It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to desire strong drink;
or else they will drink and forget what has been decreed,
and will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.Give strong drink to one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty,
and remember their misery no more.
You might remember the TV commercials and the slogan for Wheaties: “The Breakfast of Champions.” The implied promise seemed to be that if you ate a certain product, you’d turn out great.
If you apply that line of thinking to some of the sayings in Proverbs 31, I guess wine and strong drink may be the preferred beverage of the forgetful. (Lest we get too cut and dry, we might also want to consider biblical admonitions to moderation in all things.) At least for King Lemuel, this may be a cautionary thought or maybe a word to the wise. Be careful what you drink.
Dear God, let me always measure what I chose to consume, so that it doesn’t consume me. Amen.