Moms of Bible History – Wisdom for Eternity, Pt. 2
Study Guide – May 19, 2019
Pastor Clay Olsen
So Moms, how was your Mother’s Day? Hope is was special for you. But it probably went by pretty fast, right? So how about having another one today? Really, what we’re getting at is that last week we found out that we had some more wisdom to glean from some more Bible Moms, so we thought we needed to continue on for another study time. So here we go.
Say, do you know what kind of man Boaz was, from the Old Testament, before he got married? He was Ruth-less! Ruth-less…he was without Ruth…before he married Ruth…remember we were talking about Ruth in our last study. But before we talk more about Ruth…do you know what they call Pastors in Germany? German Shepherds! Makes sense, right? And do you what kind of car the Apostles drove? It was a Honda, because we’re told they were all in one Accord! We’re not really sure about that…
But what we are sure of is that Ruth, this later mother of Obed and grandmother of King David, was a godly woman from whom we all can learn great lessons. Like, last time we pointed out her virtues of initiative in servant-hood and her remarkable humility, from which God then exalted her in several ways; which, again, is one of the key things that we should all learn about the workings of God with people. He works according to the principle of – exalting the humble, but resisting the proud. That’s a fundamental principle to understand…He resists the proud, but exalts the humble.
So now, another example of Ruth’s virtuous ways is pointed out to us in an exchange between Ruth and her soon to be husband, Boaz. Look at this: Ruth 2:10-13- “Why have I found favor in your sight that you should take notice of me, since I am a foreigner?” Boaz replied to her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law after the death of your husband has been fully reported to me, and how you left your father and your mother and the land of your birth, and came to a people that you did not previously know. May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to seek refuge.” NASU
We need to know and also remember that each day that we live, we are not only saying things and doing things…not only working and serving…not only accomplishing things or assisting others and such…No, we need to understand that every day we are also writing more of the story of our lives. Your life is also your story, that is being read now, but will also be read forever when it becomes your ‘forever story’. Like with Ruth, everything that she did, especially like all the good things that had been fully reported to Boaz, became part of Ruth’s story.
Moms, everyday you are writing more of your story. Even the things that you do for others in your prayers and in your works, and even the things you would do if you had the opportunities or the resources to do them…they are all being recorded in your story. Everyone’s life is on record. Sometimes we read these stories of people in the Bible and we think they are the only ones with their life on record. Oh no! They are the ones we’ve been able to read about so far, but everyone’s life is on record. Even the unsaved have their entire lives on record, and the books of their lives will be opened at the last Judgment. But Believers lives especially are on record for the very purpose that Boaz pointed out: “May the Lord reward your work, and your wages be full from the Lord.” It’s also pointed out to us in Malachi 3:16 that God has what is called, a Book of Remembrance. And this, of course, is similar to what the Apostle Paul later reveals about the record that is being kept of our lives for the purpose of rewarding all of God’s children for their good works and good efforts and good prayers and such. Matthew Henry, a greatly esteemed Bible commentator, described this Book of Remembrance like this: “Not that the Eternal Mind needs to be reminded of things by books and writings, but it is an expression after the manner of men, intimating that their pious affections and performances are kept in remembrance as punctually and particularly as if they were written in a book, as if journals were kept of all their conferences. Great kings had books of remembrance written, and read before them, in which were entered all the services done for them, when, and by whom. God, in like manner, remembers the services of His people…God has a book for the sighs and tears of His mourners (Ps 56:8), much more for the pleadings of His advocates. Never was any good word spoken of God, or for God, from an honest heart, but it was registered, that it might be recompensed in the resurrection of the just, and in no wise lose its reward.”1
Is that not only absolutely amazing, but also extremely encouraging to know? And even here, in talking about the works and the ways of Mothers, often the thoughts go up about so many of the things that Mothers do that seemingly go unnoticed. On the contrary, no good thing ever goes unnoticed. In fact, it’s even recorded in God’s Book of Remembrance. It becomes part of your inheritance, like Boaz stated…inheritance of your rewards from the Lord and your full wages from the Lord.
But Boaz wasn’t done with describing Ruth’s virtues and pointing out her character qualities, for when the situation develops to where there is then an opportunity for marrying Ruth he says this: Ruth 3:11- “Now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you ask, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.” NASU
‘A woman of excellence’. The word ‘excellence’ means – ‘wealth of virtue, valor, strength, and character!’ So real ‘wealth’ in life has to do not with possessions, but with character and virtue. As Abraham Lincoln put it: “No man is poor who has had a godly Mother.” Ruth’s godliness was her ‘wealth’ even before she met and married this wealthy landowner. Her godliness was also her beauty, because what makes a woman beautiful is godliness. Remember that. And so every Christian woman who chooses to be godly also becomes beautiful.
