Proverbs 31 – “Mama Said”

31 days of scripture and devotional thoughts

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
Do not spend your strength on women,
    your vigor on those who ruin kings.

It is not for kings, Lemuel—
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

Proverbs 31:1-5 NIV

I bet you thought we were going to focus on the “Proverbs 31 woman,” didn’t you? Many people focus on that passage, and rightfully so. It’s great example of a woman of strength, character and trust in her creator. But Proverbs 31 doesn’t start at verse 10 it starts at verse 1.

This passage reminds me of the quotes, (and subsequent memes) about Forest Gump. “Mama always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.'” In these opening verses of Proverbs 31, we hear the wisdom of the mother of King Lemuel.

I can picture Lemuel walking around the palace or sitting on his throne saying “Mama always said…” and then we get these sayings recorded here in Proverbs 31. His mother’s advice is not one quickly followed today.

It seems that gravitating toward putting much time and energy into pursuing women, pursuing wine and beer, are the things that society tells us powerful men do.

But the Queen Mama’s wisdom is not like the mother in Adam Sandler’s “The Water Boy.” Where Bobby Boucher’s mother didn’t want her baby to find a woman he loves and then leave her, (her only reason being that “Girls are the Devil!”)

The Mama in Proverbs 31 gives wise reasoning for Lemuel: distractions, like many women and beer can stop you from effectively leading.

So before you dive into the verses about a strong, industrious woman…stop and consider one wise mama’s sage advice. Keep yourself focused on the things that matter. Don’t get distracted by that which intoxicates.

Keep yourself focused on the things that matter. Don’t get distracted by that which intoxicates.

-Pastor Matt

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