Today’s AMI QT blog, written by Kate Moon who has been serving in E. Asia for many years, was first posted on December 30, 2014.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Importance of Advisors in Our Lives”
“The sayings of King Lemuel – an oracle his mother taught him: ‘O my son, O son of my womb, O son of my vows, do not spend your strength on women, your vigor on those who ruin kings. It is not for kings, O Lemuel – not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer.”
I never used to be very interested in government or politics until I started watching a T.V. show called “The West Wing.” At first, when people would tell me that it was about the White House, my interest would fade instantly. But one Christmas, when I was visiting my sister, she wanted to catch up on some episodes, and so I watched with her. It’s since become one of my favorite shows of all time. Though I’m still actually not all that interested in government or politics, I am a little more than before.
One thing I had never thought about before, but the show brought to life, was how much the President must rely on his Cabinet members. It was always very clear who was ultimately in authority, but the advisers played such key roles in influencing the decisions he would make that would affect the whole country. He was able to be a better President because of the quality team he had advising him.
In today’s passage, we see a very different kind of national advisor at work. The advice she gives to the king is not that of a general on military strategy or a diplomat on international relations, but that of a mother to a son, on matters that would seem more to do with personal character than governing a nation. But for a leader, these two are inseparable, as this wise mother understood. How many a leader has failed because of the influence of ungodly women? Is it really appropriate for a king to drink to the point his judgment is impaired when his decisions affect an entire nation?
What kind of advice do we seek to live by today? We may read books written by specialists, hire financial advisors, watch YouTube videos on an endless variety of “how to” subjects. But do any of these advise us about our character? How to live our lives in such a way that we are kept from wrong influences or in the right condition to be able to make the best decisions?
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the godly advisors You have placed in my life. Help me to pay attention to their advice that my character may be formed in the right way. Let this be a main priority and concern of mine today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 15
Lunch Break Study
Read Proverbs 31:4-9: “It is not for kings, O Lemuel — not for kings to drink wine, not for rulers to crave beer, 5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and deprive all the oppressed of their rights. 6 Let beer be for those who are perishing, wine for those who are in anguish! 7 Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more. 8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. 9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Questions to Consider
- What is the function / effect of drinking? (v. 5, 6-7)
- What is the responsibility of a leader? (v. 5, 8-9)
- Why is it inappropriate for a leader to drink too much (v. 4-5)? How does this study affect how I think about drinking? Am I willing to let what the Bible says about its effects influence my point of view?
- Drinking makes a person forget. Those going through a hard time may look to it to forget their troubles, but it can also cause a leader to forget important things he needs to remember.
- To defend the rights of the oppressed, destitute, poor and needy; as well as to remember God’s laws (godly principles for us today) that defend these people and fairly judge accordingly.
- Drinking too much can impair right judgment, yet being able to judge rightly is one of the main responsibilities of a leader. Regardless of whether we drink some or not at all, all believers should be able to receive this teaching on the effects that drinking can have and take heed.
How is my character? Did I exercise self-control and good judgment in the way I lived my life today?