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Proverbs 31:1-9


“The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him. 2 What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what the son of my vows? 3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings. 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 5 lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. 7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. 8 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. 9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.




“We come to this final chapter in the Book of Proverbs, it begins by saying “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.” she begins by saying “What, my son? and what the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?  Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:  lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.  Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.  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.”  And then it moves into this portion that we know so well, when we think of Proverbs 31 we normally think of starting right here in verse 10, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.”  Interesting chapter, written not from king Lemuel but to him by his mother, it is instruction.  She’s warning him about two vices, women, unbridled lust, and alcohol, intoxication.  She doesn’t tell him how to rule, she doesn’t say ‘This is the way a king rules,’ she only says there’s these two things, if you can rule them, you’ll rule a kingdom.  If you can’t rule these two simple things that are available, before you all the time, how are you going to rule from a throne, if you can’t rule your own heart?   Lemuel is a mystery, we have no king of the northern kingdom of Israel [the 10 northern tribes], or of the southern kings [of the southern kingdom of Judah], of Judah, David by that name.  Scholars torture themselves with the language, trying to say that it should be ‘Lemuel, king of Massah,’ because depending on the marks in the word you can get the idea of the prophecy here.  Or you can get and turn it around to ‘Massah’ which seems to relate to something we heard of Agur, which is another kingdom.  Some translations say “Lemuel” is not an Israelite king, which would be very odd to say that this is a Saudi king or a king of another Gentile area that’s giving us the last chapter in the Book of Proverbs, it just doesn’t seem to fit any of those prognosis.  So, most scholars agree this is probably either a picture of a mother and a son without identity that, but accepted within Israel, or the ancient rabbinic writers and the Talmudic scholars all agree that this is speaking of Solomon, Lemuel, the name means “Dedicated” or “Dedicated to God,” so that’s the idea of “to be dedicated” or “consecrated.”  The ancient rabbis say that Solomon, used to be or was called by six names, Solomon, Jedediah, which we know is the name the LORD gave him, “Loved of the LORD,” ah Piloleth, Vemlahoh, Agur, that was also Solomon, and then Lemuel, that all six of those names were used of Solomon.  Now that of course brings us to an interesting context as we look at this.  Because this would be Bathsheba then saying this to her son, and I would assume early in his ascension to the throne.  And there is a Hebrew actually tradition, attached to this, that it happened on the day that the Temple was dedicated.  That Solomon at the same day married the daughter of Pharaoh, and got drunk that night, and then was asleep in the palace with the keys to the Temple supposedly under his pillow, and when the priests wanted to minister in the morning, they couldn’t unlock the Temple and Bathsheba came in, and God had given her this reproof that she gives to her son.  That’s all tradition, we don’t know if any of that is true.  ok?  Just a little bit of fun, a little bit of Jewish fun there, if you’re Jewish.   But these are the words of king Lemuel, this king dedicated unto God, king Lemuel.  It is prophetic, it is inspired, and it is something that his mother taught him.  Now interesting, because of course that would be Bathsheba.  Chapter 1, verse 8 says “My son, listen to the words of thy father,” all the way through the Book of Proverbs we hear of the words “of thy father” and then there’s a few places “and the commands of thy mother.”  But here now the Book begins with the instructions of a father, it seems to end with the instruction of a mother, affirming the place of a mother, particularly in a son’s life.  Now all of that wraps the home around the character of a young man or a young woman.  That the instruction of a father and the instruction of the mother, that the condition of the home determines the condition of “the homeland.”  And “the homeland” has no character if the home has no character.  And one of the plagues in our culture and plagues in our society is the lack of homes with mom and dad being there, and then there are homes where there are moms and dads, are they then taking the time to instruct and to spend time with their sons and daughters?  Doesn’t mean that a single mom or a single dad can’t do the job.  Jesus was raised by a single mom and he turned out ok.  ok?  But there’s an interesting picture that’s given to us here. 


