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Previous Lessons: 1
Questions to Consider
1. Choose one of the resources from my article Bible Book Backgrounds and familiarize yourself briefly with the book of Proverbs. What type of biblical literature is this book? Who is the author? At what time in history was this book written? What is the theme or purpose of this book? How does this book point us to Christ?
2. Carefully examine verses 1-2. Who is King Lemuel? Must we know his identity in order for the content of chapter 31 to make sense? Who originally gave the instructions and counsel in chapter 31? To whom did she give them? What area of Lemuel’s life did his mother advise him about in verses 1-9? In verses 10-31?
3. Notice that this is a woman admonishing a man. A man who was also the ______ as well as her ______. And this was at a time in history when women were not always highly regarded. Think about what that means in terms of having an official position of authority versus the power of influence. Do you have to occupy a high position in a job, your church, or your family in order to influence people?
4. What can you surmise about the character of Lemuel’s mother from reading Proverbs 31? How did her character impact her son/the king, and how did she steward her influence over him? If Lemuel heeded all of her advice in Proverbs 31, who else was she influencing through him? What might the results of heeding her advice have looked like if Lemuel’s mother had been a woman of ungodly character?
5. Think about your own character and those you influence. What are some specific ways your godly character has influenced others in the last month? Can you think of any specific times during the last month when you’ve exhibited ungodly character? How might that have influenced others? Take some time to thank God for any growth in Christlike character you’ve seen in your life. Repent of any sin that comes to mind – both to God and to anyone you’ve influenced in an ungodly way.
6. Look carefully at each of Lemuel’s mother’s admonitions in verses 3-9. What is the broad, generally applicable to all people, biblical principle behind each of her instructions?
What are some ways you can carry out these biblical principles in your family, church, job, or community?
The “Proverbs 31 Woman” is often considered the icon of biblical womanhood, and in many ways she is. Next week, we’ll look at part 2 of Proverbs 31.
Although Lemuel’s mother didn’t hold an official position of authority, she still had a powerful influence on the king (and her son, even if he hadn’t been king). Make a list of the five people you have the potential to influence the most. In what ways can your words and behavior influence them for the gospel and toward godliness? For the next week, commit to pray for these five people each day, asking God to help you to be a godly influence on them.
Suggested Memory Verse
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.