Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 31:7
"Let him drink and forget his poverty and remember his trouble no more. Let him drink."
This proverb is not a justification for people in poverty to drink and become drunk. Notice that verse 6 says that we are dealing with a person who is dying, and this verse is a continuation of that thought. Instead, this verse seems to be a compassionate way to deal with the pain surrounding the end-of-life issues. In that day they did not have access to or understanding of the stronger drugs, such as morphine, to dull pain. So alcohol was the strongest pain medicine.
Even Jesus was offered strong drink mixed with a pain-killing drug to mask the pain of crucifixion. He refused the offer. But this form of end-of-life offer was known.
One could call this a quick discussion of the use of pain-killing medicine at the end of life. Scripture allows for the use of pain medication through verses like this. There is a brokenness in this universe because of sin that leads to great pain as one transitions from this life to the next one. Therefore one should make allowances for the need to mask or dull the pain of many. Not everyone will die in their sleep peacefully.
forget his poverty
The word poverty is the word ris which means poverty, destitution. This deals with those who are without many of the basics of life.
It is interesting to wonder whether or not the writer has in mind the poverty of this life and or potentially the poverty of the next one. Many people who come to the end of their life come to realize that they have lived their lives completely selfishly and based upon the wrong principles; that they are completely and utterly destitute in terms of God and life everlasting; and this will be the last time they can take anything for pain because the next life will be constant alertness in either a good place or a bad place.
It is a terrible thing to come to the end of life and realize that you have spent it on things instead of relationships. Many have confessed what fools they have been – on their death bed – because they have pursued money, fame, and possessions but have little relationship with God, family, friends, etc.