Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 6: Show mercy

31 Days of Godly Womanhood


Let's jump in to Day 6 (click here to see all of the 31 Days posts.)

Today, I'm breaking out of my mold and combining verses 6 and 7:

"Give beer to those who are perishing, 
wine to those who are in anguish;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more."

Ok ... on first read, this really struck me as weird. Why in the world would you give suffering people the means to get drunk, and therefore, add more misery to their lives (at least when they wake up the next morning)??

But, after some research, I found that alcoholic drinks in Bible times were VERY different than our current wines, beers, etc. For example, wine in Bible times was quite diluted -- even up to 1 part wine to 20 parts water (Source).

Also, alcohol was often used for its medicinal qualities in Bible times. They didn't have antibiotics, astringents, or painkillers back then - alcohol played all of those roles. 

Our alcoholic drinks today have added sugars, yeasts, flavorings and even distilled alcohol to give a bigger kick. Not so with alcohol in ancient times ... it was just plain, fermented grape juice or grain "juice."

These two verses remind me of when Jesus was on the cross. Matthew 27:34 says, "There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall, but after tasting it, he refused to drink it." Some Bible translations say "vinegar" instead of wine. The wine was used as an attempt to dull the pain of crucifixtion ... but Jesus refused it. (That's a blog post for another time.)

Now, today's verses make more sense to me.

Lemuel's mom is telling him to minister to the sick, hurting and dying. Provide medicine and comfort where you can. Tend to their wounds. Help them in their suffering. Show compassion and mercy.

Good words for us today, don't you think?

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