the original language of this passage and offers some cultural insights: “[Drunkeness] is a compound term, found only here in the NT of ‘wine’ (oinos) and ‘bubble over’ (phluo). The ancient world drank wine regularly, as did Jesus (cf. Matt. 11:18-19) and the early church. It is the excess that is condemned (cf. Pro. 23:29-35; Rom. 13:13; Gal. 5:21).(1)

In addition to what we read here in 1 Peter 4:3, the Biblical Scriptures offer numerous warnings regarding alcohol abuse. Such observations and admonitions are just as applicable to modern-day audiences as they were in the Biblical era…

“Show me people who drink too much, who have to try out fancy drinks, and I will show you people who are miserable and sorry for themselves, always causing trouble and always complaining. Their eyes are bloodshot, and they have bruises that could have been avoided. Don’t let wine tempt you, even though it is rich red, and it sparkles in the cup, and it goes down smoothly. The next morning you will feel as if you had been bitten by a poisonous snake. Weird sights will appear before your eyes, and you will not be able to think or speak clearly. You will feel as if you were out on the ocean, seasick, swinging high up in the rigging of a tossing ship. ‘I must have been hit,’ you will say; ‘I must have been beaten up, but I don’t remember it. Why can’t I wake up? I need another drink'” (Proverbs 23:29-35 GNT).

“Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, who are champions at pouring beer” (Isaiah 5:22 CSB).

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies. You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed! The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory” (Habakkuk 2:15-16 NIV).

“What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk. They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties— lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—but they never think about the Lord or notice what he is doing” (Isaiah 5:11-12 NLT).

(1) Dr. Bob Utley. Free Bible Commentary – 1 Peter 4, Copyright © 2014 Bible Lessons International http://www.freebiblecommentary.org/new_testament_studies/VOL02/VOL02B_04.html