Alcohol is big issue to a lot of Christians. The churches I attended while I was growing up all disapproved of it. It was lumped together with all of the “big” sins. You know…pre-marital sex, abortion, murder…and, of course drinking. There was seldom the distinction of “drunkeness” over “drinking.” Needless to say I was very skeptical of the whole thing. Thankfully, my parents never held to this standard of making their convictions equal to Scripture; it just wasn’t an issue to them. I don’t have any great stories of reckless abuse of alcohol; I’ve never been drunk. Don’t care to be.
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 25:6-8
The context of this passage is the very consummation of history, the conclusion of the Day of YHWH, the return of Jesus Christ: note the swallowing up of Death (cf. 1 Cor 15:54). If there’s ever a day to celebrate, it’s this one. If there’s a day when any presence of anything evil will not be tolerated, it’s this one. Yet what we have here is a feast prepared by YHWH himself and he is not serving up lemonade. The NT parallel is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. And what a feast it will apparently be! There will not only be wine, but well-aged wine…aged wine well refined! (So much for the thought that the wine approved of in Scripture had very little fermentation.) Granted, this is an poetic/apocalyptic description. The obvious meaning is that the feast will be bountiful and rich. Perhaps there will be no literal wine, and it is merely symbolic. But you have to admit that an allegedly “evil” symbol is being employed in the most “holy” of occasions! Furthermore, I believe that the re-creation of the new heavens and earth will be so complete that we will have a “real” meal, just like Jesus promised we would. Remember, at the Last Supper Jesus himself promised to not drink of the fruit of the vine until he drinks it again with us, his people, in his Father’s Kingdom. To this I say, “Maranatha!”