Who we are determines what we do. Our character is much more important to the LORD than our acts of service.
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
King Lemuel’s mother was a woman of great character. We find what she considers important in the first nine verses of this chapter.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
We find in this verse that she is a woman of faith. Because of her values, we can determine that it is the LORD to whom she prays.
3 Do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
This verse deals with the temptation of kings to “overdo it” in the sexual department (is that a polite way of saying it?). God designed us to be one man for one woman for life. We are to keep it simple (the simpler things are, the easier they are to maintain). As wise as Solomon was, he failed in this area. His 700 wives and 300 concubines pulled him away from the LORD in his later years (1 kings 11:4).
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
The king (remember that we are the King’s children) must never allow himself to be without his wits. The only person/thing that is to control us is the Holy Spirit. Paul said it this way, “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…” Ephesians 5:18.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
We don’t know to what she is referring in these verses. Was it true poverty? Was it sickness? We don’t know what she meant by anguish. In our culture, we have medicines that bring health, so drinking to forget our woes is not necessary–and a bad idea! Talk about complicating matters…!
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
These two verses give us our strongest clues to her character. She was concerned for the poor, for those who are at the mercy of the rich and powerful. She taught her son to rule with mercy and with equity. In these ways, he would be pleasing to the LORD.
We have an edge on King Lemuel’s mother: We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us! He gives us the desire and the power to do His will. We get to interact with Jesus all the time. In fact, this interaction was the point of the cross! The question is: Are we taking full advantage of our salvation? Are we interacting with our LORD all the time?
Whenever we are prompted to read our Bibles, pray, be merciful, take care of the needy, meet another person’s needs, etc. it is the Holy Spirit who is bringing it to our attention. If we see another person in need, but feel a tension/restriction that keeps us from helping, that, too, is the Holy Spirit. We must learn to discern. This ability comes through practice and dependence upon Him.
Let’s be people of character today, His character, as we interact with the Holy Spirit.
Abba, may You continue the process of transforming us by conforming us into the image of Your Son, Jesus. Chisel away, Father! Amen.