—— By Dr. Abayomi Sanusi,
Text:- Proverbs 31.1-7
Last week thousands were disappointed contemplating the concepts of justice and injustice, as a jury concluded they believed a man was lawfully killed although police could have avoided the messy incident; moreover the victim had thrown out a gun before confrontation such that when he was shot dead, had no gun in his hand. The word ‘belief’ resonated through various justifications, although the same is frequently derided when it applies to Christian faith, the bible and devotion to God.
As we pray God uses that incident and its future fall-outs to draw more to His kingdom, and remember the victim’s mother we turn our attention to the passionate plea of another mother in the bible.
The prophetic instructions of King Lemuel’s mother remain an important part of scripture, delivering multiple lessons from the heart of God. King Lemuel, though not listed among kings of Judah and Israel, a legitimate king and historical figure, was mentioned twice in the bible.
[Prayer: Regardless of whether people know your history, origin, course or destination; God will make your life and impact significant to your generation]
There is no doubt this mother loved her son, desired for him the best including the fulfilment of God’s purpose in his life. She wanted him to believe God and consult and follow His word in everything. She also recognised his independence valuing his role as one with authority, domain of jurisdiction, important responsibilities and enormous privileges. Regardless he remained her son, subject to her passionate intercession and motherly teaching.
She used potent weapons in appealing for Lemuel’s deepest reflection, referring to their indisputable, fundamental connection: What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows? Some here probably have experienced their own mother’s countenance and dispositions during deepest kinds of concern!
Like Lemuel, the Church -you and I-, as God’s priests and His anointed, have our territory, our privileges and responsibilities. [1 Peter 2.9. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:] Although they never doubted his existence, just like people do not know who King Lemuel was, some people in this local area, or city may not know about Jesus or what He has done for them. It is down to us to show forth the praises of God, and declare what He has done for us and them. In Exodus 19.6 we are reminded ‘And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.’ This year God wants to work in us through His Holy Spirit. He wants to lead us in every aspect of our life. He wants to give us full, overflowing joy. Like Lemuel’s passionate mother required of him, God requires us to get some things right. He wants to achieve His plan for us individually, and collectively as a congregation.
Mother’s Instruction (Proverbs 31.1-7)
Proverbs 31.3. Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
To paraphrase her: You are a king! Do not make the error of giving your strength, and power and time or wealth to women. Likewise do not indulge in activities, practices that lead to the downfall of kings and ensure their destruction. She herself was a woman, and was not opposed to females per se. The second half of her instructions catalogue the virtues of a morally and spiritually sound woman, perhaps the like of whom she would have wanted her son to marry. We seen in verses 4 to 7 that her preoccupation was for her son to understand ‘You too could be destroyed by the things that destroy kings. Avoid them!’
In plain language she would have said: Because of the nature of your calling and purpose in life certain things are unprofitable, unsuitable and can only undermine your destiny. Alcohol and strong drink will cloud your perceptions, alter your judgement and lead to errors in matters of doing justice and delivering the rights of people. As these important duties are your main function, avoid these destroyers!
The same apply to you and I as a church. Our lives are most meaningful in the context of living for God (being His representative now), delivering His message, making people aware of His judgement and justice.Obeying the great commission.
Being sober, deliberate and acutely aware of the social and spiritual issues we are encouraged to rather abide with what the justice of God requires of sound religious practice: Psalm 31. 8-9: Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
We are to speak out for those whose voices cannot be heard. Save those within your power to save. Be fair and just, and be a support for the poor and needy. There is no function, purpose or existence superior to this.
[Prayer: I pray that God will reveal every obstacle to our fulfillment this year, and give us the power to avoid them. I pray He will open our eye to every task He has for us, and give us the grace and speed to obey. I pray He will speak openly and plainly to you this year. May He reveal Himself to us this year. Genesis 18.17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do]
For the purpose and plan of God to be achieved without delay in our lives we must allow the word of God take pre-eminence in everything we do. Regardless of our prevailing situation, importance, fame or position, unless we see ourselves through the word of God, we are in danger of the destroyer of kings and their destinies.
In our day-to-day living, education, finances, inner life, family life, professional life, social interactions ’does the word of God take preeminence today?’
Implications for the year should be that every situation and circumstance and event and decision must conspire to promote God’s work and will in our lives, as we study and declare God’s word. Joshua 1.8.
It is our responsibility to identify and avoid king destroyers, dream killers, life wreckers, hope dashers, saboteurs of destiny. The worst destroyer of all is sin!
Be vigilant, alert and remain un-compromised. Do not forget the law, the word of God. For those God has led you out of the captivity of sin, slavery and hard labour without recompense. God’s word is direct: You have an experience of what I can do. I assure you that everything belongs to me. If you just obey and do everything I say, I will make you my own special people. Exodus 19.1-6. This locality, city and country shall know it.
What, my son?
What my son?! What church? Understand that you belong to God! Abstain from all these destroyers. Nothing can touch or harm you!! Praise the Lord, and get on with His work!!!1 Peter 2.9., Psalm 105.1-15
Delivered on January 12th, 2014