Proverbs 31:1-5
Prov 31:1 (KJB)
The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
This final chapter reproduces the prophecy which the mother of King Lemuel gave him. King Lemuel ruled a province known as Tayma which was located in the Northeastern section of Saudi Arabia, otherwise known as Massa according to the Masoretic Text. His name means “devoted to God or God is bright.” This prophetical chapter may also be addressed to any godly king. There was a Jewish population there until they were expelled in 630 A.D. by the Muslims.
Prov 31:2 (KJB)
What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
Here Lemuel’s mother seems to have an earnest plea for him as she brings up three separate instances in his life. First, she asks if she needs to address him as king or son and she poses these three to make sure she has the attention of her son. Secondly, she calls to his attention that he is the son of her womb which means in pain she brought him forth into this world. Thirdly, she emphasizes the fact that she had made vows to God to raise him properly according to the law of God. These three pleas show that she has things to say to him which are very important to him as King.
Prov 31:3 (KJB)
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
Strength - Wealth or army
Ways - Road or manner
Here his mother counsels him wisely that first, he must not give his strength to women. Solomon made that mistake and they caused him to stray from the true God because of their influence upon him. Lemuel’s mother is telling him that he needs to have a clear mind when he is ruling and he does not need the influence of any women that may have a separate agenda. Then she counsels him to guard against any of the ways that could destroy kings. If a king is destroyed, the possibility exists that the kingdom will follow. Some ways that destroy a king are pride, when they exalt themselves outside of reality. They may attack another country without provocation just to prove they can and if that other country makes an alliance with someone else, it could prove fatal. Reveling and partying can also bring a king down because it clouds their judgment and also having bad counselors. She warns against anything which could hurt the king.
Prov 31:4 (KJB)
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Here she counsels the king to stay away from intoxicating beverages because they only lead to the downfall of a person. This verse is also a warning to Christians. (Rev 1:6 KJV) And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. Since God has made us kings and priests, we should have nothing to do whatsoever with alcoholic beverage. It is not in keeping with the testimony of the Christian and it is not in keeping with the ruling of a king. A drunk king does not a good ruler make.
Prov 31:5 (KJB)
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Pervert - Alter
One of the dangers of drinking intoxicating beverage is that it impairs judgment and if a king makes any rulings while drunk, they will be according to how drunk he is. It will cause him to forget the law and rule through the bottle. How many people think they can drink and still function properly? That is the great deception about alcoholic beverage. Some call it instant backbone but it really is instant destruction and this is what King Lemuel is being warned against. If someone comes to him being afflicted with some type of legal problem, then he will be in no shape to render a proper decision and may make a decision in favor of the one who is doing the afflicting. Since alcohol alters the mind, what comes out from it will also be altered.