Today is Mother’s Day. A day where we honor and celebrate the mother’s in our lives. I am blessed with many amazing mothers in my life. My own mother has taught me to work hard and to work long. My wife, the mother of my children, has shown me the blessing of forgiving and forgetting. My mother-in-law, has been an example of commitment to the church. I believe that a godly mother is one of God’s greatest blessings, and I am fortunate to have so many in my life.
When I think of mothers, my mind often wanders to Proverb’s 31:1, “The words of King Lemuel, an oracle that his mother taught him…” What follows this verse is the instruction to a king from his mother. Often when kings are mentioned in Scripture they are described by the country or kingdom they rule. The name, Lemuel, means “belonging to God,” and many rabbinical commentators identify Lemuel with Solomon. Other scholars that think that Lemuel may be the king or chief of a northern Arabian Tribe and possibly linked to Agur, whose name is found in Proverbs 30. I like the traditional rabbinical view—which also seems to make sense given the content of Proverbs 31.
The Queen Mother starts out with a warning about women and wine—both are very fitting for Solomon. She then continues and charges her son, the king, to speak up for those without voice. She instructs him to seek justice for the dispossessed, the oppressed, the poor and the needy. She then returns to her warning about women and describes both a wife and mother that would be fitting for her son, a woman who is known—not for her charm or beauty—but for her love and fear of the Lord (Proverbs 31:30). If only Solomon had loved and married a woman like this—and only this one woman. Think about how the kingdom would have been different. It might have gone undivided for many more generations. Like I said at the beginning, a godly mother is one of God’s greatest blessings, and I have learned that the wisest of men heed their words. “Yes, dear” and “Yes, ma’am” are words that should come from lips a little more often.