Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
When I was about twelve, I won a writing contest for the local chapter of the Women's Christian Temperance Union . . . you don't hear much about them any more, but they were started in the 1870's by a group of women concerned about the ways that alcohol consumption was ravaging society and families in particular. I guess that was one of the things that propelled my interest in writing, speaking, and all of the other crazy things I have done in this life that God has gifted me with. (Some would attribute it more to the fact that I was a "ham" but I prefer to think of myself as being concerned enough to get involved, and if needed, to lead. LOL) Sorry for the digression.
In that prize-winning speech, I referred to alcohol as "tears in a bottle." I was being pretty melodramatic, and to tell you the truth, I think that may be why the elderly ladies chose my essay. There is an element of truth in the phrase, however, since the abuse of alcohol has damaged lives, marriages, families, and more.
I would prefer not to start down a rabbit trail, (although if y'all would like to discuss it, I'm up for it) about whether or not any alcohol is permitted to the Christian. I think that you will find sincere, decent folks on all sides of the issue. Some will be "tee-totallers" and not touch a drop. Some will have small amounts, ever mindful to not take too much. Both sides will pull verses from the Bible to support their beliefs.
I think, though, that it's fairly simple to see what Solomon was saying here. He starts off by stating that wine is a "mocker" --- wine lies to the drinker, and promises false courage, pleasure, social acceptance. But does it last? Nope. He tells us about strong drink --- many people react to "hard" liquor by raging; they become tough, hard people that they would not be if they were sober. Solomon then says the person who allows himself to be deceived by these substances is not wise. Well, that makes sense, doesn't it? He's been advising us to be discerning, to be wise and prudent, and to gain knowledge. Kinda hard to do those things when you're tipsy.
And in case you're wondering . . . I don't.