Friday, April 20, 2007

Lesson 6--Mother of Destiny, Daughter of Promise

Good Morning, Ladies.

One of the cool thing about this medium is its immediacy. I woke this morning, as I do every morning to write and post this assignment. I’ve spent the previous day thinking about and seeking God over the topic. I pray for any further revelations during the night time. And, I get up early and write.

I really want to engender discourse over the internet. Hopefully our new spot will be ready within a couple weeks. Although blogging really has moved into such a wonderfully acceptable form of communication, largely it’s still one way communication. You can post, but I really want discourse. I am looking for/creating an environment more reflective of message boards. If you have any suggestions or if you’d like to help, please let me know.

Now back to Bathsheba. I would have you notice in 1Kings2:13 that both Adonijah and Solomon are identified by their mothers. Adonijah, the son of Haggith and Solomon the son of Bathsheba they are called. Earlier this week I spoke of Bathsheba’s reputation in terms of by whom she was identified, namely her husband, Uriah. By being called by her husband, the text was highlighting her current high standing in the society, but also her sin in the situation. Here, the boys are called by their mothers. They are both sons of David, obviously, so to call them the son’s of David would make them the same. Clearly, there are some differences between Adonijah and Solomon, because the brothers have found themselves at this cross roads both vying for the Kingdom their father is leaving.

It is their mothers who have made them different.

That seems so simple in its explanation, but, read that statement again. Prayerfully, you will see the profundity of the words.

It is their mothers who make them different.

I was listening to my husband and his friends gab while watching the game the other day. One of the ball players was thanking his mother for raising him, etc. My husband, who is a wonderfully engaged father to our boys, lamented that it seems no matter how involved a father may be, when the boys grow up, they always thank the mothers. I remember when little Bush became president, they interview Barbara Bush about what it was that set little George apart from his father, and what would make him a “better” president. I was more interested in the fact that they asked his mother, who had no direct experience as president, instead of asking his father. It seems in the annals of history, that strong men are groomed not by strong fathers, but by strong mothers.


What I am saying is that the influence of a mother on a boy will become a defining influence over their lives. I would gather that David’s indulgent neglect over his boys is what has caused such horrible behavior they expressed from one to another. They were emulating their own fathers’ behavior. That’s what boys do with their fathers—they emulate them. My husband likes to make fun of me in various ways. Its one of the things he just does, he calls it “cracking on mommy.” “Don’t worry, boys, if we really get lost, Mommy’s nose is soo pointy, it will always point our way back home…” and other corny epitaths. (By the way, yes, my nose is pointy, but come on…*smile) The other day, my oldest boy tried his hand at “cracking on mommy.” Quickly, he figured out, that was a wayward behavior of his father’s that he might not want to emulate.

Proverbs 1:8
My son, hear the instruction of your father; reject not nor forsake the teaching of your mother.

Proverbs 6:20
My son, keep your father's [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you].

I looked into these verses further using Strong’s Concordance to find out the difference between what the father was commanding and what the mother was teaching. In these verses instruction/commandments are implied as “rules of the house”, Dad’s house, God’s house, or the nation. The teaching/instruction of the mother implied direction of custom, manner of behavior, and Mosaic Law.

I think the difference here is evident. And, I’ve said it before, Mother’s are by far the keeper of the hearth, meaning they are going to translate culture, customs and behavioral expectations on our children. They are going to propagate culture and promote the well-being of the people through the raising of the generations. Specifically, when it comes to our sons, they will emulate the men they see, they will act according to what they receive from their mother.

Read these verses:

Proverbs 10:1
THE PROVERBS of Solomon: A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish and self-confident son is the grief of his mother.

Proverbs 15:20
A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame.

Proverbs 23:25
Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame.

Now, let’s move back into our verses. These boys, Solomon and Adonijah are now being called by their mother. We know Bathsheba. When we hear, Solomon, Bathsheba’s boy, we have a level of expectation over his behavior. We expect him to act with accordance to the Laws of God, because Bathsheba was a devout woman. We expect him to act with dignity and grace, because Bathsheba never removed those cloaks from her body. We expect him to live with boldness, because Bathsheba moved in such a way. We expect humility in his actions, because Bathsheba was never haughty. We have no such expectation on Adonijah. Because Haggith's voice is silent, the reverse expectation is felt. Because he acted in haughty self-serving ways, we expect that his mother probably did as well. We expect that because of the crass and manipulative ways that Adonijah carried himself, that possibly his mother was also, crass and manipulative. I won't continue because we don not know for sure. I am not one to cast aspersions on someone I’ve never met. But, what we do know for sure, she ended her days in grief and shame. Why do we know that? Adonijah acted like a fool. Foolish behavior leads to a mother's grief and shame.

But, I am going to tell you what speaks volumes to me. Adonijah went to Bathsheba for “help” not his own mother. He was attempting to hurt and manipulate King Solomon, and still, he went through Bathsheba. He knew Bathsheba was both the way to the king, and that his mother was a woman of integrity. (I love itwhen she says to Adonijah, “do you come peacefully?” As if to say, "if you don’t, I’ll cut you myself!") Adonijah, in all his foolishness, still knew a queen when he saw one, and it wasn’t his own mother.

Finally, Bathsheba is raised up.

1 Kings 2:19
When Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, the king stood up to meet her, bowed down to her and sat down on his throne. He had a throne brought for the king's mother, and she sat down at his right hand.

This scene is heartwrenching to me, because what Bathsheba is trying to do is communicate the danger that Adonijah can still be to Solomon’s rule. What I want you to see though is her placement at the right hand of the king. The king trusts his mothers counsel. God has restored her to her rightful place.

Bathsheba has come into being that which God intended from the very beginning. She was able to move past her sin, move past her fall from grace, move past the baggage of her life, move past the death of her child, move past the imminent dangers of living in the palace of David. And, God placed her at the helm of it all.

Bathsheba means “Daughter of Promise”

Bathsheba is one of the dynamic women in the lineage of Christ—our Promise.

And this is the woman who is the author of the Proverbs 31 woman. Can we think of any more appropriate teacher?

Proverbs 31:1
THE WORDS of Lemuel king of Massa, which his mother(Bathsheba) taught him:

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