Needed, a Queen
Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001)
(Chapter 3 from Dr. Hyle's excellent sermon book, Woman The Completer)
In the Song of Solomon 6:8 there is a little line which says, "There are threescore queens."
"Our Heavenly Father, I pray today that You will speak to our hearts in an unusually sweet and, yes, in a quiet way. May the Holy Spirit hover near to this platform, to these pews and in the hearts and lives of Thy people, especially these dear ladies. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
It is the first Saturday afternoon of the world's existence. There is no television, so there is no Saturday afternoon football (for which you would be grateful). Adam is watching God's creation. He notices something unusual. He notices that the fish swim in the water by twos. He scans the sky to find the robins fly in the air by twos. He notices the squirrels playing on the meadow, and they are playing by twos. He notices the beasts of the field as they roam through the forest, and they likewise travel by twos. He then drops off to sleep and awakens to find Eve, the fairest and best of God's creation!
There are those who would lead us to believe that woman was an afterthought of God. There are those who would lead us to believe that God created everything and was displeased because there was something He forgot to create--something He didn't do exactly properly, so in order to correct His mistake, He created woman. There she was, thrown in as creation's bonus, on the side, sort of as an afterthought of God. That isn't true! Did you know that woman is the ultimate creation of God? She was an independent creature and, by the way, could have lived alone. The Bible never says, "It is not good for woman to be alone." (You wish you had known that years ago, don't you?) The Bible says, "It is not good that man should be alone." Be reminded, man was created before woman. In God's divine order, He increased the importance and magnitude of the creation with the passing of the days.
Somebody says, "Oh, but man is more important than woman because God created man first."
Apply that to all of creation, and the hippopotamus is more important than man because he was created before man. No, God did not create that which was most important first and least important last, but creation kept gaining in its importance as God created the earth, the moon and the stars, animal life, man, and then, woman. She was the last of God's creatures and, of course, most complete.
God calls her a queen—not a queen like the queen of Sheba, or Esther, or Athalia; not a queen like Elizabeth of England or Mary of Scotland. A queen is not made by scepters of diamonds, thrones of marble, robes of velvet, crowns of jewelry, imperial wardrobes, courtly attendants, cheering subjects or royal carriages. The queen that God created waves a needle for a scepter, sits on a rocking chair for a throne, wears righteousness for a robe, has the needy for her subjects, and wears meekness for a crown!
This loftiest of all God's creatures does not rule the world; she rules those that will rule the world. This highest of God's order does not rule subjects; she rules rulers of subjects. She is not the king, but she prepares him to rule. She is the queen of kings. She is the lordess of lords. She is the most royal of all.
Where does this queen rule? She rules at the hearth. She rules at the stove. She rules at the bedside. She rules at the table.
In the places that woman rules, man is incapable of ruling. I said awhile ago that man should not be alone. The honest truth is, there is nothing more pitiful than a man living alone. Leave your husband alone some night and he will hear all kinds of noises. By the time you get home, he will have the chairs against the doorknob, and the next morning he will call to order a burglar alarm! Now, you can stay at home with the doors unlocked and it doesn't bother you a great deal, but for the old man, it is not good that he be alone. His hand is too rough; his foot is too clumsy; his patience is too thin to rule where you rule. We men just can't do what you can do.
You could go to our youngest daughter, Cindy, who is married and is now expecting a baby. If you took off her shoe (I don't remember whether it is on the left or right foot) and take off her stocking, you would notice there is a space between the big toe and the one next to it. That is because one day when she was very young, I tried to rule where it was none of my business to rule and I didn't know how to rule. I put the elastic part of the sock down between her big toe and the one beside it, and it stayed that way all day lone! She was very small when it happened, but to this day (she is 21 years old), there is some extra space there! All the other toes are together, but the big toe on that foot is all by itself. I am saying, I was ruling where I don't know how to rule!
You could rule on man's throne. If you'd seek it as some females are seeking it in the Equal Rights Amendment, you could do what we do. Queens have ruled countries, but men have never ruled kitchens. Women can fill the shoes of men, rule on their thrones, wield their scepters and wear their robes, but men are incapable of ruling where women should reign. If we tried to have an Equal Rights Amendment, we couldn't rule in your domain. We're not qualified. How roughly we tuck you in bed! How loudly we talk by the sickbed! We stick the thermometer in the ear. We just can't do what you can do! We have to have somebody else to be a queen. God made you to be that. You, the loftiest of God's creatures, and therefore the last creature that God made, are of necessity, queens who rule on a throne where nobody else can rule.
