A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love

Pastor Don Carpenter

Mother’s Day / Isaiah 49:15; Isaiah 66:13; Proverbs 31:26

Barbara Weiser of Kewanee, Illinois recalls this converstation with her daughter when she was six:

“Mom, there are five things I want to be when I grow up.”

“Oh, yeah? What are they?”

“I’m going to be a model, a movie star, a traveler and travel all around the world, and an artist and a singer.”

“What about a mom?”

“I don’t know… I think that’s too hard for me.” Being a mother is hard.

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Today we celebrate mothers and motherhood because of the virtue that is naturally exhibited by a mother. Her love, endurance, grace and wisdom toward her children exceeds normal relationships.  God has such a high view of the passion a mother has that He compares His love for His children to the bond between mom and child. This morning, let us give thanks for a Mother’s Love.

A Mother Will Have Compassion

Isaiah 49:15 KJV

Can a woman forget her sucking child, That she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, Yet will I not forget thee.

A Compassion That Shows Mercy

racham (??????, 7355), “to have compassion, be merciful, pity.” The words from this root are found 125 times in all parts of the Old Testament. The root is also found in Assyrian, Ethiopic, and Aramaic.

The verb is translated “love” once: “I will love thee, O Lord …” (Ps. 18:1). Racham is also used in God’s promise to declare His name to Moses: “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy” (Exod. 33:19). So men pray: “Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses” (Ps. 25:6); and Isaiah prophesies messianic restoration: “… With great mercies will I gather thee.… But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer” (Isa. 54:7–8). This is the heart of salvation by the suffering Servant-Messiah.1

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 43.

A Compassion That Shows Tenderness

Can a woman forget her sucking child? The design of this verse is apparent. It is to show that the love which God has for his people is stronger than that which is produced by the most tender ties created by any natural relation. The love of a mother for her infant child is the strongest attachment in nature. The question here implies that it was unusual for a mother to be unmindful of that tie, and to forsake the child that she should nourish and love.

That she should not have compassion. That she should not pity and succour it in times of sickness and distress; that she should see it suffer without any attempt to relieve it, and turn away, and see it die unpitied and unalleviated.

Yea, they may forget. They will sooner forget their child than God will forget his afflicted and suffering people. The phrase ‘they may forget,’ implies that such a thing may occur. In heathen lands, strong as is the instinct which binds a mother to her offspring, it has not been uncommon for a mother to expose her infant child, and to leave it to die. In illustration of this fact, see Notes on Rom. 1:31.1

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the Old Testament: Isaiah, vol. 2 (London: Blackie & Son, 1851), 210–211.

A Compassion That Shows A Permanent Bond

God uses the strongest images of personal attachment to protest that he has not forgotten or forsaken Zion. He asks a rhetorical question concerning mothers and their attachments to the children they have borne in their wombs and nursed at their breasts. Can mothers forget? The assumed answer is, “Of course not!” The attachment of fathers may be obstructed by the sense of distance that exists between father and child. After all, the child has never drawn its life from the father’s body either in the womb or after. But the attachment of a mother and child is direct, and thus almost mystical.

Oswalt, J. N. (1998). The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66 (pp. 305–306). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

A Mother Will Comfort

Isaiah 66:13 KJV

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; And ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.

She Will Sigh Along With Her Child

Compare chapters 40 and 61 for God’s plan and design for His people. The Hebrew word translated “comfort” in this verse is from a root meaning “to sigh!” It might be rendered, “As one whom his mother sighs with, so will I sigh with you.” We know how a loving mother enters into the sufferings of her children. Taking the little one in her arms she sighs with him as he sobs out his grief upon her bosom. So does God feel for us in our trials. Of old He said concerning Israel when they were in Egyptian bondage, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people … I know their sorrows; and am come to deliver them.” He is ever the same in His concern for His afflicted children. His great heart of love is moved with compassion as He beholds the ravages that sin has made and the sufferings that it has entailed upon all mankind. Yet we are so slow to refer our troubles to Him, thinking of Him as a stern Judge rather than a tender, loving Father.1

1 H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Prophet Isaiah. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1952), 367.

