Summary: Virtues of a leader
It has been said that “there is no poor man if he has had a godly mother” or “after every great man stands a godly woman.”
In Proverbs 31:1-9 we find the counsel of a godly mother given to his son, the king. The advice given to him was as much needed in the society of his day as it is today. It is easy in our society to give into the temptation of being led by the flow. If we pursue the model of leadership that the world provides we will sacrifice our integrity on the ‘altar’ of success. The text teaches three critical principles to godly leadership.
A. Respect Your Vows (1-3)
B. Refrain From The Self-Control Killer (4-7)
C. Rule For The Less-Privileged (8-9)
I. Respect Your Vows (1-3)
A. “The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him: ‘O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings.’” (Proverbs 31:1-3, NIV).
B. The first piece of advice given by the mother to his son is about the danger of adultery. The book of Proverbs continuously calls for sexual purity. Marriage is a God-established institution, to be enjoyed by mankind (for those who choose to marry). It is the context in which sex is designed to be enjoyed.
C. Think with me for a moment!
1. The drive of sexual desires is strong.
2. Some of the godly leaders fell by it…
a. Samson (Judges 13-16)
b. David lust for Bathsheba led him to adultery, murder and covering sin (2 Samuel 12)
c. Solomon and his 700 wives and 300 concubines led him astray from God (1 Kings 11)
3. Satan knows this is a major temptation and promotes it strongly.
D. In our society there is no respect about marriage vows or commitments. The mother queen specifically tells his son to watch out for the women who may lead him astray. Sex is good, but God has designed a context where sexual desires are to be fulfilled, marriage. Many preachers in the mission of saving the world have spend their time away from home and ended up in affairs. As a result, both their ministries and lives have been ruined.
1. Respect your vows is the specific instruction.
2. Be a man of your word is the general principle we can get from this text.
II. Refrain From The Self-Control Killer (4-7)
A. “It is not for kings, O Lemuel— not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, lest they drink and forget what the law decrees, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. Give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.” (Proverbs 31:4-7, NIV).
B. A leader is to be self-controlled so he can administer justice to the people. One of the major enemies of self-control is drunkenness.
1. In general, drunkenness lowers the level of control one has on himself/herself. Some young men, when they want to ask some girl out, but don’t have the guts to do it will stop at the bar and have a glass or two. That will make them bold and confident, because is has made them dull of their senses.
2. Drunkenness also has the effect of making one forget (no wonder, if the brain is not working).
a. A king cannot afford to forget the law decrees.
b. A leader cannot afford to forget the Word of God.
c. A drunken king or leader will not judge rightly.
C. This mother tells his son to refrain from alcoholic beverages, because they will ruin his godly leadership. He needs to be sober and self-controlled.
D. I don’t know what can affect your self-control, but whatever it is you need to get control of. A godly leader cannot afford the lack of self-control.
III. Rule For The Less-Privileged (8-9)
A. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:8-9, NIV)
B. This is the final piece of advice that the mother has for his son. It is a reminder of his responsibility as a king.
1. As a king he is to speak up for the less privileged.
2. He is to judge fairly.
3. He is to defend the one that needs to be defended.
C. Every leader has a calling that he is to remember and honor. It is easy to allow our integrity to be compromised on behalf of those who…
1. Pay us more compliments
2. Contribute more to the church