Just Because You’ve Done All Kinds Of Things Wrong, Don’t Think That Disqualifies You From Speaking The Truth


Now imagine if this is Bathsheba, it’s hard to talk to your children, hard to talk to them when they become young men and women, first of all, about sexual things, that’s an uncomfortable conversation, to a degree, even for fathers to have to talk to your kid about that when he’s 10, a little young, but he’s hearing it in the world.  50 percent of kindergarten kids in America have mobile devices, and that’s insane, I don’t know why.  And 50 percent of them have already been on a pornographic site, that means 25 percent of our kindergarten kids in America have already seen pornography.  Those are the statistics.  So you know you kind of wait, your son’s 12, 13, 14, your daughter, when’s the time to have the talk about the birds and the bees?  Because usually they’re miles ahead of you.  So you don’t want it to be too early, because there’s a level of maturity, there’s something of embracing that, and particularly when puberty starts and there’s desire that’s recognized in the young man or young lady.  You don’t want it to be too late, because you don’t want them to get all their impressions from the world.  Because sexuality is designed by God, the difference between men and women and it’s ingenious, and there’s a beauty to it.  Tough conversation.  It is even a more difficult conversation if you have been an adulteress, and you’re going to talk to your own son or daughter about morality.  Imagine the challenge for Bathsheba.  She’s calling Solomon, if in fact this is Solomon, “What, my son?” you read verse 2, there’s almost a challenge he’s already facing, “what my son…what the son of my womb? what the son of my vows?”  You see, his name is “Dedicated,” she’s made vows in regards to this young man, no doubt, she’s seen the problems, “Don’t give thy strength unto women,” plural.  You know, understand her first husband, no doubt Uriah, that was one man and one woman, he’s out at war and she gets involved with David, she goes on the roof to take a bath.  Don’t do that, ladies.  And there’s a palace next door.  It’s not like, ‘Boy, I always wondered who lived there?’ she knew that David was in there.  And she goes out on the roof to take a bath.  Now David, it tells us in 2nd Samuel chapter 3, it says, ‘There was long war and so forth between David and the house of…’ and it says ‘and unto David were sons born in Hebron, his firstborn was Amnom, of Ahinoam, the Jezreelitess, his first wife, his second was Chiliad, of Abigail, who had been the wife of Nabal, the Carmelite, his third son, Absalom, he was the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, the fourth son was Adonijah the son of Haggath, the fifth son was Shepetiah, the son of Avetei, the sixth son, Ithream, by Eglah, David’s wife,’  it goes down, David already has, before he marries Michal, Saul’s daughter, he already has seven or eight wives, some scholars feel that he had 10 concubines besides that.  And then he falls into adultery with Bathsheba when he’s established.  He’s defeated his enemies, he’s killed the giants, he has victory over all, he’s in his palace in Jerusalem, he’s brought the Ark of the Covenant up there, he is at the pinnacle of his career.  And it says it was the time when kings go forth to battle, and David remained behind.  He would have been much safer on the battlefield, than lollygagging around looking at his iPhone on his roof.  Again, because there’s a temptation that comes there that doesn’t come when you’re keeping the flocks, when you’re fighting a bear, fighting a lion.  There’s a temptation that comes there when you’re not on the battlefield fighting the giants or fighting the Philistines, or when you’re in the Cave of Adullam.  There’s a temptation that comes when you’re resting on your lees, and you’ve tasted success, you’re no longer in the battle, maybe the way you were at one point in your life, and your guard is down.  Bathsheba remembers.  David brings her to the palace, obviously she went willingly.  She gets pregnant.  I’m sure she was making vows then, ‘Lord, if you cover this, I promise,’ of course, the whole process of bringing her husband home from the battlefield, then getting him drunk, she’s warning about alcohol here.  Trying to convince him that she got pregnant from him when he was drunk, but he wouldn’t cooperate, then he’s sent to the front lines of the battle by Joab, and dies.  [actually, David did all the conniving there, not necessarily Bathsheba, according to the Scripture, but she had a part in it, even if it was just to sit there and keep her mouth shut.]  David then takes Bathsheba as his wife.  I’m not sure if anybody’s questioning the timing, how could the baby be coming so soon, and so forth.  Joab knew what was going on.  There’s insanity being sown.  We don’t know what his other wives, his concubines, or all these other sons know at this point in time.  And I’m sure Bathsheba is making vows at that point in time.  The child is born, the child dies.  She conceives again, and then it tells us, the second time she conceives, not doubt she’s worried, David comforted Bathsheba over the death of their first child, who was conceived in adultery, now she’s his wife.  