The Scripture teaches that alcohol is a gift from God’s hand for man’s gladness (Psalm 104:14-15) and that it can be powerfully abused by Man’s drunkenness (Proverbs 23:21; 26:9; Galatians 5:19-21). Said simply, alcohol is from God, but drunkenness is from the devil.
Although alcohol is a gift given from God, it is not the greatest gift God has given men. Although alcohol can help to gladden Man’s heart (Psalm 104:14-15), God has given us something more sure and far more satisfying.
Pastor John Piper explains:
What do people go to alcohol for? For a happy hour. We all want to be happy, but there is a problem: “The days are evil.” Notice the logic of Ephesians 5:16–18:
The days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk . . . but be filled with the Spirit.Where do you turn when the days are evil, when you are frightened or discouraged or depressed or anxious? Paul pleads with us: “Don’t turn to alcohol; turn to the Spirit. Anything of value that alcohol can bring you, God the Holy Spirit can bring more.”
There are people who can’t begin to whistle a happy tune or sing a song at work because they are so tense and anxious about life. But later in the evening at the tavern with a few drinks under their belt they can put their arms around each other and sing and laugh. All of us long to be carefree, uninhibited, happy. And the mounting tragedy of our own day, as in Paul’s, is that increasing numbers of people (even Christians) believe that the only way they can find this child-like freedom is by drugging themselves with alcohol or other mind-benders. Such behavior dishonors God, and so Paul says: There is a better way to cope with the evil days—be filled with the Spirit, stay filled with the Spirit. And you will know unmatched joy that sings and makes melody to the Lord.
The fundamental meaning of being filled with the Spirit is being filled with joy that comes from God and overflows in song. (Taken from the sermon, Be Filled With the Spirit).
So my friends, don’t go to the bottle for the joy you need in these wearisome days; drink from a better fountain. For your joy, be not filled with spirits, but with the Holy Spirit.
Not that alcohol is evil (it isn’t), but the joy from the Holy Spirit is immeasurably better than any label can give; no matter its color.