Proverbs 31: 1-5, “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. What, my son? And what, the son of my womb? And what, the son of my vows? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes’ strong drink: Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
We often think of the Proverbs 31 as the Proverbs of the virtuous woman; and even so it is, there is so much more to this passage that we often read over as if unwrapping the package to get to the prize inside. But as I tell my grandchildren when they ask why I take so much time wrapping their gifts and making pretty bows; it’s because I want them to enjoy all of the gift, not just what’s inside, the wrapping is part of my love for them as well. And so, let us not skip over the first part of this chapter in anticipation of the passages ahead. Let us consider what Lemuel’s mother is saying to him.
If you’re wondering who Lemuel is, there are scholars who believe that it was an endearing name given to Solomon by his mother and others believe that Lemuel was a prince of a neighboring country whose mother was a daughter of Israel, perhaps of the house of David, and she taught her son these good lessons. But whoever Lemuel is, the message is true for our sons and mothers today. Are we teaching our sons when they are children upon our lap the difference between good and evil and how to avoid the temptations that are yet before them? Are we molding them and fashioning their minds for righteous living?
Even this mother in our passage cries out to her son as she sees those things that will affect his future. She is so full of concern and it is for his welfare. She speaks to him about matters that she may have observed when he was younger that he is weak toward resisting and she speaks with authority as she reasons with him. She speaks from the heart of a parent wanting only that her child be wise and good. She wants the child to follow God and not his own desires. She tells him to shun adultery, fornication and drunkenness. She warns her son about giving his affections to matters that have destroyed others and reminds him that falling to those temptations will leave him exposed and empty.
And finally, this speaks to us today, not only about how we raise our children in this world, but how we walk before the LORD. Are we given over to temptations that rob our spiritual sobriety? Are we not the child of the Most High King, and shouldn’t we be living in such a way that is pleasing to God? Are we bringing honor to God by the way we walk before the world? Are we being tempted away by those things that turn our minds, spirits and hearts away from truth? There is much to consider as we come before Him this day.
Prayer: Father, you have taught us to keep your commandments and in so doing we have life abundantly. Lord, we rest in your Word and seek understanding and wisdom. LORD, you have told us that there is no temptation known to man that we have not been equipped to endure. You have been faithful to provide a way of escape in times of temptation and it must begin with us turning our hearts away from the temptation in the first place. So, Father, this day, we come before your Word and seek wisdom. We ask that you would cause our eyes to look to your Word in times of temptation and that we will use the tools given to us to resist the devil so that he will flee from us. Thank you for the hope we have in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Connie Renfro ©