There are certainly other virtues that we could glean from Ruth’s story, but lets move to another godly woman who was the Mother of John…John the Baptist. Her name of course was Elizabeth. And what we learn from the character of Elizabeth is also one of the strongest character traits that can be demonstrated in the life of a mature disciple of the Lord Jesus. You recall the account when Gabriel announced to Mary that of all the women in Judea that she had been chosen to be the earthly mother to the Messiah, the Savior of the world. No greater privilege or honor could be imagined or experienced than to be selected to be the earthly mother of the Son of God.
So Mary travels to see her cousin, and when she arrives we see this remarkable response from Elizabeth. Luke 1:42-43- “And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?” NASU
A reporter once asked the celebrated orchestra conductor Leonard Bernstein what was the most difficult instrument to play. Given Bernstein’s experience, and expertise, the reporter was eager to hear the great conductor’s valued opinion. To the reporter’s surprise, Leonard Bernstein replied without any hesitation whatever: “Second fiddle! I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, or second French horn, or second flute, now that’s a problem. And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony.”
The ability to play second fiddle is not only a wonderful trait in the world of music; it is a necessary and noble role in life. A person’s success in life, a company’s growth in business, a church’s ministry impact will invariably be built upon the back of many who are willing to play the second fiddle well. Unsung heroes who do their work without complaining, who find joy in others success, who are willing to remain in the shadows or retreat from the spotlight so that others might shine.2
And before we point out some more thoughts about that, we need to highlight something else that happened in this encounter between Mary and Elizabeth, because on either side of Elizabeth’s joy, someone else’s joy is also described. Notice: Luke 1:41-44- “When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. And she cried out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy.” NASU
This is one of the most remarkable revelations we have describing the response abilities of the unborn child. While in the Mother’s womb the unborn John the Baptist, by the aid of God the Holy Spirit, recognizes the voice of the Mother of the Messiah and senses the presence of the Savior of the world, and leaps with joy! Not only is that an amazing encounter, but it’s also a powerful testimony of the personhood of the unborn and an absolute rebuke to abortionists. Only a living human being could experience the emotion of joy at the sound of the Messiah’s Mother and sense the presence of God the Savior. Tissue doesn’t leap with joy…only a baby, only a human child could do that!
So again, think of what an amazing mark of true discipleship Elizabeth demonstrated here. She demonstrated the ability to rejoice when good comes to others. And that is a key mark of a mature disciple. Certainly, Elizabeth was incredibly privileged to bear the one Jesus called ‘the greatest among men’, but the point again was how happy she genuinely was for Mary, and felt genuine humility and blessing that Mary would come and share that revelation with her.
And actually, that’s something that is really special about godly mothers, in that they teach us all how to better practice this essential ‘body life’ concept, or the ‘church life’ experience that we see being explained to us by Paul in Rom 12:15-16- “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another…” NIV Mothers show us all how to rejoice in the joys of others; as in with the joys of their children. And when their children suffer, they show us how to suffer together with them. They are a picture of what Paul is trying to communicate to the church about how discipleship is centered on others…on other brothers and sisters in Christ, and in doing life with an ‘others’ mindset, a ‘doing life together’ mindset instead of a ‘living for self’ and having just an ‘individualistic’ mindset.
That’s one of the hardest disciplines for the American church to develop, building a ‘one another – body life’ mentality and approach to doing life, since we live in such a ‘just live your life for yourself’ society. We live in a culture of the trinity of ‘me, myself, and I’. We are indebted to godly mothers who demonstrate how to live this ‘shared life’ mindset, where we can learn to share in the joys of others and to share in the suffering of others; where we learn to think of our own lives as being directly connected to the body of Christ…connected with His church…where we look at God’s children as our very own brothers and sisters, really, as extensions of ourselves, as we live in union with our Savior. Good lessons, Mothers!
And then we wanted to point out one other powerful lesson we glean from godly mothers and it’s described this way: 2 Tim 1:5- “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 3:14-17- “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” NIV
Timothy had the blessing of having a mother and a grandmother who were committed to the Scriptures. And they were committed to the Scriptures because they were committed to the Lord of the Scriptures. And they knew that the best thing they could do for this child, for Timothy, was to impart to him this greatest treasure the world has…the Word of God.
Godly mothers are especially gifted at teaching…teaching their children the Scriptures. And, of course, that’s what also makes them godly, because in loving God they then give those they love this great gift that God has given to us all…His very ‘Words of Life’. And godly mothers also know that through these ‘Words of Life’ their children can, like Timothy, come to faith in the source of Life, the Savior. For as Rom 10:17 reveals: saving faith comes by learning the words of Christ, the Scriptures. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” NASU
So mothers are great teachers, and when they teach the words of God, they become godly teachers. And then not only their children, but everyone around them benefits from that! These Moms from Bible history really do show us the wisdom to learn and the wisdom to then live by for eternity. So we are thankful for godly mothers and all of these life long lessons and life long blessings we have because of them.
1. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, PC Study Bible Formatted Electronic Database Copyright © 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All Rights reserved.
2. Playing Second Fiddle, knowthetruth.org