Reflection for Today ▶️ ⏹️

The Drunkards by James Ensor, 1883. Image included in Art World's Drunk Art History.

Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.
Joel 1:5

The effects of the locust plague on land and people is described throughout the rest of chapter one, especially how the absence of the grapevine will hurt the economy and very lifestyle of the people. The husbandmen and vinedressers will be out of work,1 the priests will be unable to perform ceremonies,2 and the drunkards left bereft. It is fascinating how this latter sub-group is the first concern of Joel, the wording of the text, weep and howl telling us how great will be the effect. It may be that Joel has a special affinity with alcoholics, but more likely the starkness of loss from a life of dependency is what he brings to the fore. This is no small thing, and the immediate effect of the loss of wine on those who need it most serves to illustrate the long-term effect it will have on the entire community. All, to one extent or another, are dependent on wine. The instant suffering of the drunkard serves as a portent for a future of desperate uncertainty affecting the whole community.

1 Joel 1:11
2 Joel 1:13