(#208) The Proverbs of Solomon Proverbs 31:1-3-Listen to Your Mama About Women

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 31:1-3: “The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him: 2 What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? 3 Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.”

Verse 1: These have been the Proverbs of Solomon: for his son (Chapters 1-9); for his people (Chapters 10-24); for his legacy (Chapters 25-29); for his influence (Chapters 30-31). The Book of Proverbs began with a father instructing his son, and ends in this last chapter with the mother’s wise words, or “hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother” (Proverbs 1:8).

Verse 2: Almost asking: “What can I say for the best benefit for my son, my flesh and blood?”

“Son of my womb” refers to the closeness of the mother-son bond, for she was his home before he was born.

“Son of my vows” can refer to the legitimate son born after marriage vows of his parents (Malachi 2:14), or to parental commitment to raise the child “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4).

In any case, these words should be regarded as precious to a beloved son.

Verse 3: Two serious warnings against ways that destroy every man’s life: disrespect for marriage and disregard for authority.

To not “give your strength to women” is a major theme in Proverbs (2:16-22; 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 9:13-18). Examples of what not to do are found in Samson (Judges 13-16), David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12), and Solomon, himself (1 Kings 11). Sexual satisfaction (“strength”) should be reserved only for one’s own wife (Proverbs 5:15-20).

“That which destroys kings” refers to subversive and violent methods of destroying respect for civil authority, “For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1). Moses recognized this danger (Deuteronomy 31:26-27); King Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-24); Barabbas (Mark 15:7). Solomon had said: “An evil man seeks only rebellion; Therefore a cruel messenger will be sent against him” (Proverbs 17:11), and Jesus said: “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Matthew 26:52). It is never wrong to insist that rulers abide by God’s rules (the Bible) and the laws of the land (Constitution) which restricts their “authority” (as Libertarians insist), but it is wrong to advocate no authority (as Libertines claim)!

Men, listen to a godly mother!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #marriage, #mother, #practical-lessons, #proverbs, #rebellion, #wisdom, #women

Thankful for his lovingkindness

More than once in my life has rebellion against God kept me from understanding the truth.

Although my father was a preacher for churches of Christ, and although he taught the scriptures well to all his children, there was always the temptation to rebel and throw off God’s rule in my life. I knew what the scriptures said. I just acted as though there was no God and that there was no rule.

My consolation is that God never abandoned me or threw me aside when I was like the Apostle Peter and said, “not so, Lord.” Peter did that at least twice, once in Matthew 16:22, shortly after he confessed that Jesus is the Christ. Jesus said that he would have to go to Jerusalem, suffer and be killed and rise again. Peter said, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you,” (Matthew 16:22 ESV).

He did it again in Acts 10 when he told the Lord he would never eat the things Jesus had commanded him (Acts 10:14). “Not so, Lord,” he told the king. But the Lord did not discard Peter and he never threw me over while in my disobedience.

God be thanked and praised for his patience with the disobedient. As the psalmist wrote, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12 NASU).

#god, #lovingkindness, #rebellion

Poor Legacy

The legacy of a man is two-fold in Judges 9. First, he is in rebellion to God. Second, his dying wish is that it not be known that he died at the hands of a woman. Because of the first legacy, the second never materialized.

#legacy, #rebellion