She Will Help Her Child Choose A Different Path.

Nacham may also mean “to comfort.” The refugees in Babylon would be “comforted” when survivors arrived from Jerusalem (Ezek. 14:23); the connection between “comfort” and “repent” here resulted from the calamity God brought upon Jerusalem as a testimony to the truth of His Word. David “comforted” Bathsheba after the death of her child born in sin (2 Sam. 12:24); this probably indicates his repentance of what had happened in their indiscretion.

1 W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White Jr., Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (Nashville, TN: T. Nelson, 1996), 202.

A Mother comforts. She helps her child to choose a different path after the brutal lesson of actions and consequences has been given.

She Will Continue When Her Child Is Grown.

Ver. 13.—As one; literally, as a man. Israel is now looked upon as grown up, and receiving comfort from God himself in Jerusalem.1

1 H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Isaiah, vol. 2, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1910), 486.

For Mother’s Day- One time a little boy was called up front to solve a math problem. The teacher asked him, “You have a pie with 6 pieces. There are 5 in your family: your brother, your sister, your mother and father and you. Each one gets one piece of the pie. Now you only have one piece left. We don’t want to cause any disagreements so it is decided to divide that last piece of pie evenly among your family. Tell me with a fraction how it will be divided up.” The little boy said, “1/4th.” The teacher said, “No, it would be 1/5th because there are 5 in your family and it will be divided evenly.” The little boy said, “No, teacher, it will be 1/4th. This happens all of the time in my family and my mother divides up the piece of pie but she never gives any to herself.”

A Mother Will Counsel

Proverbs 31:26 KJV

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; And in her tongue is the law of kindness.

She Will Counsel With Wisdom

She openeth her mouth with wisdom. She is not merely a good housewife, attending diligently to material interests; she guides her family with words of wisdom. When she speaks, it is not gossip, or slander, or idle talk, that she utters, but sentences of prudence and sound sense, such as may minister grace to the hearers. The Septuagint has this verse before ver. 25, and the first hemistich again after ver. 27. So in Lam. 2, 3, 4, the pe and ayin verses change places. This is also the case in Ps. 37. In the former passage the LXX. renders, “She openeth her mouth heedfully and lawfully (??????????? ??? ???????);” and in the other, “wisely and in accordance with law (????? ??? ??????????).”

She Will Counsel With Kindness

In her tongue is the law of kindness (thorath chesed); i.e. her language to those around her is animated and regulated by love. As mistress of a family, she has to teach and direct her dependents, and she performs this duty with gracious kindness and ready sympathy. Septuagint, “She places order on her tongue”1

1 H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Proverbs, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 601.

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Dr. Benjamin Carson would agree listen to what he says about his mom:

Dr. Benjamin Carson, renowned surgeon at John Hopkins, has a story told about his mother by Kevin Lemam. Mrs. Carson insisted that Ben and His brother Curtis write a book report every couple of weeks. This wasn’t for school-this was for their mom. Ben and Curtis dutifully obeyed.

About the time he was in junior high, Ben finally realized something quite shocking. His mom couldn’t read. For years Ben had read books and scratched out reports, assuming that his mom was checking every word. But she didn’t have a clue what he was saying.

Now consider this: raised by an illiterate mother, Ben grew up to be a world famous surgeon who was featured in many articles and was the author of several books. His illiterate mom didn’t twist her hands over her lacking of learning and give up hope of raising intelligent boys. Instead, she gave her boys what she had interest, accountability, and courage to demand extra work.

And it paid off. Years later, someone asked Ben why his mother still lived with him, even after he was married and had a family of his own. “You don’t understand,” Ben answered. “If it weren’t for that woman, I wouldn’t be living here, She earned this.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 5:58 PM May 6, 2021.

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