3 Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
5 Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.Proverbs 31:3-7
Wise Words from Mom
These verses are attributed to the mother of King Lemuel (v. 1). We don’t definitively know who Lemuel was, but there is speculation that this could have been a nickname given to Solomon from his mother Bathsheba.
Whether we know who he was or not, these words are still true. And, if God felt it was important for us to know, He would have made it more clear. Learning the lessons from these verses seem to be the important point that God was giving to us.
These words came from this king’s mother that he wrote down for us. She was giving him counsel probably based on what she had seen in her experience as queen.
Destruction by Women
Lemuel’s mother warned him not to give his strength to women (v. 3). He should not spend his energy chasing after women.
If Lemuel was not Solomon, maybe his mother was a contemporary of Solomon. She had seen the foolish mistakes Solomon was making by having his many wives and harems (1 Kings 11). Solomon’s heart was turned away from God because of the many wives that he had (1 Kings 11:3, 4).
Chapter 11 of 1 Kings describes Solomon’s heart being pulled away from the things of God. It talks of the evil he did later in his life. All of this was attributed to him chasing after women that God never intended for him.
Destruction by Wine
The next few verses talk of another destroyer of kings: alcohol. Those who sit in authority and rule over others are unwise to allow their minds to be clouded by wine and strong drink (vv. 4, 5). It leads to a lax relationship with the law and causes decisions to be made that affects others.
I have been in hospital rooms and detox centers with families who are in turmoil over the destruction that alcohol has brought into their lives. The one who is controlled by alcohol so often can’t see how their actions affect those around them. They tend to think only of themselves and their own desires.
The mother of Lemuel had seen this destruction in the lives of others and she warned this young king of the dangers of strange women and alcohol. A good lesson for us as well.