The book of Proverbs closes with a four-fold motherly admonition to her royal son:
Desire - The king's mother warns the king against promiscuity. She declares, "Do not give your strength to women, nor your ways to that which destroys kings" (31:3). Sexual addictions ruin unrestrained men--men whose lives revolve around their sexual appetite.
Drink - Noah had good cause to numb the terrible loss he experienced when the world as he knew it drowned in the flood. He got drunk. The king's mother recognizes the power alcohol has in temporarily numbing loss, "Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more" (31:6-7). She warns, her son the king, however, of the negative influence of alcohol, "It is not for kings to drink wine, nor for princes intoxicating drink; lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted" (31:4-5). In the same way that alcohol numbs the pain of those in anguish, it also clouds the ability to judge matters rightly.
Defense - Those in positions of power often forget the "little man." The king's mother warns her son to advocate those without a voice, "Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die. Open your mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy" (31:8-9).
Delight - This wonderful mom enlightens her son on the advantages of choosing wisely in the matter of a wife. She will be one of his greatest assets. This mother's insights include waiting on God for the right wife (the word "find" in the original means to find along the way, rather than to search for), expecting her to be a woman of valor ("virtuous" speaks of strength and courage), freeing her to handle matters (she buys and sells, runs businesses, and leads the household), and trusting her with finances. In return, she raises godly children, brings praise to her husband, and honors the LORD as a woman of God (31:10-31).
These four challenges reflect the heart of a mother who cares enough for her son to teach him "No" to self-centeredness and "Yes" to self-control. The son who heeds this mother's warning walks wisely and positively impacts both his generation and future generations.
Describe the warnings that accompany both wealth and poverty in the requests mentioned in 30:7-9. What does this reveal about wealth and poverty?
What truths does the wisdom writer glean from observing nature, regarding satisfaction, mystery, unbearable people, small things, and pride?
What does Proverbs 31 reveal about God's view of women?
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