1. The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:
2. What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb? What are you doing, son of my vows?
3.Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
4. It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
5. lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
6. Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
7. let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8. Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9. Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Comment: This mother’s advice is worth listening to, even if you are not a king or a queen. There are two ‘donts’ and two ‘dos’. On the one side wine and women; on the other a challenge to speak for the unheard and to judge righteously particularly for the poor and needy. Fortunately we have other things besides alcohol for those in severe pain or severe depression these days. I don’t feel that alcohol is the best choice these days although some seem to choose it. Alcohol and many drugs have nasty side effects. His mother highlights the possibility of it ruining his judgemental powers.
Prayer: Please teach us as a nation to love compassion and justice and to shun that is unwise or sinful.