Do you know King Lemuel? Well, don’t feel bad if you don’t. I don’t know much about him either other than he had a wise mother who instructed him on things of great importance. King Lemuel is only mentioned twice in the Old Testament. He is found in Proverbs 31, verses 1 and 4. Some biblical scholars have suggested that Lemuel was another name for Solomon: “Lemuel is another name for Solomon that when translated means “towards (lemo) God (el).” (Source) For this post, we will stick with King Lemuel since that is how it is written in Bible.
King Lemuel had a wise mother. She instructed him on good and evil—what was good for him and what he needed to avoid. This instruction was to make him a good king, I believe. Maybe even more than a good king but a godly person. First, these were her warnings to Lemuel:
- “Do not give your strength to women.” Warning to avoid the women who will cause him to stumble in his kingship and life.
- “Do not give your ways to those who destroy kings.” Warning to not go down paths that are destructive to him.
- “It is not for kings to drink wine or for rulers to take strong drink.” Warning to avoid drinks that would prevent him from thinking clearly and with a steady mind at any time. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)
These were vices that kings were most likely to be tempted by. She warned him, in love, to be aware and be watchful. Lemuel’s mother understood the evil things that could destroy her son personally and in his being a ruler.
Now, for the good things she encouraged him to do:
“Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress.” She reminded him the proper and responsible use of such drinks can restore one’s body and mind in a good way. (Read Psalm 104: 15)
“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute.” She told him to defend those who cannot defend themselves and stand for their rights as people. (Read Psalm 72:12)
- “Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.” She encouraged him to be a wise judge and plead for those less fortunate. (Read Isaiah 1:17)
Lemuel’s mother desired for her son to be selfless in his dealing with others while instilling a righteous kingship over his people. This would’ve made him a good king and she knew this.
I bring this story to you because it made me think of how important a mother’s role is to her child. Aside from the daily tasks of making sure our children have meals, clean clothes, an education and so on, we have the great privilege of leading our children in the ways that would honor our Lord and be good for them all the days of their lives. As mothers, we ought to seize the opportunities to give our children the tools to live how the Lord calls them to. Lemuel’s mother does just that.
Lemuel’s mother, also, reminds us of the importance of reproving our children so that they avoid the wiles of the world and the evil one. We must be on top of this so we can properly guide our children in the way they should go. (Read Proverbs 22:6) Lemuel’s mother saw the trouble being a young prince could bring if he was not taught to be watchful and smart in his choices. We have the same responsibility to our own children as well. We must teach them how to avoid sinful choices. As they are growing in our home, we should make sure we are diligent about reproof, as needed and in love, so they know how to guard their hearts.
Lastly, Lemuel’s mother isn’t remiss about teaching her son the value of good decisions like helping the poor and defending the destitute. Just as important as warning against sinful choices, she encourages him to do what is right and selfless. Again, we as mothers, have an exceptional responsibility to teach our children how to live godly lives and make godly choices. It is good mothering to teach our children what is good along with what is not. We need to make sure our children grasp the wisdom of making good decisions unto the glory of God and for their good.
Matthew Henry writes, “when they [our children] are young and tender they are most under the mother’s eye, and she has then an opportunity of moulding and fashioning their minds well, which she ought not to let slip.” How right he is! Mama, it may seem, amid all the of the daily duties of motherhood, your role is lessened. However, remember your role in your children’s life is most important. Make each day count.