He went into his wife, he was with her, now she bears a son, and he, David called his name Solomon, which means Peace, and it says the LORD loved him, and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he, Nathan the prophet, by the word of the LORD, called Solomon Jedediah, which means Loved of the LORD, and it says, because of the LORD, and I’m sure it was a huge relief to both David and Bathsheba, because I’m sure she was making vows, ‘If you’ll let this one be born, LORD, If you’ll let him live, if you keep him from dying, I promise, I lived in sexual sin, I made mistakes, I’ve done this, I’ll do my best to raise him,’ she knew about Hannah and her pleadings and so forth.  So, yes, this is the son of her vows.  And how difficult, listen, if you were a druggy, if you were an alcy, if you were in the world, you we’ve done time in jail, you’ve been in trouble, done all kinds of things wrong, don’t think that disqualifies you from speaking the truth.  Because we serve a gracious God, and he takes us out of those backgrounds, and he forgives us, and he cleanses us, and he renews us.  And the righteous man or righteous woman falls seven times and gets back up again, it does not mean that you cannot say to the next generation, ‘Don’t do this, sex, intoxicants.’  They didn’t have Rock’n Roll or it would have been ‘Sex, drugs and Rock’n Roll,’ ok.  So imagine how tough it is for this mom to say to this son, ‘I want you to do this, your father and I lived through it, and the insanity it produced, don’t give yourself to that, to women (plural), don’t build a harem like that, don’t give yourself to that which destroys kings, because in David’s house, after he fell, he watched the insanity as it just, the ripple effect, as Amnon went and slept with Absalom’s sister from another mother, and then Absalom killed him, and then David couldn’t say anything to Absalom, and revolt started, there was trouble.’  David was never the king and never the father that he had been before his adultery, before his sin had destroyed him in many ways.  But he was a much greater Psalmist, and the things he said to us about God’s grace have endured for generations.  But here’s this woman, Bathsheba, thinking of her grandfather, Ahithophel and his participation in the revolt that had taken place, and then his committing suicide, and the tragedy that came into their lives, and she says and “The words of king Lemuel,” we’re going to look at it as Solomon, these are the words of “the prophecy that his mother taught him.” and it began this way, “What, my son?” she’s questioning him, now this is not David, this is Bathsheba to Solomon, “what, the son of my womb?  and what, the son of my vows?” ‘I had made God promises, that if he let you live, that things would be different,’ and she says, “Give not thy strength unto women,” strength” now that word there is “virtue” it’s the same word down, if you look down in verse 10 where it says “who can find a virtuous woman?” same word.  “Give not your virtue unto women,” virtue speaks of strength and of purity and so forth.  So here’s the same word, “give not thy virtue, your strength unto women,” don’t get yourself into a position.  Now Solomon, here this prophetic voice comes to his life, does he listen?  He ends up with 700 wives and 300 concubines, it doesn’t sound like he paid any attention to the rules at all, as far as I’m concerned.  700 wives, how many of you here have gone through a wedding, making preparations, you have a kid.  By the time you get married you’re wishing ‘I wish we’d had just eloped and saved the money, everybody’s driving us crazy, my mom won’t leave me alone, she thinks it’s her wedding, my dad’s telling me what to do, and all of the headache.’  Listen, if you have 700 wives, if you had a wedding every other week, it would take you 28 years.  Imagine having a wedding every other week for 28 years.  That’s 700 wives.  300 concubines, you just take those, I guess he said ‘I’ll take a dozen of those over there,’ you know, here’s Solomon, ends up with that collection.  And it ends up of course to be a disaster for him.  It says, “King Solomon loved many strange women” that’s “foreign” by the way, but if you have a thousand, you have a few strange women no doubt, but it’s speaking of foreign women.  “King Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, and of the Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, the Hittitites, of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, ‘You shall not go into them, neither shall they come to you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods,’ he clave unto these in love.  And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart, for it came to pass when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father.”  Isn’t that an amazing thing?  David had committed adultery and murder, but God says of Solomon, ‘his heart was not perfect toward me as the heart of his father.’  Interesting thing, David never turned to Molech or to Ashtoreth or to any other god, David sinned before his God, repented before his God, he made his mistakes before his God, he did things wrong, but he never changed Gods.  Solomon allowed his heart to be turned away by that which destroyeth kings.  And here, if this is Bathsheba, “The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.” very interesting.  “What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?” she pleads, “Give not thy strength unto women, your virtue, unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.” (verses 1-3) 


