A Mother’s Influence



Scripture

Jer. 52:1   Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 2 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. 3 Indeed, Jerusalem and Judah so angered the Lord that he expelled them from his presence. 

Observation

Hamutal was a woman of influence. Two of her sons became kings in Jerusalem. Her father bore the same name as the great prophet Jeremiah, a reference to the worship of Yahweh. Her husband was Josiah, the king who had tried to return the people of God to true worship. He had been a man of great reform and change, but what happened to his offspring? Why were his sons so wicked that they dragged the people of Jerusalem to such a state of apostasy that they were led off into exile? The king’s mother is mentioned by name so that it is clear where this son has come from. This mother obviously had influence, but it seems to not to have been for the good. 

Application

Even king Josiah fell to the temptation of having many wives. The result was an inability to have great influence on his children. He allowed each wife to bring up her children, and having so many families, his ethos was not instilled in his little ones. The mothers were the ones of influence who taught their children about life. Having many wives meant that there were power struggles within the family. Whose son would get to be king? One can only imagine that there was much jealousy and conniving on the part of the women in the household. Therefore, while Josiah was struggling for massive reform on the part of his kingdom, somehow, it seems, that reform never made its way into his own home. 

The fighting and jealousy within the household had to have a negative effect on the children. Sadly, these were the ones who were being raised to run the country! Instead of learning about God, they were learning the ways of power and struggle within the household. A mother has incredible influence upon the future of her children by the way in which life is lived in the home. Indeed, all parents have a place of influence on their children. 

Serving God faithfully and modeling a godly home and life is not a guarantee of children who will be followers of Christ. At the same time, one never knows how deep the influence will be felt, and just when that influence will nudge one in the right direction. We also know that the influence in the home can set one in a very negative direction. This seemed to be the case with Hamutal’s children. One wonders what the world may have been like, had she helped her sons absorb the changes that her husband was bringing to the country. Had her sons chosen to follow the path of their father, things may have been radically different for the entire nation. 

All we can do is speculate about the way in which Hamutal raised her sons, but the results were disastrous for many. We all have influence in this world. That influence can be used for the sake of the kingdom, or for the sake of the self. Use the power which you have been given for the sake of good. Any other use becomes abuse and can result in much pain.

Prayer


Lord, please help me to recognize the power that so often I fail to recognize I have and may it be used for your sake. Amen. 

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