Jeremiah and Beer
This morning as we sat for morning devotions at the clinic, I was struck by the discrepancy between what we heard of the village around us and the scripture we were meditating on. Cries of “Ekonit!”, which signify that the local brew is ready for consumption, interjected Jeremiah 50.
Pastor Dave began by reading Jeremiah 50:4-5, “In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, weeping as they come, and they shall seek the Lord their God. They shall ask the way to Zion with faces turned toward it, saying ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’”
As he spoke of our need to recognize our sin, the familiar cry rang in the village “Ekoniiiit!”. Many here are plagued by chronic drunkenness. We recently heard that a friend’s four year old son went missing for a night, in large part because someone had given him the local hard liquor. He had wandered on the mountainside too drunk to return when the sun set. This past week, the wife of another friend passed away from a disease caused by drinking (it’s rumored) five liters of hard liquor a day.
Dave pressed on to point out that we too should be weeping because of our sin. To know you have sinned, but not be broken by it shows that you are still in rebellion. “Ekoniiiit!” There has been a Christian presence in Karamoja for over fifty years, yet who mourns for the rampant polygamy, expected alcohol addiction and frequent spousal abuses? Who weeps for the neglected, malnourished children? Instead, they brew the local beer and hard liquor making sure to have it ready for women to consume before they go to the fields in the morning, and mock the local drunk as he stumbles by.
The devotion ended with Dave’s final point, once you know your sin and are broken by it, you must cling to Christ and change your ways. True brokenness results in repentance. “Ekoniiit!” rang out like the rooster’s third crow.