Rulers, Civil Leaders Shouldn’t Be Drinking


She moves on, It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:” (verse 4) when we get to verse 3 and 4, there’s an Aramaic version of kings, so some want to grab on that, I still don’t think we can take away the fact this would have to be an Israelite king, for even Hezekiah had us to include this, meaning this is probably Solomon.  It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:” (verse 4) and then she’s going to say why.  Because, there will be the perverting of justice, the responsibility of the king is the pursuit of justice, not the perverting of it.  So she moves onto this next thing, and she says ‘Alcohol, it isn’t something that should be amongst civil leaders,’ [Comment: Of all the cities in the United States where the flow of alcohol is the greatest is our capital city of Washington D.C.]  Understand that, clearly.  The priests were not to come to minister in the precincts of the Temple or the Tabernacle and drink, there was a death sentence, probably Nadab and Abihu when they offered strange fire, they were probably drunk, because after that it talks, commands, that no minister was to come under to influence of alcohol.  The Nazarite took a vow, no alcohol.  Several places in Isaiah, that Isaiah the prophet says the problem is, the priests, prophets, were drinking, and they’ve lost perspective, no longer under the influence of the Holy Spirit, they’d become intoxicated under another influence.  That’s concerning when you realize, statistics tell us, that the highest alcohol consumption per capita in the United States is Washington, D.C.  And it says here, civil leaders should not be under the influence of alcohol, because they’re going to pervert justice.  They’re going to be smoozing and drinking, taking bribes, hand-offs, it’s going to go the wrong way.  And she’s saying to this young individual, as we should say to every individual, you know, if you can’t control this one thing [and the Bible teaches extreme moderation in alcohol consumption, so if you can’t keep it within that parameter] how are you going to control some of the other things in life?  I remember Don McLure said, when he was younger, they loved to get flies, and they would pull the wings off flies and tie a thread around them,’ and he said you get older, and you realize ‘Well, that’s kind of cruel,’ you know, you’re maturing.  But he said, on the other side of the coin, as you’re maturing your testosterone kicks in, and now you have this whole other thing, and then he says ‘God says to you, don’t use it, till you get married.’  And Don said, I remember thinking ‘I thought I was cruel with the flies.’ [laughter]  And he said, but you know, you become a young man, and you realize, if you can rule over that one thing, you will rule over a thousand other things in your life.  If you will do with that desire what God says to do with it, and you will ride herd on that, you’ll have victory in a thousand other places in your life.  And I feel terrible for young people today, because our culture, our entertainment, everything around us, is jamming sexuality down their throat, in a culture where sexuality is completely confused at the same time, gender confusion to the max, all the way through our culture.  This wise mother says to her son, and look, I hope when we get to heaven [into the Kingdom of heaven, which ends up on earth] I think Bathsheba’s going to be encouraged because though where this son didn’t listen, I think there are a thousand of other sons that have.  I think it’s been an important chapter to a lot of other people, and it should be important to us this evening.  Sexual gratification should not be the thing the drives anybody whose a leader.  And, alcohol should not be the thing that pushes us. 


What’s The Balance With Alcohol?


