Summary: Let’s praise mothers who have raised good children, but not blame them if a child goes bad.
A. MOTHER (NAME UNKNOWN) OF SAMSON: JUDGES 13-16
1. Chosen to rear a special son. “He (Samson) shall begin to deliver Israel out of . . . the Philistines” (13:5).
2. God expected separation. “Drink not wine . . . strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing” (13:4-5).
3. Influential by world when naming son. “The woman called his name Samson” (3:24). Means “sunny” or “to the sun god.”
4. Knew a Philistine wife was wrong for Samson, “Is there no woman among . . . my people?” (14:3).
5. Compromised and went to wedding. “Samson went . . . with his father and mother” (14:5).
6. Lesson: casual compromise in mother leads to severe compromise in son.
Positive Role Model: Hannah, mother of Samuel (a) who prayed early, (b) dedicated son to God, (c) brought him to the house of God.
B. HAGAR (FLIGHTY) MOTHER OF ISHMAEL: GEN. 16:21
1. Apparently an obedient girl chosen to be mother of Abraham’s son. “Sarah said, ‘Go into my maid, perhaps I shall obtain children by her’” (16:2).
2. Hagar had an ego problem after she bore a son. Sarah said, “I became despised in her eyes” (16:5). Hagar thought she was better than Sarah.
3. Hagar was not responsive to correction. “Sarah disciplined her, but she ran away” (16:6).
4. Hagar did not respect the family. “The son of Hagar . . . making fun (with physical taunts) of Isaac” (21:9).
5. Hagar was not grateful to Sarah when given great opportunity; she responded in pride, and gave her son a superiority attitude.
Positive Role Model: Lois the grandmother, and Eunice the mother who trained Timothy (a) in godliness, and raised him to become (b) a great Christian leader. “Genuine faith . . . which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5).
C. RACHEL (EWE OR DOE) MOTHER OF JOSEPH AND BENJAMIN: GENESIS 29-37
1. Rachel had outward beauty. “Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face” (29:17, NLT).
2. Rachel was demanding and selfish. “When Rachel saw she bore . . . no children . . . envied her sister and said to Jacob, ‘Give me children, or else I die’” (30:1).
3. Rachel bargained sex for her husband. “Rachel begged Leah, (mandrake roots, i.e., narcotic properties, “love portion”) . . . Rachel said, ‘I will let Jacob sleep with you tonight if you give me some of the mandrakes’” (30:14-15, NLT).
4. Like father like daughter. “Your father (Laban) has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times” (31:7).
5. Rachel turned against her father when his wealth was gone. “Is there still any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?” (31:14).
6. Rachel stole her father’s idols. “Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them (the idols)” (31:32).
7. After Rachel’s death, Jacob met God, and her two sons became godly. “Jacob loved Joseph (Rachel’s son) more than any of his other children, because . . . born to him in his old age” (37:3, NLT). “The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did” (37:2, NLT).
8. Rachel was buried alone. “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem)” (35:19, NLT). Leah was buried next to Jacob (49:31).
Positive Role Model: Elizabeth gave up reputation to raise John the Baptist. “He (the Lord) has taken away my disgrace” (Luke 1:25, NLT). Her son became the best ever. “Of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist” (Matt. 11:11, NLT).
D. ATHALIAH: 2 KINGS 8:26; 11:1-23; 23:12-23
1. Athaliah’s parents were terrible role models. “Athaliah the granddaughter of Omri, king of Israel” (2 Kings 8:26). Her mother and father Ahab and Jezebel. “Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him” (1Kings 16:30).
2. Athaliah’s evil influence on her husband Jehoram king of Israel. “Jehoram did evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 8:18).
3. Athaliah’s son, King Ahaziah, was evil. “Ahaziah . . . reigned one year . . . he walked in the way of Ahab, and did evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Kings 8:26-27).
4. When her son was killed, Athaliah made herself queen. She was ruthless, a tyrant, whose every whim had to be obeyed. She introduced Baal worship into Judah. “When Athaliah saw her son was dead, she . . . destroyed all the royal heirs of the house of Judah” (2 Chron. 22:10).
a. Killed all rivals to her throne.
b. Motivated by satan to destroy the line of the Messiah.
c. But God preserved one heir. “The daughter of King Jehoram took Joash, the son of Ahaziah (Athaliah’s grandson) and stole him away from the king’s sons who were being murdered” (2 Chron. 22:11).