A boy sticks a nail in his foot. He doesn't cry, "Daddy!" (Daddy would in turn cry, "Mother!" or "Doctor!") Daddy just wouldn't know what to do. The boy cries, "Mommy!"
A little child is lost downtown in the great crowd of shoppers. He doesn't cry, "Daddy!" He cries, "Mommy," because when anyone wants help, he wants the "top man." He wants the expert! He wants the queen!
The child awakens at night with his brow warm, his throat sore
and his head aching. The faint cry from the child's room is not
"Daddy!" It is "Mommy!"
The football hero comes to the bench. He has just run 90 yards
for a touchdown. He is a big, burly guy. He has a beard sticking out under his
helmet. He looks like the "incredible hulk." He weighs 250 pounds. All
of the players on the other team tremble as he runs on the field. He comes back
to the bench. They mob him, tackle him, take off his helmet and rub his hair,
and this big beast suddenly finds the television camera is pointed at him, so he
says, "Hi, Mom!" It's always that way! You never hear one say,
"Hi, Pop." I don't care if its "Mean" Joe Green or Walter
Peyton, it's always, "Hi, Mom."
I was reading in II Kings 4:18-37 and I was amazed at the boy who was in Shunam in the field working. I'm sure he was there with his dad. He got sick unto death, and the Bible tells us that the father said, "Carry him to his mother." Now the old man was right there, but he said, "Carry him to his mother." I imagine it was the Shunammite dad who carried the boy. Why didn't the boy sit on his dad's knee and say, "Dad, I don't feel well." Because dads don't make you well! Dads don't make you feel better! Dads don't know how to mop your brow! They drown you when they mop your brow. They don't know how, but there is a queen who knows how. She rules at the bedside, she rules at the table, she rules at the hearth, she rules at the fireplace. She is queen!
Oh, the loving hands that bathe the temples, the loving voice that speaks good cheer, the loving lips that speak comfort, the loving hands that rub the back, the loving fingers that bring the socks, slippers, bandages, the warm drinks, and the warm bread!
It's midnight. Mom and Dad are both asleep, and the cry comes from the child's room. Dad just changes his key of snore. Mother gets up gently so as not to wake up Dad, feels the fevered brow, takes the temperature, bathes the brow in cold water or gives the baby a bath in rubbing alcohol and is tempted to drink what's left! She kneels beside the bed and whispers a prayer for God to take care of her baby. The baby whimpers. The mother holds the baby near to her breast and weeps as she walks the floor and paces all night long. She tries to go back to bed. When she has been asleep for five minutes the child says, "Mommy, I'm hot!" and Mommy goes back again.
When morning comes, Dad awakens so refreshed! He looks over to Mom and says, "Did you get a good night's rest? It sure was a good night to sleep, wasn't it?"
You say, "Yes!"
He says, "Why are you so grouchy?"
You've been reigning. You've been performing your queenly tasks. You've been wielding that thermometer as a royal scepter and sitting on the chair beside the bed as a queen on her throne.
You've just been through nine months of misery. I mean you doubled your size, had splotches all over your face, haven't felt good for nine months, and now the baby is two weeks old. He has the colic. You get up at night. Your husband snores. All night long you rock the baby. You try everything. You try breast feeding her; that won't work! You try formula; that won't work! You try homogenized milk; that won't work! You go milk the old goat (not your husband); that won't work! You go down and get a carton of Pepsi, and that won't work! All night you're up. Then when the alarm goes off, your husband gets up and says to you, "Wasn't God good to us in giving us a baby that sleeps so soundly!" (You contemplate murder.) Why? You've been ruling on your throne. You've been rearing a king. You've been nursing a great businessman. You've been taking the temperature of a great man of God. You've been warming a bottle and feeding a giant tycoon. You are ruling in your domain. Nobody else can do it!
Kings can pass away; other kings can rise. Presidents can go, and other presidents can come. There's always a king to take the place of one, but there's nobody to take the place of the highest of God's creation.
Just as I walked out of my office the Holy Spirit gave me an illustration. Somebody slipped a letter under the office door. I'm not going to give you any idea who wrote it, but it was from one of our men who is rearing his child by himself without a queen. He talks about Hammond Baptist High School's homecoming football game.