Now look, here’s the deal with alcohol, I can’t tell you that the Bible teaches anywhere that you’re in sin if you go out to dinner with your wife and you have a glass of wine.  The Bible doesn’t teach that.  Drunkenness is sin, that’s all.  I think it’s wrong for pastors, I think it’s wrong for leaders.  But here’s the deal, I think that we have to be careful of.  I think on one side, you have to be careful you’re not a Pharisee, and you’re not judgmental, and not looking down your nose at other people who are exercising the liberty that you don’t have.  I think we should be wise counselors to encourage people to live godly.  Because history has proven to us, the Church has never remained healthy when it seeks to expand the borders of liberality or liberalism.  Whenever the Church thinks that it needs to become a little more worldly, a little more liberal, to be more effectual, they just become stagnant and dead and carnal.  It’s when the Church has sought greater holiness, not with the spirit of Pharisees, but the love for Jesus because of the fire, that the Church has been more healthy.  We’re not condemning others, I think we should live the right way, and I think we should do what we do because we love the Lord.  The Holy Spirit doesn’t give me the liberty, and I’m a grace guy, I love liberality, but I don’t have the liberality in that regards, in regards to alcohol.  I think, on the other side of the coin, we have to be careful, because there can be the next generation that grew up in a home where there was never any alcohol, and then they kind of feel, ‘Well that was kind of legalistic,’ and they can indulge either saying, ‘One, I’m going to do this, they didn’t do it,’ kind of thumbing their nose, saying ‘Hey look, I’m enjoying it,’ that’s the wrong way, that’s the wrong attitude.  If you decide, you know what, I know drunkenness is wrong, I’m never going to do this, I’m going to have a glass of wine with my wife, that’s one thing, but Lord, show me, if your attitude is right, that’s one thing.  If your attitude is the wrong way, you’re going to go from there to more trouble. You understand?  [Comment:  he’s kind of saying that a family can choose the course of extreme moderation in alcohol consumption, as many in the Italian, and Jewish cultures have, raising their kids to drink in extreme moderation, usually only during meals, and this avoids children being raised in a home that excluded all consumption from saying, ‘Well, I’m gonna kick loose and drink as I see fit.’  For the Jewish culture and Italian culture, this has been the successful course that steers between both extremes.  Just an observation.]  What does wisdom say to us?  Now that’s what this Book is about.  And at least for me, I don’t see alcohol producing anything, I don’t know about you guys, I don’t know what it’s producing.  ‘Well Jesus drank wine.’  He did, and I want to be like him, and he said ‘I’m not gonna drink it again till I drink it in my Father’s Kingdom.’  so he’s not drinking wine right now, I’m not either.  When I get to his Kingdom, and he gives me a glass of wine, I’m drinking wine.  OK?  Right now I want to be like him, and he isn’t.


