Thursday, April 15, 2010

2010 – April 15 – In Praise of Mothers

Study from God’s Word 2nd Samuel 19: 5 – 40; 2nd Sam. 19: 41 – 20: 2; 2nd Sam. 20: 3 - 26 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Samuel 20: 18 – 19 … NIV 18 She continued, "Long ago they used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel,' and that settled it. 19 We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the LORD's inheritance?"

My Journal for Today: When I first saw the passage Dr. Smith selected for his devotional today, I said, “Wow, that’s pretty obscure. What will he teach from these verses to help me grow in Godly understanding?” But when I read his devotional, it brought out much which served me well in agreement with him that mothers have great intuitive and instinctive wisdom which should be utilized more in our world, especially in our homes.

In today’s highlight passage, this mother of Abel, a town in Israel which apparently was known as “the mother of wisdom” in the country, had to deal with a challenging situation which could have caused the demise of the entire city; and she took the situation and dealt with it wisely, saving the city, which you can read about in 2nd Sam. 20.

It is true that mothers have great intuitive wisdom; and we see that illustrated in biblical mothers like Deborah, who identified herself first as a mother and became a Judge for God’s people (see Judges 5, especially verse 7). And in the NT, there was Jesus’ Mother, Mary, who certainly had to have been wise beyond her years, as a teen mother raising the very Son of God. Everyday in our families we see mothers solve social and parental problems which are mind-boggling; and they do it with intuitive skills. I agree with Dr. Smith, that if the mothers of the world were given the task of coming up with a world peace plan, we’d definitely live in a more peaceful world.

But don’t underestimate how tough a mother can – or must – be to bring about harmony and peace. I can remember my mother, wisely saying to me, “Bill, would you prefer me whipping you; or would you rather wait until your Dad gets home to take care of this?” And then, very wisely again, she’d have me go out to our bushes and get the switch which she was to use to spank me. And though her whippings were strong enough, she never used that switch on bare skin; and my tears would be consoled by her allowing me to go to my room to think about what I’d done, again knowing that I wasn’t going to have to face that switching from the stronger hand of my dad. And I knew that she’d keep me from being whipped by my Dad, whom I never want to be involved. That’s the wisdom of a tough, but tender, mother handling discipline in the Berry home.

And this woman of Abel, in today’s passage, was tough and wise too. And with her tough-minded wisdom, she handed over the head of Sheba to Joab, who was pursuing this traitor on the run from King David’s army. She thus saved the city by being wise in a very tough-minded way. That’s the wisdom of motherhood, my friends. And today, that instinctive wisdom is being put to tests, far beyond what it should be, as so many dads in our world bail out and are not there to be the “priests” of their home the way they should.

Many mothers, I’m convinced, are earning great heavenly rewards, doing what they must and what God has gifted them to do; but many men are not gleaning the rewards they could have by not being there to provide the home leadership which complements their wives, the mothers of the world, who have the instinctive wisdom to come along side the men who will do what’s right to lead in the home. Today’s story illustrates how this cooperation can yield a Godly ending; because the city of Abel was saved because a wise mother did her work, cooperating with the men of the city, who did lead by delivering the head of Sheba which was delivered to Joab.

Yes, it’s a rather gruesome story to illustrate a truth about the way husbands should lead along with wives who provide their wisdom to make the reality of Godly co-parenting work in our world. I hope – and pray – that all mothers who read this today recognize how, using their wisdom, to complement their husband’s leadership, can yield great children and great families.

My Prayer for Today: LORD, You know how much I recognize the wise, but tough little Dutch mother who has been so instrumental in raising our two daughters years ago when I was not there for her and for my family. But later, when I did take on the leadership of our home, You blessed us with Your grace to produce two strong and wise daughters, who’re now using Your wisdom to be wise mothers in their homes. Thank You, LORD!!! . Amen

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