This post is in response to the Proverbs 31 Woman study hosted by GoodMorningGirls.org. Feel free to join in!
3 do not waste your strength on women, on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine. Rulers should not crave alcohol.
Proverbs 31:3-4 NLT
A king has many strengths: an army, wisdom, character, influence. How can he spend it on women? When determining what Lemuel’s mother meant by “strength,” I sat back and thought about tasks or professions that require strength. Opening a jar of pickles requires strength, but I don’t usually waste it on anyone. Running into a burning building requires strength of body and mind but is never wasted. An athlete requires strength of body and mind to win a race or reach his or her goal.
The commonality between these examples, well except for the pickles, is not just strength of body but strength of mind. If a king focuses so intently on women, or other lustful pleasures, then he has lost sight of his God-appointed tasks. Deuteronomy 17:17a states “The king must not take many wives for himself, because they will turn his heart away from the Lord.”
Two immediate examples come to mind: King David and his son, King Solomon. Both were great kings, wise and Godly, but they made foolish mistakes, especially over women. They relied on their earthly powers, particularly of marriage to cement political relationships, rather than learning on the Lord to provide.
There is a difference between drinking in moderation and excessive consumption of alcohol. The bible is adamant against drinking to the point of drunkeness: Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise. Proverbs 20:1
A king must have his wits about him at all times. Even a few glasses of wine could potentially dull his senses to point that he cannot make a good decision. King Lemuel’s mother warned him not to drink excessively, or even at all. Drinking and feasting, like other pastimes, is best left to after the hard work is done. It is a reproof to King Lemuel to work hard and be a noble leader, rather than a lazy one that could potentially destroy his nation.
King Lemuel’s mother warned her son not to follow this path. Don’t focus on today’s pleasures: women, false counselors, alcohol. These will only bring ruin to you and, because you are king, to your nation as well. King’s are to be models of purity for those that they serve.