The epilogue of Proverbs is on the subject of the wife of noble character. This is to parallel the contrast in the prologue of wisdom and the foolish wife. Our deeds, our living reveals whether our faith is real or counterfeit.
One of the wonderful things about this passage from King Lemuel is the way it is framed.
His Mum’s wisdom is the first section, up to v9. His Mum is the one who tells him to be careful about drinking, that a king needs his wits, because what is important are the rights of those afflicted, what is important is to remember what has been decreed (God’s law).
His Mum calls her son out, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Because this is what a godly mum does. She continues to encourage and exhort her children even once they have stepped out into their own family.
And then the passage goes into detail of an excellent wife.
Lemuel opens with his mum’s wisdom because, it seems pretty clear, his mum was an EXCELLENT WIFE.
So growing up, in his formative years, those years that are so important for our little ones – He sees his mum being an excellent wife. And it is written in his mind, his heart, as he grows into adulthood.
Lemuel sees that his mum is far more precious than jewels. To his dad, but also to the kids, to the family as a whole.
Lemuel sees that his mum is GOOD for his dad, all their days!
Lemuel’s mum is diligent and hard-working, perceptive and savvy.
But more, she is other-centered and full of God’s grace and mercy.
“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy.”
Lemuel’s mum finds purpose in caring for her family, in the sometimes hard-to-keep-doing-every-day actions, the processes of little glory that don’t promote self-worth.
Lemuel saw that in all of this, his mother feared the Lord. True religion indeed!
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
* Father God, thank You for this last passage in Proverbs. Thank You for this wisdom from Lemuel. We thank You for Lemuel’s mother, who patterened for him what a godly woman is.
We pray that our families would be raising young folk who can experience the same truth Lemuel did.
Remind us each day that the fear of You is worth much more than appearance, much more than what people think of us.