The Words of King Lemuel
The Words of King Lemuel
Sunday, May 11, 2008
" The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:" (Proverbs 31:1, ESV)
1. To be a good mother, a woman must first be a good wife. And an excellent wife can be found, she does exist, but she is difficult to find.
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." (Proverbs 18:22, ESV)
"An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones." (Proverbs 12:4, ESV)
2. However, a wife who brings shame to her husband is like rottenness to his bones and is very difficult to live with.
"A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain." (Proverbs 19:13, ESV)
"It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." (Proverbs 21:9, ESV)
"It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman." (Proverbs 21:19, ESV)
"It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife." (Proverbs 25:24, ESV)
"A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike;" (Proverbs 27:15, ESV)
3. She planted the vineyard during the day, and wove late at night. She rose early before dawn to prepare the food, thus keeping a before-sunrise to after-dark schedule to care for her household, which was the foremost priority of her life as it says in Titus 2:5 "to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." (ESV)
4. Strength and honor. These words describe the character of the woman who fears the Lord.
5. She was a skilled manager of the home and does not eat the bread of idleness. Lit. “eyes looking everywhere” as in the lazy man (cf. 6:6, 9) of whom the same root word is used.
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." (Titus 2:3-5, ESV)
6. Keeping a godly home with excellence for one’s husband and children is the Christian woman’s non-negotiable responsibility.
"likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness." (1 Timothy 2:9-11, ESV)
"Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control." (1 Timothy 2:15, ESV)
"Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." (1 Peter 3:3-6, ESV)
7. The purpose of godly conduct—to eliminate any reproach on Scripture. For a person to be convinced God can save from sin, one needs to see someone who lives a holy life. When Christians claim to believe God’s Word but do not obey it, the Word is dishonored. Many have mocked God and His truth because of the sinful behavior of those who claim to be Christians.
8. Her children rise up and call her blessed. There can be no higher joy for a mother than for her children to grow up to praise her as the source of the wisdom that made them godly.
9. Because mothers have a unique bond and intimacy with their children, and spend far more time with them than do fathers, they have far greater influence in their lives and thus a unique responsibility and opportunity for rearing godly children. While a woman may have led the human race into sin, women have the privilege of leading many out of sin to godliness.
10. "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." (Proverbs 31:30, ESV) True holiness and virtue command permanent respect and affection, far more than charm and beauty of face and form.
11. Be a woman who "fears the Lord" because Proverbs ends where it began, with a reference to the fear of the Lord. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7, ESV). A Proverbs 31 wife and mother is one who fears the Lord and is to be praised. May the Lord bless our Christian wives and mothers and future wives and mothers today.