Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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The Sacrificial Love of a Mother

Meditation for the week of May 9, 2010

1 Kings 3:26-27 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, "O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!" But the other said, "Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him." So the king answered and said, "Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother."

Mothers love and protect their children—at least most of them do.  Because of that love Solomon was able to determine which of these women had lain on her child and killed it and which of these women was the mother of the living child.  It would seem to me that both women might have wanted to to save the living child.  But since one of them was willing to sacrifice the child, Solomon knew that the living child belonged to the woman who did not want the child killed and divided.

A mother’s love is represented in the Scriptures by mother hens.  In Matthew 23:37 the Lord says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”  I sometimes jog on a path in the spring time where ducks hatch their young.  Most of the year when I come upon a duck, they get out of my way.  But if I see a mother crossing my path with her brood following her, I am very careful.  I have seen the mother stop and face me hissing and those beaks look like they could do some damage.  I know better than to mess with the mother when she is protecting her young.

What must it have been like for Mary, the mother of the Lord, to stand at the cross and to see the anguish that her son was being put through?  She had been told this would happen by Simeon in Luke 2:34 and 35.  Simeon had said to Mary,  "Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also.”  Mary must have found the death of her son to be nearly unbearable.

I think we see this same love when Lot’s wife looked back toward Sodom as it was being destroyed.  I know she wasn’t supposed to look back, and in looking back she turned into a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26).  However, I think she looked back because her children were there and she was concerned about them.  Her children had been raised in Sodom and were not worshipers of the living God that Lot worshiped and that I suspect his wife worshiped.  In new testament terms, the children and their spouses had never been saved or born again.  I have wondered if she turned into a pillar of salt because the fire and brimstone over took her when she looked back, or if she turned into a pillar of salt the moment she turned and saw that her children were dying in that disaster.  When some people preach on the passage “Remember Lot’s wife (Luke 17:32)”, they preach about her disobedience.  But when I preach on it, I always think of a mother’s love.  She lost her children because of a judgment that they didn’t believe was coming.  When the Lord returns to usher in the tribulation period, there may be many mothers who lose children that they love in the judgments of that time as well. 

Yes, a mother’s love is one of the few examples in life where we see unconditional love.  The other place where we see unconditional love is when God sent His Son to die for our sins.  While there are notable exceptions in real life and in Scripture, generally a mother will love and try to protect her children no matter what the circumstances or what they do.
We need to be thankful for our mothers and for their love.  Our mothers chose life and because of that we are here today.  Our mothers nurtured us and sacrificed for us.  We should thank God for mothers who proved their love by teaching us the Gospel and by praying for us.

Bruce Collins

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