(I was one of the cheerleaders. Someone made a sweater for me just like ones the cheerleaders wear! It had "Class of '44" on the sleeve. It had "Preacher" written on the back. I had pompoms and white tennis shoes trimmed in blue. When the cheerleaders came running out at the first of the game, I came lumbering out with them and led a few cheers. We had a band at halftime. Band music was played over the loud speaker, and some of the staff men and deacons of our church had band instruments and pretended to play. I had a trumpet solo! John Colsten, our Associate Pastor, and John Penley, one of our deacons, were the "majorettes!" They did a twirling demonstration, and everybody had a lot of fun! Our team won, by the way.)
Here's a letter I got awhile ago.
"Dear Pastor Hyles. Thank you for arranging the last two football games that were played at night. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't have been able to go see the games. The last time I attended a football game was in 1962 when I was an undergraduate at the University of California (Cal beat Washington 38-14). Brother Hyles, thank you for treating us each to a hot dog and root beer.
(It was men's night, and we gave all the men and boys free hot dogs and root beer.)
"You can tell Brother Colsten and Brother Penley and all the members of the First Baptist Church Marching Band that I appreciate their making fools out of themselves...
(We really didn't make fools out of ourselves. We just revealed that we were fools all along!)
" . . . in that bitter cold night to entertain us. God bless you all. I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed the night. I just never get to do anything like that. I was wishing I had a son to bring to the game, though. It helps me to have a little more wisdom, I think, in knowing my daughter when I get a chance like I did last night to see the young people with whom she spends most of her time during the day. I got to hear them and observe them firsthand. I sure wish I could just one day go to school with her and sit in every class and see her interact with her teachers and fellow students. I think it would help me understand her better and help her more.
"Ever since June I have had to work ten and one-half hours a day, six days a week and haven't been able to spend much time with my daughter. I just get to see her briefly in the morning and listen to what happened at school and read her the Bible and teach it to her at night, and I'm so far behind in my housework.
(It's a shame. He's rearing his daughter by himself.)
"Brother Hyles, I heard you say at K. K. Colsten's marriage to the Cliver man that you had prayed for K. K. more in the years than you had for any young person except your own. I'm nowhere near the man Johnny Colsten is, and I don't have an Elaine Colsten to help me do the job, so since you would pray for K. K. Colsten, would you please pray for my daughter that she would turn out right and become the lady God wants her to be. I need help. I think I am going to fail in the end unless I get special help from God.
"I'm hungry for the supernatural too. Brother Hyles, I wish there were someone who has had to live the life I have for the last eight years. Such a person could understand my frustration. I'm often at my wit's end. I wish you understood what I'm talking about. I don't see how single women rear children alone.
"I can't do it. It's driving me batty. I wonder if I'm going to make it. Let me tell you how much I appreciate the time you spent in the Sunday school lesson from Proverbs 7. Needless to say, I have already taught the lesson to my daughter, and Sunday isn't even here yet! I'm going to review it with her on the way to church Sunday. Pray for me, please."
Do you know what that fellow needs? He needs a queen. He's ruling in a domain where he doesn't know how to rule. It takes a higher creation of God. The fellow that was created first can't do it. It takes the lady that was created last, God's highest creation, God's mightiest potentate, God's most powerful ruler--that's the one that's needed.
Oh, the beauty of such a queen! It's the beauty of the soul shining through the face.
The saddest sight in all the world to me is a woman who has spent her youth worshipping her beauty and her face. Her charms begin to vanish. She tries to cover the wrinkles and hide them, and yet when time's harsh footprints step on her face, the footprints remain, and she cannot hide them. However, time's foot cannot change the beauty wrought by kindness, compassion, faith, love, gentleness, meekness and goodness. When the color has left the cheek, the beauty has fled the face, the luster has escaped the eye, the spring has parted from the step, the crow has lighted on the sides of your eyes and left his imprint, and when the caulking can no longer fill up the cracks, there's a beauty that remains in the life of one who has ruled well that wrinkles cannot tarnish. This queenly beauty cannot be dispelled by years; it does not escape because of time.
Some of the most beautiful ladies don't have enough money to get a hairdo at the beauty shop. Your dresses are hand-me-downs. You pray every night, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take, and thank God for garage sales! Amen."
You're lovely! Many of you are too old to pass for 39, but you'll never admit your age. If you admitted you were 60, we wouldn't believe you. You're beautiful. You have the beauty of one who has sat on a throne.
