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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Mom and Bible Mothers

 “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world,”* is a sentence from a poem that has become such a famous idiom that many writers of well-known works, including the Bible, have been, erroneously, credited with its authorship. It is true in many cases, giving all the more weight to its fame. With that in mind, I was interested in taking a look at the maternal characters in a royal line that had been mentioned in the Bible to see if my own precious mom might be like them.

King David is a revered character in the Bible and has even been described as “a man after God’s own heart.” How did David come by this Godly character? Interested to know, I sought information concerning his maternal lineage. The reference to David’s own mother is found in only a couple of places, but the dear woman has not been given a proper name. She is just referred to with her husband as in “my father and mother.” Not only that, but the occasion is not in the most positive light. David is on the run from King Saul. He has not yet taken up the crown, though it has been promised to him. David has no trained army of respectable warriors fighting with him; but, rather, he is traveling with a band of misfits. His poor mother is with him… running and hiding out.

II. Samuel 22:1-4 “David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father’s household heard about it, they went down to him there. All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him. From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, ‘Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?’ So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.”

Since the King of Moab was not an ally, I wondered why he would accept David’s family. Then I remembered: David’s great-grandmother was a Moabitess so, of course, the King of Moab would accept to shelter and guard her family. What? King David didn’t have an Israelite mother? How can that be? What about royal bloodlines? I just love that about God; such things don’t matter to our Heavenly Father! God has a plan and the ideas of man, well, they don’t stop His plans at all. This is where we can know something of David’s maternal line because an entire book of the Bible has been written about just how she happened to be David’s great-grandmother. Her name is Ruth.

You would do well to read the entire book of Ruth; it’s only a few chapters but full of just how God involved Himself in Ruth’s life. You will see how faithful she was. Leaving her own homeland, Ruth fully committed herself to Naomi and Naomi’s God. Ruth honored both and worshipped the Israelite God, Yahweh, as her own.

It is a beautiful love story, ending in marriage to Boaz and the birth of their son Obed, the father of Jessie, the father of King David.

Matthew 1:5-6 reads, “…Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.” (Also found in I. Chronicles 2:12 and Luke 3:31-32)

David’s great-grandmother, certainly, left David a terrific heritage in all that the Lord had done for her and her own family. God didn’t look at Ruth and turn His face away from her because she was from the wrong region or people group. God saw her heart and directed Ruth’s life, as only He can!

My own mother left her culture, country and people when she married my father. Dad was a soldier in WW II and his heart found its home in a lovely Australian woman. As soon as the war ended, Dad took his bride to America, where they made a home together until the day he died, 59 years later. Mom made America her home, turning away from everything she knew, including recipes in another system altogether! There was no Church of England in small town Montana either. Through the kindness of a dear Methodist lady, who would become her lifelong “best friend”, mother found a place in another church. The folks worshipped the same God, but their style of worship was far different from that familiar to Mom. In short, like David’s great-grandmother, my mom left everything familiar to her and committed herself to the plan God had laid out before her… marriage to my father and, eventually, parenting three girls in the New World. Like Ruth, Mom was a very hard-working woman and did whatever was necessary to care for her family. None of Mom’s kids became famous or sat on any royal thrones, but all of us found Mom’s delight in helping others, as well as enjoyment in a job well done after a long day’s work. 

*Poem by William Ross Wallace will be found in the last post of this week’s series, if you would like to read the entire lovely poem.

****The Proverbs 31 Woman and Mom… Coming Tomorrow

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