Far Above Rubies

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

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Delayed or Immediate Glory?

If there is one female Biblical character I'd like to model my life after, it would have to be Ruth. I used to admire women more like Deborah or Priscilla because they were strong and outspoken leaders -- something I strove to be. Now I begin to realize that my former ambitions and plans for myself were very egotistical.

  • Ruth came from very lowly circumstances -- not only was she a foreigner, but she was also a widow. In every possible way she was an outsider and "didn't belong."
  • She was intimate with pain and sorrow.
  • Ruth was willing to forsake everything for the God of Israel. She spared nothing in her pursuit of God.
  • She was a selfless servant -- Ruth took the lowliest of labor to care for her mother-in-law.
  • Ruth was a hard worker -- she gave 110%.
  • Her reputation spoke for her -- she was known among the Jewish community as a virtuous woman.
  • She "married smart" -- even though Ruth probably could have had any handsome young man she wanted, she chose to marry a godly older man and was blessed through that union.
  • God blessed Ruth because of her obedience and willingness to serve Him.

I personally hadn't paid much attention to Ruth in the past. She immigrated to Israel with her mother-in-law, worked in a field, married a much older man, had a baby... big deal. Ruth didn't do any "glorious" things like assassinate a king (Jael), judge a nation and lead an army into battle (Deborah), nor did she have intellectual conversations with apostles and great teachers (Priscilla). She pretty much lived out her life in humble service. Emphasis is placed on her servant's heart more than anything. No gloriously exciting actions. No "big things."

Or so I thought. But the older I get, the more I realize that my life doesn't have to be filled with big, glorious deeds for God (or myself). He doesn't need my puny trophies. What He wants is for my heart to be fully surrendered to Him and His service. Better that my life be filled with delayed glory (like Ruth's) where my actions reap glory for God for generations to come, rather than immediate glory for myself. Do we ever hear of Deborah's descendants? No, but Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and was thereby placed directly in Christ's lineage.

I think I'd rather have a life of humble service that has long-term effects.

~ from the pages of Carey's journal

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The hidden Man of the heart

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11
Every Bible Believer is familiar with the above-mentioned verse, so much so that even the little ones of my church can quote it as easy as they can count 1, 2 and 3!

Now we know that the Word is our God-inspired Scripture (2 Tim 3:16), the Holy Bible. A Christian that wants to survive this world will surely faint in the day of battle if he does not read and study His Bible. When Christ was tempted by the devil he fought him back with SCRIPTURE.

We also know, by studying our Scripture, that Jesus Christ is called THE WORD (John 1:14).

Observe how beautifully Psalm 119:11 ties in with the following verse:

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. 1 Peter 3:3-4
I have heard many say that the "hidden man” is the real you, but that statement is ludicrous. Firstly, and logically speaking, the verse is addressed to women so why would Peter address it as the MAN. Secondly, the real you is a sinful being and we KNOW that everything that proceeds out of our own heart is wicked (Jer 17:9).

So who is this hidden man of the heart? It’s none other that Jesus Christ Himself. David said THY WORD have I HID in my HEART!!! Ladies, if we let Christ do the work on this wicked heart of ours, I do believe we can all make for virtuous women. Read again verse 4 of 1 Peter 3 “which is in the sight of God of great price.”

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10