This Morning's Devotional: A Look at Proverbs 31


Although there are a couple of apps I use in the morning for my daily devotional, She Reads Truth has been a constant for me now this past year or so.

Starting a couple of weeks ago, I began a series called Proverbs: The Way of Wisdom. The study approaches the wisdom found in proverbs topically and prompts application each day to the hearts & lives of the readers.

Each day of this study provides a thematic reading with a series of contemplative questions. I want to share with you my reading for today, which you can find here.

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 A Virtuous Woman
"Proverbs 31 is the most comprehensive description of a godly woman in Scripture. It is also a poem—an acrostic—each line beginning with the next letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The poetic structure adds to the mystery, orderliness, and poetry of the woman being described.
Though not all of the qualities here belong solely to women (Proverbs 31:16, for example), this chapter gives us an ideal personification of virtue—a person “who fears the Lord” (Proverbs 31:30). What are those virtues? Read the passage to see.

10 Who can find a capable wife?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will not lack anything good.
12 She rewards him with good, not evil,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from far away.
15 She rises while it is still night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her female servants.
16 She evaluates a field and buys it;
she plants a vineyard with her earnings.
17 She draws on her strength
and reveals that her arms are strong.
18 She sees that her profits are good,
and her lamp never goes out at night.
19 She extends her hands to the spinning staff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 Her hands reach out to the poor,
and she extends her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid for her household when it snows,
for all in her household are doubly clothed.
22 She makes her own bed coverings;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known at the city gates,
where he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes and sells linen garments;
she delivers belts to the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing,
and she can laugh at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom
and loving instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the activities of her household
and is never idle.
28 Her sons rise up and call her blessed.
Her husband also praises her:
29 “Many women are capable,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting,
but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.
31 Give her the reward of her labor,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Ask
Q. This picture of a virtuous woman comes to us from an ancient context. What are some present-day comparisons you could make between the woman in this passage and a godly woman today? 
Q. How is the woman depicted in this passage different from the women our culture tends to prize?
Q. What does this picture of a virtuous woman reveal about what it means to be a virtuous person, whether man or woman? 
Q. If you have a woman like this in your life, how can you tell her before the sun goes down today?"
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I don't know about you, but this was the first time in several months that I took the time to really evaluate the context & content of this passage line by line.

This was how I interpreted these verses.

"She's more precious than jewels" .. I believe this statement speaks of her character rather than her monetary worth. This woman is a great value to have in your life.

"The heart of her husband trusts in her" .. her husband trusts her heart & her intentions.

"She does him good and not harm" .. she honors, respects & edifies her husband.

"She seeks wool & flax" .. she seeks out provision

"She is like the ships of the merchant & brings her food from afar" .. she will travel to find the the necessary, appropriate or best food.

"She rises while it is night and provides/portions food" .. she makes the time, sacrificing even rest at times, to prepare for her family.

"She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard" .. she makes thoughtful/wise decisions and fruitful investments.

"She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong" .. she is physically prepared.

"She perceives her merchandise is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night" .. she labors to produce quality.

"She puts her hands to the distaff and her hands hold the spindle" .. she is skilled and dedicated in her duties.

"She opens her hands to the poor and needy" .. she is kind and charitable.

"She is not afraid of snow for her household is clothed in scarlet" .. she has made the members of her household ready.

"Her clothing is fine linen and purple" .. she takes care & makes an effort in appearance.

"Her husband is known at the gates when he sits among the elders" .. Her husband is wise and respected.

"She makes linen garments and sells them" .. she works her trade.

"Strength and dignity are her clothing, she lights at the time to come" .. strength & dignity both ornate and protect her like clothing. She does not fear the future, but joyfully anticipates it.

"She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue" .. there is honorable and uplifting intention in her speech.

"She does not eat the bread of idleness" .. she is not lazy.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband praises her" .. her household appreciates her & recognizes her worth.

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised" .. she does these things & even cares for herself not for reasons of vanity, but to honor the Lord.

"Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates" .. Honor her labor and praise her publicly.

I encourage you to read thru this passage also and answer the questions above.

What does a Proverbs 31 woman look like today?

In what ways do we need to ask God to mold us into that type of woman with a heart first for Him and secondly for her husband and household?

I believe that this passage depicts a woman of many talents who is fearfully and wonderfully made.

A woman who is both independent and has a heart for service.

This woman is virtuous, hard working, diligence, wise and caring, but not on her own. Because we ALL fall short as humans/sinners/women.

#CanIGetAnAmen

With HIS grace, help, direction and wisdom though, we are ALL capable of being a Proverbs 31 woman.

And we can all perform our daily duties, roles and responsibilities as an opportunity to present to our Father a pleasing act of worship.




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