Faithlife Sermons

Moms in the Real World

Notes & Transcripts

Moms in the Real World

Jeremiah 31:15-17

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - May 12, 2013

(Revised from sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church - May 10, 2009)


*I am so glad that you chose to make worship with us a key part of your Mother’s Day. Thinking about moms in the real world, let me ask you to open your Bibles to Jeremiah 31:15-17. This little known Scripture winds up in one of the best-known parts of the Bible:

15. Thus says the Lord: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.''

16. Thus says the Lord: "Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,'' says the Lord, "And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

17. There is hope in your future,'' says the Lord, "That your children shall come back to their own border.


*Moms in the real world. One mother said:

-"BEFORE Children: I was thankful to have been born the USA, the most powerful free democracy in the world.

-AFTER Children: I am thankful for Velcro tennis shoes.

-BEFORE Children: I was thankful for holistic medicine and natural herbs.

-AFTER Children: I am thankful for pediatric cough syrup guaranteed to "cause drowsiness" in young children.

-BEFORE Children: I was thankful for a warm, cozy home to share with my loved ones.

-AFTER Children: I am thankful for the lock on the bathroom door." (1)

*Moms in the real world: A lot of things have changed since I was born back in 1951, but some things never change. And here in God’s Word we find four constants:

1. First: Moms in the real world can see great happiness.

*Rachel had a baby. The Rachel in vs. 15 represents a whole group of mothers who lived in and around Bethlehem when Jesus was born. These mothers were all descendents of Jacob and Rachel. And they all had little children two years old or younger. Rachel had a baby!

*What great joy we have when God sends new life into the world. Like most dads my age and younger, I got to be in the delivery room when my three children were born. Those were times of indescribable joy. But dads, our joy cannot compare with a mother’s joy over the birth of her children.

*All healthy mothers rejoice over their children. In John 16:21, Jesus compared the joy His resurrection would bring to a mother's joy. And Jesus said: "A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world." In other words: A mother’s joy is strong enough to erase all the pains of childbirth.

*Moms get great happiness. -- But ladies we also want to remind you that you give great happiness to many people. Your husbands and children want you to know how much we appreciate you. My words could never express how uncommonly good you are for us.

*Listen to part of the praise God’s Word gives you in Proverbs 31:

10. Who can find a virtuous woman? For her worth is far above rubies.

11. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain.

12. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

13. She seeks wool and flax, and willingly works with her hands.

14. She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar.

15. She also rises while it is yet night, and provides food for her household, and a portion for her maidservants.

18. She perceives that her merchandise is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.

20. She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.

25. Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come.

26. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness.

28. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

29. "Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.''

30. Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

31. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.

*Godly mothers, we praise you! -- You bring boundless joy into our lives.

-Moms in the real world can see great happiness.

2. But they can also know great heartache.

*In vs. 15: Thus says the Lord: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.''

*This verse is a prophecy that was written 600 years before Jesus was born. And it was fulfilled when the Wise Men came searching for the new king. God used a miraculous star to guide them to the exact house where Jesus was. Matthew 2 tells us:

10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

11. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to King Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

13. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.''

14. When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt,

16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

17. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying:

18. "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they were no more.''

*Melvin Newland gave great insight in a Christmas Message, where he said:

-"This passage of scripture reveals an insecure and nearly insane old king who felt his rule threatened when he heard that another king had been born. -- And when he couldn’t find that child, he issued a decree that all the little boys in Bethlehem, 2 years old and younger, were to be executed.

*So when we talk about the sounds of Christmas, maybe we need to remember also the shouts of soldiers, the cries of children, and the wailing of their mothers, for these are a part of the Christmas sounds, too. They are a part of what God is trying to communicate to us at this season of the year.

*It is almost impossible for us to imagine what it was like to be a parent in Bethlehem the night of that slaughter. To have a little boy, maybe 18 months old, who has captured your heart, and the sparkle in his eyes brightens up your day. Then to have soldiers burst into your home, searching through every room until they find your son, and carry him outside to take his life from him. -- Oh, the anguish and the emptiness of it all! Yet that is a part of the Christmas story, too. Anguish is still very much a part of the world today. There are many who are suffering, many who are lonely. And many who are grieving." (2)

*Moms in the real world can know great heartache.

3. And they can need great help.

*In vs. 15 Rachel was weeping for her children and she refused to be comforted. But you can be sure that someone was trying to comfort her. Thoughtful, Godly, loving husbands were trying to comfort her. Brothers, sisters and friends, perhaps her own parents, maybe even her older children were trying to comfort her.

*Moms need help. Even on good days, moms need help. So dads and older children, let me tell you that God wants us to be helpers. God wants all of His children to be helpers, because He is a helper. God wants us to have a servant heart, because He has a servant heart.

*It always impresses me to remember that on the night before He died on the cross, Jesus took the time to wash the disciples' feet. John 13:1-5 describes the scene this way:

1. Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

2. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,

3. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

4. rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

5. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

*Now listen to what happened after Jesus finished:

12. So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?

13. You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.

14. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

15. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

*Jesus wants to see His kind of humble service in our lives. Dads: That can mean doing more to help take care of the children, and help around the house.

*My favorite story about this is from Bob Dole. He is a former Senator and hero from World War II. At the young age of 21, Senator Dole was severely wounded on a hill in the Italian mountains. It was just two weeks before the end of the war, and Bob was trying to pull his radioman to safety.

