Monday, July 5, 2010

Daily Word: Give Them a Drink?

Today's Daily Word is going to most likely confront your Christian training. My purpose is to focus on what the word says, not we want or think it says. The passage is from Proverbs 31:1-9. It contains advice from Lemuel's Mother. Lemuel is the king of Massa which is a North Arabian nation. It is considered advice from a wise Mother. Verses 3-4 say: Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; (NKJV) Verses 6-7 advise us: Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more. (NKJV) The word of God clearly instructs us that while kings should not allow their minds and bodies to be given to wine and women, it was acceptable to give some alcohol to the hapless and embittered. How does that square with what you have been taught?

The JPS Study Bible comments: "In the first part, vv. 3-7, Lemuel's mother first admonishes her son to avoid dissipating his strength on wine and women, for wine may make him forget his duties to the poor and women waste his strength. Rather, one should give strong drink or wine to the poor, to let them drown their troubles in alcohol." These verses trouble me, but they are part of the inspired Scriptures. Therefore, we should address them. Do they call for us to make a weekly trip to the liqueur store to stock up so we can find unhappy people and give them a drink? No, I don't think so. However, I think the real message is found in the king's desire to soothe the pain of those hurting. He is instructed not to ignore them. Today, we can minister the healing balm of Jesus Christ. It will provide real healing and comfort and not leave the person with a hangover. The point is to help others that are hurting.

Today, do not ignore those that are in pain. If you find someone hurting, give them compassion and mercy. Be involved in the lives of others as God opens a door into their lives.

No comments: