Summary: Preachers often skip over the first few verses of Proverbs 31 without realizing how important they are to the rest of the chapter. Do you know why King Lemuel included them?
On Mother’s Day, many children will try to do something special for their mom’s like give them a personal letter to express their love.
Angie, 8 years old, wrote: "Dear Mother, I’m going to make dinner for you on Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a surprise. P.S. I hope you like pizza and popcorn."
Robert card said: "I got you a turtle for Mother’s Day. I hope you like the turtle better than the snake I got you last year."
Eileen said: "Dear Mother, I wish Mother’s Day wasn’t always on Sunday. It would be better if it were on Monday so we wouldn’t have to go to school."
Little Diane wrote: "I hope you like the flowers I got you for Mother’s Day. I picked them myself when Mr. Smith wasn’t looking."
And then there’s this one from Carol: "Dear Mother, here are two aspirins. Have a happy Mother’s Day!"
APPLY: Each of these children appreciated their mother. You can tell from their letters that they loved their mothers. And while their gifts weren’t exactly perfect, they were trying, in their childlike way to show their mother how much they loved her.
Here in Proverbs 31, we have a King who trying to do the same thing.
Oftentimes, when someone preaches on Proverbs 31… they’ll skip over the first few verses.
They’ll read Proverbs 31:10 “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” in the belief that this is where this section of Proverbs begins.
But it isn’t.
This famous section of Proverbs (that tells us about Godly mothers) actually starts with King Lemuel repeating an oracle (literally “a burden”) his mother had for him
* He was reciting the advice that she gave him when he was younger.
* He was repeating the things she felt he needed to know to be a good boy.
It was her “burden” for him. She cared about how he lived his life.
In those first few verses, the king says his mother told him to…
• Be careful who he dates/marries. “Don’t hang out with questionable women.” (vs. 3)
• Not to drink alcoholic beverages it will cloud his judgment (vs. 4,5)
• AND (because he was King) to be sure to stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. As King he stood between evil and good for the sake of his people (vs. 8,9)
Now, she might have told him a few other things as he grew up, like…
• stand up straight
• brush your teeth
• eat your vegetables
• clean your room
BUT those didn’t make the cut. It’s these pieces of advice that stuck with him as most important throughout his life.
Then King Lemuel goes on to describe what a noble/virtuous woman looks like, and as you can probably imagine… he’s talking about his mamma.
Now, as most of you know, my mother just passed away a week and a half ago. Proverbs 31 was the text that the preacher used for his funeral message, and he used this passage because my mamma was a Godly/virtuous woman.
As I was preparing this message this morning, I got to thinking – if King Lemuel felt it was appropriate to praise his mother in his message, I could do the same for mine. So, if you don’t mind… I’m going to use my mom for foundation for much of sermon.
(Of course, it doesn’t matter whether you mind or not, cause I’m going to do it anyway).
It seems fitting that I would honor her by using her life as the basis of what you’ll hear today.
My mom had three great loves in her life
• Her God
• Her husband
• And her children
IN THAT ORDER
Nothing else mattered to her nearly as much as those 3 things.
Someone once said - that people become what they train themselves to become as they grow up. And ever since she was a little girl, my mother trained herself to be a godly woman. She seemed to build her entire life around God.
She’d give chalk talks – where she’d teach while drawing picture on an easel
She would sing specials for church… and sing in church choirs. In fact, I remember as I grew up that she had the whole family up in the choir loft – we made up almost half the choir.
And she played piano for church worship
ILLUS: She recalled that when her church initially approached her to play hymns for worship she was hesitant, because she really didn’t know that many hymns at the time. But the preacher gently told her they’d start with the ones she knew and go from there.
Even a few days before her death she was still playing those hymns on the piano at my brother’s home.