*Over the next 3 years, he was not expected to survive. Bob lost a kidney. He also lost the use of his right arm, and most of the feeling in his left arm. But God blessed him to recover. And he seems to be a genuinely good man with a great sense of humor.

*When he was running for President in 1996, there was a magazine article about Bob and his wife, Elizabeth. This article included a picture of Bob & Elizabeth making the bed together. One man saw the magazine and wrote to Bob Dole expressing his great disappointment that Bob would allow himself to be photographed in such a "compromising" position, -- making the bed with his wife.

*Senator Dole wrote back to the man and said: "You don't know the half of it. The only reason Elizabeth was helping at all was because the photographer was in the room." (3)

*Men, the truth is that almost all of us need to do more to help our wives. I surely do. Moms in the real world need help.

4. But the most important thing I can tell you today is this: Moms in the real world can have great hope.

*In vs. 15-17:

15. Thus says the Lord: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.''

16. Thus says the Lord: "Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,'' says the Lord, "And they shall come back from the land of the enemy.

17. There is hope in your future,'' says the Lord, "That your children shall come back to their own border.

[1] Moms, there are two hopes God wants to give you today: First is the hope of a reward.

*In vs. 16 God says, "Your work shall be rewarded." Motherhood means work. The fact that it starts with labor should be our first clue.

*Dafydd Abhugh wrote about a conversation he had with his very pregnant sister. It was Julie's first baby, and they had already picked out the name of "Madison" or "Maddy" for short. Dafydd asked Julie: "Are you planning to use anesthetic?"

*Julie replied: "Oh yeah; I'm not a big fan of pain. -- I'm definitely getting an epidural. I'm a little nervous about a spinal injection, but I'm going for it anyway."

*Dafydd then noted: "A lot of women like to experience every sensation of giving birth. You're not one of those?" -- Julie said: "If I could be in the other room when Maddy was born, I'd go for it!" (4)

*Motherhood means labor from day one, and the truth is that much of that work goes unappreciated in this world. As your husbands and children, we want to appreciate your work, but our tokens of appreciation can't begin to do it justice.

*But Godly mom, the Lord knows all about your work, and He promises that your work shall be rewarded.

[2] God wants to give you the hope of a reward. But much more, He wants to give you the hope of a reunion.

*Again in vs. 16: Thus says the Lord: "Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work shall be rewarded,'' says the Lord, "And they shall come back from the land of the enemy."

*The land of the enemy in vs. 16 is the land of death. In 1 Corinthians 15:26, Paul tells us that "The last enemy to be destroyed is death." Then Paul described the ultimate victory for believers:

51. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed --

52. in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

53. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

54. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."

55. "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"

56. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

57. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

*There is hope that goes beyond the deepest hurt, because Jesus came to share in our suffering, and because Jesus Christ came to overcome our death.

*There were horrible cries of anguish that night in Bethlehem. -- But the one little boy who escaped would also die a horrible death.

*About thirty years later, Jesus Christ died on the cross, not for His own sins, but for our sins. Jesus was the sacrifice for our sins. But He rose again from the dead! And through His resurrection, He defeated death forever for all who will trust in Him.

*The only real hope for the world is Jesus Christ! And a wonderful part of that hope is the reunion we will have with other Christians, and with the babies and little children who have died. In vs. 17: There is hope in your future,'' says the Lord, "That your children shall come back to their own border."

*Ten years ago a young Christian lady named Jennifer went into labor. Tragically, her uterus and bladder ruptured. The baby boy was deprived of oxygen too long to live. It was a miracle that Jennifer survived.

*I had never met Jennifer, but she was a friend of a friend, and I went to see her in the hospital. In God’s perfect timing, Jennifer was there with her parents. It was just before she got out of the hospital.

*As I got ready to leave, I said, "Some people wonder if you will be able to recognize him in Heaven." Jennifer said, "We want to think that we will."

*I replied, "Yes, you will. Remember when Jesus was on the mountain of transfiguration? Moses and Elijah were there with Him. And everybody there knew who they were. 'Hey, that’s Moses and this is Elijah.' So, you will know your baby when you get there."

*Jennifer’s mom then amazed me by saying: "Do you know what the baby’s name was? -- It was Elijah. I know that the Lord led you to say that. That’s the reason He brought you here today. That’s what we needed to hear."

*Glory to God! There will be a reunion with every believer, with every child who died young, with every child who died in the womb. This is our sure hope in Jesus Christ.

*Do you have this hope? The best mom in the world, the best person in the world has no hope without Jesus Christ.

*The best thing you could do on this Mother’s Day is give your life to Jesus Christ. Trust in the Lord. Open your heart to receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Then commit to follow Him the best you can every day.

*You can call on the Lord to save you right now, as we go to God in prayer.

(1) E-zine: THE FUNNIES (Found in sermon "Secrets of Successful Parenting" by King Duncan - Luke 2:41-52)

(2) SermonCentral sermon "Christmas Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Melvin Newland - Matthew 2:13-18

(3) Dr. Richard Meyer, "Break a Vase" (Found in online illustrations 03-28-2004) (Other bio information found online.)

(4) Hope of a reward - August 23, 2008 - The Fortitude of a Lizardette - by Dafydd Abhugh - (

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