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What’s Wrong with Meat and Booze?

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What’s Wrong with Meat and Booze?
 
A Sermon Delivered to:
The Compassionate Internet Church
 
20 May 2012
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Genesis 9:3
Jeremiah 35:1-19
Daniel 1:1-2
Acts 10:9-16

What’s wrong with meat and booze?
 
Most importantly, they are against God’s creation and heavenly intent.
 
Let’s look at a few examples of people taking a stand against flesh and wine.
 
Do you remember in our study of Daniel that Daniel and his friends were blessed by God because they rejected the flesh foods of the king of Babylon and ate only plant foods and water that God had created as food for all humans and animals?
 
They did this even against the peer pressure of the fellow exiles, and that of the king of Babylon’s men.
 
At the same time in Jerusalem, a similar incident was taking place, where a few of the people were blessed. 

Let’s take a look at Jeremiah 35:1-19 and the lesson it has for us.

1. The word which came unto Jeremiah from Jehovah in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,

As a side note: it was during the third year of Jehoiakim that the king of Babylon besieged Jerusalem and took away Daniel and his friends and many other important people as hostages. (Daniel 1:1-2)
 
Going back to what Jeremiah was saying,

2. Go unto the house of the Rechabites, and speak unto them, and bring them into the house of Jehovah, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.
 
3. Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, the son of Habazziniah, and his brethren, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites;
 
4. and I brought them into the house of Jehovah, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was by the chamber of the princes, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the keeper of the threshold.
 
5. And I set before the sons of the house of the Rechabites bowls full of wine, and cups; and I said unto them, Drink ye wine.

This sure sounds like God wants them to drink wine, doesn’t it?
 
What would you do in this situation?
 
And while you’re thinking about this, remember what God said in Genesis 9:3.

3. Every moving thing that liveth shall be food for you; As the green herb have I given you all.

Is this really what God wants us to do?

What would you do?
 
Note what they did.

6. But they said, We will drink no wine; for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor your sons, forever:
 
7. neither shall ye build house, nor sow seed, nor plant vineyard, nor have any; but all your days ye shall dwell in tents; that ye may live many days in the land wherein ye sojourn.
 
8. And we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he charged us, to drink no wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters;
 
9. nor to build houses for us to dwell in; neither have we vineyard, nor field, nor seed:
 
10. but we have dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us.
 
11. But it came to pass, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up into the land, that we said, Come, and let us go to Jerusalem for fear of the army of the Chaldeans, and for fear of the army of the Syrians; so we dwell at Jerusalem.

Even though God seems to have commanded them to drink wine, their refusal was accepted by the Lord, just as Daniel’s refusal to eat flesh was not only accepted, and blessed.
 
Keep all this in mind, as well as God’s so-called permission to eat flesh, as we go on.

12. Then came the word of Jehovah unto Jeremiah, saying,
 
13. Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Go, and say to the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith Jehovah.
 
14. The words of Jonadab the son of Rechab, that he commanded his sons, not to drink wine, are performed; and unto this day they drink none, for they obey their father's commandment: but I have spoken unto you, rising up early and speaking; and ye have not hearkened unto me.

God is using the Rechabites obedience not to drink wine as an example against the disobedient people of Jerusalem and Judah.
 
Let’s go on and see what else the Lord says.

15. I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.
 
16. Forasmuch as the sons of Jonadab the son of Rechab have performed the commandment of their father which he commanded them, but this people hath not hearkened unto me;
 
17. therefore thus saith Jehovah, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will bring upon Judah and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem all the evil that I have pronounced against them; because I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and I have called unto them, but they have not answered.
 
18. And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he commanded you;
 
19. therefore thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before me forever.

Just as Daniel and his friends were blessed for not eating flesh foods, so the Rechabites are being blessed for not drinking wine.
 
Why is God doing this, when it was He who supposedly said for them to eat flesh and drink wine?
 
Because the Lord was testing them to see if they would continue to obey His creation and heavenly intent, even when it seemed that God had changed His mind.
 
Let’s look at another example involving Peter in Acts 10:9-16...

9. …Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour:
 
10. and he became hungry, and desired to eat: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance;
 
11. and he beholdeth the heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth:
 
12. wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the heaven.
 
13. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat.
 
14. But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unclean.
 
15. And a voice came unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common.
 
16. And this was done thrice: and straightway the vessel was received up into heaven.

Peter refused to kill and eat any of the animals, even though they were presented to him three times, apparently from God.
 
And this was exactly what the Lord wanted him to do, just as we are to reject the so-called permission to eat flesh in Genesis 9:3.
 
God’s creation and heavenly intent has never changed.
 
Remember this the next time someone says to you that God commanded us to kill and eat animals.
 
God never commanded us to do any such thing.
 
But what harm could drinking a little wine do?
 
The alcohol in the wine clouds our sensitivity to the unction of the Holy Spirit, which is really separating us from God.

Think about the reasons that we have laws against driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated; isn't it also because our mind and senses become impared?
 
Think about all the macho ads from the beer and flesh industries that we see on television almost every day.
 
Don’t they seem to be saying that the only way a man can be manly is to drink beer and eat animals’ flesh?
 
Well, that’s not the way God wants men to be.
 
Only the devil wants us to harden our hearts and souls to the extent that we are indifferent to the suffering of animals and get drunk.
 
God wants men and women to have a soft heart; one that is constantly in tune with the Holy Spirit and would never consider harming or eating any animal, which also means that they are free of alcohol.
 
Amen?
 
Amen.