The Statistics


Over 16 million alcoholics in the United States, right now, 10 to 15 percent of all Americans over 16 years old are alcoholics right now, in this country.  Number one drug problem is America, alcohol, more than heroine.  ‘Well I’m just a social drinker,’ can you be the social heroine user?  Alcohol is a much bigger problem than heroine.  Vietnam, 9 years, 58,220 casualties’ (deaths), in the same period of time America lost over 2 million people to alcohol, 58 thousand in nine years, at war, over 2 million to alcohol at home.  In the last 50 years, we’ve lost more Americans to alcohol than World War I and World War II combined.  Fifty percent of all traffic fatalities in America are alcohol related.  80 percent of all criminal cases are related to alcohol, 50 percent of all teen driving deaths in America, related to alcohol, over 50,000 deaths a year, related to alcohol, driving in America.  Think of that.  The next generation, if we exercise liberty the wrong way, what are we saying to them?   77 percent of high school kids in America today use alcohol, 77 percent.  44 percent of eighth graders use alcohol in America.  Right now in the United States, there are 500,000 kids between nine and twelve that are alcohol dependent, 500,000 alcoholics between 9 and 12, in America.  Every day 11,000 kids that are underage try alcohol for the first time, one out of every 14 will become alcoholic.  The World Health Organization says this, “Alcohol is responsible for 4 percent of all deaths globally per year.”  That’s approximately 2.5 million per year, this is the World Health Organization.  That makes alcohol the world’s leading risk factor for death for males between 15 and 59, more than terrorism, more than war, more than malaria, more than any other thing, alcohol.  People say ‘Well, you know,’ I’ve heard Christians say ‘Well on the mission field, you have to…’ well here’s the truth, use in the Mission Field, Luxemburg is the number one user of alcohol per capita, the biggest problem, Hungary, number 2, Ireland number 3, Czechoslovakia number 4, Germany number 5, America is number 26th on the list.  And the problem here is unimaginable, so don’t say ‘So I can use it on the Mission Field,’ I think of alcohol in the Scripture, the first time, Noah, think of Noah, what do you know about the man’s life, he’s a man that found grace in the eyes of the LORD.  An entire generation, stained, perverted, because Noah alone, his wife and his three sons and their wives, over 100 years working on the boat, look what he saw.  God brought the animals, he didn’t have to go find them.  Look at what he saw.  God closed the door, it says.  The rain came, think of what he heard outside, of screams and of people, the boat lifted up, 15 meters above the highest mountains, think of what he experienced, what he went through.  Think of the man when you think of Noah, his remarkable faith.  The epitaph of his life, he gets drunk, and he’s laying in his tent naked, and his son Ham comes in and mocks at him, and Shem and Japheth back in to cover their father’s nakedness.  That curse that comes upon that part of his family, the Canaanite line, people use that wrongly, make a racist thing out of it, it’s not what it is at all.  Second alcohol drunkenness in the Bible, Lot.  He travelled with Abraham.  Think of what he saw, he sees the fire fall out of heaven and consume Sodom and Gomorrah, you think that would straighten you out a little bit.  He flees, his wife turns back and turns into a pillar of salt, he has his two daughters with him, and alcohol, somehow.  And he ends up getting his two daughters pregnant, they drink wine till their father’s drunk, they say ‘We have no husband, we’re not going to have no family,’ they go in and have sexual relations with their father, this is the second time we find alcohol use in the Bible.  Go through the Bible and see where it produces anything.  You get to Amnon, you get to all these people, you get to Belshazzar, this guy is drinking, making fun of God, and he has no idea he has already lost his entire kingdom, it’s gone.  Cyrus was already in the city.  The Persians had taken everything away, he had no idea, he’s still partying, he’s drunk, he has no idea, and his whole kingdom is gone, how many people do you know like that, they get drunk, they have no idea, their kingdom is gone, their family is gone, their marriage is gone, their kids are gone.  What am I saying?  Well I don’t know, you figure it out.  I’m saying, here’s a prophetic word, it says this is a prophecy, it’s inspired.  It’s from a mom to her son that she loves.  It can be from a dad to a daughter.  I wouldn’t tell my son, ‘Hey, hang around girls that drink.’  If your daughter’s drinking, talk to her.  I wouldn’t tell my daughter to go out with guys that drink.  This is a mother who loves her son, who has seen enough heartache in her life, and she has made major mistakes, major, capital M mistakes in her own life.  And it carries the scars of those things.  No, doubt, the guilt to a degree, and the memory of a baby she loved, it’s gone.  She sees the house that she’s living in with David, a disaster, because he gave himself to the wrong things, and she says, ‘You know, don’t give your strength to women, these are things that destroy kings, it’s not for kings to drink wine, it’s not for princes to drink strong drink, you’re called to something else.’  And by the way, we’re all sons and daughters of the Most High God, we’re all royalty, we’re all princes and princesses, all of us.  Her warning, “Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” (verse 5) now that’s what happens, because look, that’s what happens, because down in verse 7, it says a person whose in agony or misery, let them drink and forget their misery, that’s ok, but it says the problem with somebody whose supposed to be in leadership forgetting, it says “lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.” (verse 5) “the law,” literally “the decree,” it’s speaking about civil government, and the king is the one whose making decrees, and it says if the king starts drinking, he won’t remember his own decrees, he doesn’t even remember the things he sets forth, “and pervert justice, judgment of any of the afflicted.”  Look at our country, look what’s happening in our nation, and every President that comes to the White House says going to take care of the poor people, take care of the inner cities.  Whose done it?  We’ve been listening to this for years and years and years.  And look at the unrest right now, all around us.  And here’s a mother that says, ‘You know what, you ain’t gonna rule the right way unless there’s purity and sobriety in your life, because what God has called you to is to care for the less fortunate.’  Man, don’t we want to see that!  This country is rich, we have enough money to take care of people that are down and out and need help.  She says here ‘Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert justice, and they forget about the afflicted.’ 