I got to talk one day to Harry Truman. He lived for a time after he escaped the White House. I was flying from Kansas City, Missouri, to Chicago and got to talk to him for about an hour. You know, there was a glow about that man. There's something about a man who has once been President who used to be the leader of the country and who now is not.
Have you ever stopped to think about this? When the Bible
talks about the beauty of Jesus, it doesn't say His hair was coal black. When
the Bible talks about how beautiful Jesus is, it doesn't say His hair was golden
blonde. No, when it talks about the loveliness of our Saviour, it says His hair
was white as snow!
Yours is a lofty calling. Yes, you have your rights, and if you want to, you can fight for them. You can get equal pay for equal jobs. You can put on your pants and go to the steel mills, factories and automobile plants and go to work. Yes, you can be the mayors of cities, the governors of states and the presidents of lands, but whatever throne you trade for your present throne will cause you to take a step down, for she who rules from the bedside ruleth the greatest!
On Mother's Day, 1975, I sat in my study about daybreak and I was thinking, as you do on Mother's Day, about the past. I tried to write a poem about Mother, but I couldn't.
We had an old red chair at our house. It was a round chair. The back came up high enough to hit you in the middle of your back. It had little slats in the back. It wasn't beautiful, but it was the only chair where Mother held me when I was a child. We kept it for many years. So I decided to let the chair write a poem. This poem was written by Mother's old red chair:
Mother's old red chair was all those things. It was a psychiatric couch. It was a doctor's office. It was a judge's bench. It was a lawyer's stand. It was a preacher's pulpit, but the main thing about that old red chair is that it was a throne--a throne where I saw a queen rule her household.
Mom's old chair was a throne where she sat and reigned as she helped Lorene, a little afflicted daughter, for seven years. It was a throne where she held the body of that daughter when it ceased to breathe and had to be laid in baby land at the age of seven. It was a throne where she held the fevered brow of little Hazel, the next child, who said, "Mommy, I feel like I'm going up in the air to be with Jesus," and she did go up in the air to be with Jesus, and for the second time, Mother held the lifeless form of a daughter as she sat on her throne. It was a throne where she prayed and ruled with dignity and where she sat as a queen with a beauty that time could not erase, tears could not wash, trials could not mar, wrinkles could not fade and years could only enhance.
I envy you. I'm only the second echelon of creation. God made me next to the last. He had the main event coming up later.
You could do what I can do. You ladies could preach as well as I am preaching now, but I couldn't rule where you rule and I couldn't reign where you reign. My hands are not tender enough. My voice is not soothing enough. My patience is not thick enough. My endurance is not long enough. My love is not tender enough. My voice does not coo enough. My legs cannot walk enough.
I take off my hat to you and bow in your presence, thou of royalty. My charge to you is that you go back to your home and realize the position that God has given to you. Grab your scepter! (It may be a spatula, a stirring spoon or a paring knife.) Look at it and say, "You're not a paring knife; you're a scepter." Wield it with all the dignity of royalty. When you get up in the morning and put on that old greasy bathrobe (one that has been saturated by every liquid known to mankind), wishing that on Mother's Day someone would buy you a new robe because this one is 18 years old and isn't going to last much longer, look in the mirror and say to yourself, "The queen is wearing her robe!"
Go downstairs, read your Bible, and sit on that chair that your husband bought for you 38 years ago! See the stuffings escaping held down only by your presence, which, by the way, holds it down well! Sit up straight, hold your spatula in your hand, look at your old greasy robe and say, "I'm a queen."
At the educators' convention in the state of North Carolina, I preached on the importance of being a Christian school teacher. Most all of my audience was composed of school teachers. I said, "What an honor to be a school teacher--a Christian school teacher! Walk out of here when you go back to your motel room, walk up to the clerk at the desk and say, 'Hey, buddy, do you know who I am? I am a Christian school teacher!' Walk down the street and stop a cop on the street corner and say, 'Hey, buddy, do You know who I am? I am a Christian school teacher!'"
When I finished preaching, one of the school teachers came up and said, "Would you sign my Bible?"
I said, "I'll be glad to."
I said, "Why?"
The teacher said, "Do you know who I am?"
To my delightful surprise, the teacher said, "I am a Christian school teacher!"
I said, "Would you sign my Bible, please?"
As you ladies are driving home and you stop to get gasoline, tell the gas station man, "Hey, do you know who I am?"
"I am a queen. I rule a country that David could not have ruled and the Caesars could not have ruled and where Darius and Cyrus would have blundered."
"What country do you rule?"
"I rule at the hearth!"
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