Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Reads

I thought I'd start Thursdays off by posting about what I'm reading.  Right now, I'm trying to read through several different books of the Bible & one other mainstream Christian book.  (I tend to read from one for a few days & then switch to another & then switch back.  My brain needs processing time like that!)

Anyway...this mornings read happens to be from the book of Proverbs.  If you've never read the book of Proverbs, I would highly recommend giving it a try.  It's an amazing read & will really open your eyes to some of the vain pursuits we find ourselves wrapped up in.  The entire Bible is like that for literally blows my mind all the time.  I'm amazed at its teachings & the truth that is in it...and especially the way it changes your life if you'll heed its words!     OK, so on to my read this morning from the book of Proverbs.

Here's what I focused on:  (verses 1-12)

1 The words of King Lemuel.  An oracle that his mother taught him:
2 What are you doing, my son?  What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?
3 Do not give your strength to women, your ways to those who destroy kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;
7 let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.
8 Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
10 An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

Some of you may read this & think, "OK, what is so special about this? Why does this draw your attention so specifically?" 

 Well, here's my answer:  It all starts with vs. 1, "The words of King Lemuel.  An oracle that his mother taught him."

 Proverbs 31 is often noted as one of the most profound passages on biblical womanhood in the entire Bible.  (By biblical womanhood, I simply mean, what God teaches about being a woman according to the Bible.)  But we often look at the latter verses of this chapter (vs. 10-31) and miss these first 12 (I've included vs. 10-12 in my reading this morning).  If you really read what the above verses are saying, you'll see a picture being painted by God of a mother & her strong influence on the life of her son.  Yes, Lemuel is a king, and probably King Solomon (the wisest man who ever lived)...and most of us will never raise a king.  But God's heart for mothers still stands none the less.  He loves for his "mothers" to teach their children the things of the Lord.  Note what these things are: character & wise living (vs. 3-4), an awareness of those around them, especially those in need (vs. 5), compassion towards those who are afflicted & suffering (vs 6-7), a charge to stand up for the rights of those who can't stand up for themselves and to maintain justice in all instances (vs 8-9), and finally about love & the kind of wife that will build him up, not tear him down (vs 10-12).  And looking specifically at vs. 10-12, what a marriage!!  A marriage where the husband is of that kind of character & a wife who longs to do good towards him everyday.  Such a beautiful picture!  

Now, the point of this post was not to stick my finger in the face of mothers & say, "You need to do this..." No, the point is to admire the heart of God  & his desire for us to teach each other the things of God, especially to our children.  If you're like me, with no children of your own, you can be inspired by the priorities of this mother.  Her desire to teach her child about his character, about mercy and compassion...let these things be the desire & pursuits of your own heart!  What a blessing these will be to our lives, & to the lives of those we encounter every day.  

I hope this read will encourage your heart as it did mine.  

Keep checking back...on another day I'll finish the Proverbs 31 chapter with a post on womanhood :) 

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