Bible Reading: Proverbs 31.1-9
The words of King Lemuel, the oracle which his mother taught him:
What, O my son?
And what, O son of my womb?
And what, O son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
Or your ways to that which destroys kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
It is not for kings to drink wine,
Or for rulers to desire strong drink,
For they will drink and forget what is decreed,
And pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to him who is perishing,
And wine to him whose life is bitter.
Let him drink and forget his poverty
And remember his trouble no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
For the rights of all the unfortunate.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
When our kids were young, Joda and I tried to model and teach God’s character and wisdom (albeit inconsistently). As our kids have become adults we have been slowly coming to terms with the reality that our role has transitioned from one of absolute control to (hopefully) exerting some positive influence over our kids as they make their own decisions. I struggle with this – I can allow their decisions become a litmus test of me as a father. That’s making it about me which is pride.
Proverbs is about applying God’s wisdom to everyday life. In today’s passage a queen mother gives advice to a young king:
- Don’t let the pursuit of women or alcohol distract you from God
- Lead with justice and mercy, particularly for those who have no power
There’s a debate over who the king in this passage is. Some scholars identify the king as Solomon which would make the mother Bathsheba. If so the wisdom was borne out of her desire that her son not make the same mistake she and David did. The story of Solomon is that of a king chosen by God who started well in pursuing God in humility (1 Kings 3) but ultimately foolishly allowed foreign women to distract him from God (1 Kings 11) with terrible consequences. We learn from Solomon that a divided heart draws us from God and God’s best for us and that following God’s wisdom is a choice we must make daily.
Joda and I are learning that we also have a choice to make daily with our kids – we can choose to endlessly worry over them or we can choose to trust in God’s grace to bear fruit their lives. As parents, we can imagine what we put our Father through with our own choices but His love is not conditioned on our actions. In the same way, we know our kids will disappoint us from time to time – reminding us of our great need for our Father’s grace and mercy.
Take moment and decide - how you will live today?
Memory Verse: An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. Proverbs 31.10