By John Piper
Original sermon preached on May 8, 1994
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching; indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head, and ornaments about your neck.
The book of Proverbs begins, “The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel.” He was a great king and the son of a great king. That means he was famous and powerful and supreme in all the realm. People bowed in his presence. They did what he said. He had immense authority and honor.
Even Great Kings Should Bow to Their Mothers
How did he treat his mother in this exalted role? You recall his mother was Bathsheba. She had married his father David under very ugly circumstances—very displeasing to God. But she was his mother, and this is what it says in 1 Kings 2:19,
Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king arose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat on his throne; then he had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right.
Then they had their conversation. He rose for her. He bowed to her. And he called for a throne to be put beside his for their conversation. She was his mother. Even kings should stoop when their mothers enter the room.
Solomon was not a perfect king. He was not a perfect man. None of the writers of the Bible was. But God…
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