Do you ever feel obscure, unnoticed, overlooked? Do you sometimes feel discouraged with where you are in your life and wonder whether you’re “making a difference?” I feel like that sometimes.
Yesterday I ‘met’ a lady in the Bible I’ve never even given a second thought to, in 40 years of reading the Bible!
She isn’t even mentioned by name and to this day, no one knows exactly who she was. Yet her Godly influence and legacy has lived on for generations.
The Original Proverbs 31 Woman
What image comes to mind when you hear the phrase “The Proverbs 31 Woman” -this ‘woman of noble character’ described so eloquently in Proverbs 31:10-31 ?
She must be one of the most preached about, written about and blogged about women in the Bible (and she’s not even an actual person, merely an example of a woman of noble character)
I think if she was around today, she’d have dozens of boards on Pinterest that she’d add to daily that would wow her myriads of followers with tips on everything from getting stains out of carpets, grooming your dog to investment opportunities! Oh, and that would be after her two-hours in God’s presence and following her volunteer work at the local children’s home and reading to patients in the hospital, and just before putting the (perfect) dinner for her husband and 5 children into the oven.
But there’s another, unsung, ‘heroine’ in Proverbs 31. She’s obscure. There are no accolades to her accomplishments, no list of her charity works, no mention of getting up at the crack of dawn, or her husband and children blessing her. Actually no note of anything she did other than a vague acknowledgement to the fact that she had a very strong Godly influence on a King, her son.
So much ‘in the background’ is she that I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t take any notice of her until yesterday, when suddenly verse 1 caught my attention.
“The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.” Proverbs 31:1
This mother taught her son about the foolishness of drinking to excess, the importance of justice and the wisdom of choosing a ‘wife of noble character’. Such was the influence of King Lemuel’s Mother’s teaching over him, that she is credited with the wisdom contained in this proverb. He doesn’t think to name her though.
God Knows Your Name
We still don’t know her name today. There’s much debate among scholars about who King Lemuel was. But it really doesn’t matter; for reasons only God knows, this woman, remains obscure, even though so she had a deep, Godly impact on a King’s life and, ultimately the way he ruled.
God knows her name. He saw and heard, every time she spoke to her son Lemuel about Him, Yahweh.
God knows your name, too. He sees and knows every time you share His love with someone, even if no one else does.
You Can Be a “King Influencer” too
If you feel you’re beavering away in the background, waiting for your “big break”, that may never come (after all, our idea of ‘big break’ and God’s are sometimes very different!) take encouragement from King Lemuel’s mother.
You’re never obscure to God. Never out of His line of vision.
Maybe you’re in a “dead end job” while everyone is being promoted around you; but you have coworkers that you’ve built a good relationship with; could it be that God wants you right where you are so that you can reach out to them and tell them about Jesus?
Maybe you’re a stay at home mother, knee deep in nappies; you have a captive congregation to influence and ‘infect’ with your passion for Jesus. You have the greatest opportunity, like King Lemuel’ mother, to ingrain Godly principles into your children. Okay, you might not be raising a future king, but who’s to say your child won’t grow up to be Prime Minister, President, or the CEO of a globally influential company, where the Godly integrity and Biblical principles you have taught him will be what he or she becomes best known for?
Many of us will never, in our lifetime, have our names ‘up in lights’, but we are all called to faithfulness and steadfastness, regardless of our work, ministry or social ‘status’. And every single one of us, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit, can be, like Lemuel’s mother, a “King Influencer”.
“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone… Galatians 6:9-10
“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart” . Proverbs 3:3