Far Above Rubies

"A worthy woman who can find? For her price is far above rubies." (Proverbs 31:10)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"Yet I Will Rejoice"

"Yet I Will Rejoice" by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Proverbs 31 for Men

Proverbs 31 for Men -- what to look for in a godly man, ladies.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The P-31 Model

No, I'm not talking about an airplane. I'm talking about the Proverbs 31 woman -- the bane of every Christian woman's existence. We all know that list is there and most of us purposely ignore that section of the Bible, but what is it really saying? Is Proverbs 31 as "bad" as we make it out to be?

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. The Hebrew word used for "virtuous" (chayil) actually means "strength" in the sense of the military. No, it doesn't mean you need to be GI Jane, but this verse is literally saying that this woman's strength is like that of an army. Wow! That's a woman to be reckoned with!

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Her husband is confident in her. Batach, used for "safely trust," means "to be confident, secure, bold." This woman's husband is proud of her.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. This verse seems to explain itself in a general manner, but when I looked up the original Hebrew, I discovered what was meant by "good" and "evil." She is sensitive towards her husband's emotional, intellectual, and sexual needs. She is not hurtful towards this man -- she uplifts him.

13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. 14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar. Does this mean we should weave and drive an hour for groceries? No. Notice the key words -- she seeks and works willingly. She has a servant's heart. It's interesting to notice that the Hebrew used for "seeketh" means "to consult, enquire of, seek (of God); to practice, study, follow, seek with application."

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. I once heard a story about a man who asked his wife, "So when are you going to wake up early?" to which the wife replied, "When are you going to get me some of those maidens?" Again, this speaks of the woman's diligence. No, you don't have to wake before dawn (although I personally like to because I'm a morning person). The Hebrew for "riseth" actually means that she is "established" and "fulfilled" before the sun ever rises. I would take this a step further to say that this woman has her personal devotions before the break of dawn. She meets with the Lord before her day begins and before anyone else is awake.

16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. The P-31 runs a business out of her home.

17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms. "Strength" is actually used not only in the physical sense, but also in social and political sense. This woman exudes strength and confidence.

18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night. She tastes the benefits of her prosperous labor and works late into the night. Again, this woman is diligent.

19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. This worried me at first because I can't sew to save my soul. My mind draws a blank when my eyes behold the needle and thread. You do not need to be well-trained in the way of the seam to be a godly woman, but you do need to apply yourself diligently to the work you have -- like this woman.

20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. The P-31 is merciful and helps those who are less fortunate than she. (Take a look at James 2:14-26.) She volunteers in her community, works in a food bank, etc.

21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. Because of her diligence, the P-31 does not fear for her family's well-being.

22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. In Biblical times, silk and purple were the fabric exclusively associated with royalty. This woman isn't a frumpy housewife.

23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. Because of her excellent character, her husband has no fear of taking a leadership position.

24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Her second business run out of the home.

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. The P-31 is literally cloaked in strength and honor. Interesting, though, is that the Hebrew for "rejoice" actually means "to laugh, play, mock."

26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. See Psalm 37:30-31, 39:1, James 1:26, and James 3:1-12. This woman controls her tongue -- something many females don't do.

27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. She is never idle, but wisely using every minute of her day.

28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. This verse is often used on Mother's Day cards, but every day is Mother's Day for the P-31. Those closest to her -- who see her worst side -- sing her praises.

29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. This is what her husband says of her -- the greatest praise a man could ever give a woman.

30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Nothing is said of the P-31's physical beauty -- she has a gorgeous character. God-fearing women are to be praised. Proverbs 11:22 says, "As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion." Beauty does you no good if there isn't a beautiful heart.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. An excellent conclusion -- let her own works praise her. No words are needed to give this woman praise.

Wow, so that really is a "tall order" isn't it? Obviously, no woman -- no matter how godly she is -- completely fills this profile. This passage is here to challenge and exhort us. Don't try to make a list and follow it. God doesn't make lists for us to follow -- He sent His Son for us to follow.

The Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." Walk closely with the Lord and this will become natural (James 4:8).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Mothers at the foot of the cross

Yesterday was Mothers Day in North America.

Brian seized the opportunity and preached on mothers. His text came from John and the account of the crucifuxion. He focussed on two main thoughts.

The need to honor our mothers (and fathers) and how Jesus cared for mothers including his own. He stressed how fom the cross our Lord made sure that Mary would be cared for after his death.

Brian referred to the mother of Jesus coming to the foot of the cross and illustrated that a good mother will spend time at the foot of the cross. At the foot of the cross, good mothers become great mothers, he added.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Love is Patient

Carey's Journal -- Love is Patient

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Also Far Above Rubies

The price of a virtuous woman is not the only thing that is Far above rubies. Wisdom is also mentioned twice in the same way in the Proverbs

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. ~Proverbs 3:14-15

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. ~Proverbs 8:11

And if any lack that wisdom that is more precious and better than rubies, let Him ask of God, for thus saith the Word of God.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. ~James 1:5

Friday, May 05, 2006

Study of Zephaniah