Bathsheba Appears To Make A Concession, But Be Careful How You Apply These Verses


“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” (verse 6)  you’re dying, you’re in pain, you’re taking your last breath, give it to somebody whose in agony, “and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.  Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.” (verses 6b-7)  Yea, there’s a time when it’s good to forget, but it isn’t good for kings and rulers and Congressmen and Senators, and people that represent their constituents, and forget why they’re there and supposed be doing, and those that are making less money than them, with less benefits than them, it isn’t supposed to be happening.  [Bathsheba has briefly shown there is a purpose for alcohol, and the very poor, those that are poverty-stricken are not condemned for having a drink to forget.  But understand there is a danger in using alcohol to relieve stress, because that leads to alcoholism.  Drinking in extreme moderation, during meals will never lead to alcoholism.  But during the entire history of the Soviet Union, most of the Soviet people were, through governmental  mismanagement, in extreme poverty with jobs that were going nowhere.  They drank, and to excess, to forget their poverty, and while they can’t be blamed for that, it did lead to a huge alcoholism problem within the Soviet Union. So take this whole sermon transcript as a whole, view the problem as a whole, and make your judgment, based on the facts presented.  I know Calvary Chapels tend to ride the Hobby Horse of abstinence when it comes to preaching about alcohol, but unless you’re going to be like the Jewish culture or Italian culture, and drink in extreme moderation, in a family setting at meals, it’s best to not drink.  I remember my having meals at my ex’s great-grandfather’s.  Papa would sit at the head of the table with a big jug of homemade wine at his feet.  We all had small wine glasses.  He’d fill each of our glasses, and we’d drink that during the meal.  Very few of us, if any, had the courage to ask for a second glass.  That’s why there are very few alcoholics in the Sicilian or Italian culture.  When Jesus returns, we’ll be teaching this form of alcohol consumption, I’m sure.  The Jewish culture is the same.]


We Should Open Our Mouths For The Less Fortunate


She says here, instead of perverting justice, she says in verses 8 and 9, ‘I want you to pursue it on behalf of the less fortunate.’  “Open thy mouth for the dumb” no it’s not literally the dumb here, it would be those who are unable to speak in front of the Senate, the Congress, you know.  “Open thy mouth for those who don’t have a voice in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.” (verse 8) there’s a cause, there’s always a cause.  If you’re in authority, if you have the ability, open your mouth on behalf of the less fortunate.  Listen, Esther did that, preserved the entire nation.  Jonathan did that for David, continually.  It was the life of Jesus Christ himself, who opened his mouth on behalf of the common people [and the priesthood authorities and leaders hated him for it], and stood up to the Pharisees and Sadducees and always condemned them.  If there’s royalty in your veins, and there may not be in our veins, but there should be in our hearts because the Holy Spirit dwells within us, then we are a people unlike any other people in the world, and we should be willing to open our mouths for the less fortunate.  That’s the royalty we’re called to, to remember the poor and the broken.  And I’m thankful for you guys, we just have a great time in ministry and the things we’re doing, get to partner with Mark and with Buddy, we create open doors in front of us to minister to people, to do things, it’s so wonderful, the opportunities we have.  He says, that’s what should be happening.  There’s a cause, you should be willing to stand up for that, and there is a right time to do that.  You know, it says the only thing that’s necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.  The only thing necessary for evil to prevail in a nation is for good men to do nothing.  Each of you, filled with the Holy Spirit, have a responsibility, at times, to say the right thing, in the right place.  This is what royalty is, to open your mouth for those who don’t have a voice, and the cause for those that are appointed to destruction, they’re suffering, “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (verse 9)  and again, ‘plead the cause, the idea is, it says, that you would vindicate the poor and needy, there’s a responsibility, step up and do those things.’  [transcript of a connective expository sermon on Proverbs 31:1-9, given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA  19116]


related links:


There are some non-denominational Christian C.A.R.E. organizations that can do these things, where we can give our support and help fulfill some of these things, where it gets accomplished in the name of Jesus Christ, in a gentle, loving and non-aggressive way, that sets a real example.  Some links to those organizations are given on the mission statement of this website, see 

See also: and and

And  for the ultimate historic example of the early Christian Church in this regards, see



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