I am very concerned about gaining some insight into applying Proverbs 31:6-7: “Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.”
I am a single girl (still), waiting for the one God has for me. While I’m waiting, I live under my father’s rule. He doesn’t want me to teach in a Christian school, but does permit me to help out with the homeschooling of some local patriarchal families.
I am happy to see that these families take the commands and promises of the Proverbs seriously. They do not spare for their children’s crying, and they believe that the blueness of wounds they impart with their rods are cleansing. (I hate to admit it, but I am secretly glad I’m not a parent and have to do those sorts of things, but I know the AV1611 is quite clear in the commands of Biblical Chastisement.)
But I am still working on my obedience to the Proverbs. My father had me memorize Proverbs 31 when I was 3, but it was only recently that I was convicted that I should be working on applying it in my life. I’m hoping it will also help someone find me to be worth some rubies. (I don’t even care about the far above part anymore.) So I started to work verse by verse.
Well, I’m a little hung up on those verses. It seems like in this day and age, Christians have forgotten how to give a good old fashion strong drink. But it’s very clear that this is a command. How do I know who is going to perish? Isn’t God the only one who knows such sorts of things? Or should I go on visitation to the hospital wards and visit cancer patients and give them strong drink? Don’t some states have laws on that? Are there Christian websites where you can buy strong drink containers that look like soft drink containers?
Should I carve these verses onto the container? What if the person I think is perishing isn’t, and they end up getting’ cured. Or even worse, healed by a healer! Have I disobeyed the command? And that’s just the first command!
I’ve also noticed that some of the homeschool kids I help with seem heavy hearted. Usually when their parents are applyin’ other parts of Proverbs. Which of course means they get some more applyin.’ Should I suggest that the parents give them wine instead? It would probably save them time and plumbing line. Or do I just try to give it to them myself? Am I being divisive if I cause there to be tension between the parents and the children?
Also, how do I know what is considered poverty? (And besides, people in poverty usually can’t afford wine.) I mean, I qualify for government assistance, but then again I still wear Tommy Hilfiger denim jumpers. But there are missionaries that visited our church last week that said the people in Tunisia sometimes don’t even have access to water. And I didn’t see anyone in their slides wearing jumpers. So that makes me seem rich, doesn’t it?
Obeying to the letter of the law is harder than it looks on those letters. But I want to have a conscience that is void of offense before God and man.
Thanks for taking time to answer my questions.
Confused and Single (Still!)
Dear Confused and Single,
It’s always nice to meet another Maiden-In-Waiting-At-Home (MIWAH). You are definitely going to make a mark for the Kingdom by helping out with family things and your husband will appreciate that you haven’t ventured out into the world and become jaded by things like dating or employment.
I went back through my Sermon Notes Notebook and found a sermon on “Strong Drink = Weak Men” by Pastor Backlow. He actually used this passage (Proverbs 31) in the sermon! One of his points was that if you drink, even a glass of wine, that it will become so enslaving and demoralizing that you will find yourself in the poorhouse or in a depression (which is a sin, since we are commanded to be joyful at all times). He said that people who are poor or depressed because of their sin see nothing wrong with sinking further in that sin. He said, “I tell you, folks. When I see one of them beggars on the street asking for money, or one of them poor families stops by the church office for food, I always tell them that I know alcohol led to their downfall. Amen? In this passage, the advice to Lemuel is that NOT drinking is a clue to his status and high class. Amen? So it’s very clear that drinking leads to poverty and perversion. Amen?”
It always makes me sad to see folks in the alcohol aisle at the supermarket. I want to just tell them that they may have smile on their face while they talk about having fun, but even just a little drink makes you drunk and that’s a sin. We leave tracts in the coupon bins at the supermarket so just maybe they will come to know Jesus and be convicted of their sin of drinking alcohol.
It’s clear from Pastor’s sermon on that passage that drinking is wrong and should never happen. If you feel led, you may also steer clear of mouthwash, cooking wine, and cough syrup. If you have those in your home, make sure they are clearly labeled. So your testimony does not suffer.
As for being far above rubies, if you are modest in dress and attitude, no matter how ‘out of style’ you may be, you are a precious Kingdom Daughter!! Your inner beauty shines like your fresh, non-makeup wearing face! Any second that your thoughts go to what you are wearing or what you look ‘good’ in is a second that takes away from focusing on your countenance of grace and joy. Keep your meek and quiet spirit in the forefront so everyone can see it! 🙂
In Modest Apparel,