Scripture Read: Proverbs 31
Title: The Woman of Strength
(H) Highlight verse: "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." Proverbs 16: 1- 3
(E) Explain: I am going to use the Jewish study Bible notes for my explanation today because I think what it has to say is excellent and helpful for us to understand what this passage is talking about.
"(This passage) now concludes with a poem describing a wise woman; praising her her energy, her economic talents; and her personal virtues. This is not one specific woman but a paragon of ideal female virtues... Contrary to a common notion of a womans status in the ancient world, this woman has considerable independence in interacting with outsiders and conducting business, even in acquiring real estate; this may reflect the reality of women in Palestine.
The poem is traditionally recited by Jewish men to their wives on Sabbath evening; before Kiddish. It is also recited at funerals of women and sometimes sun to the bride at her wedding."
(A) Application: :
I think it is important to note that this poem is not one that we hold up and expect women to uphold. In short it is not a list of how women should act, talk and live. Instead this is a poem that praises the uniqueness of women and how the many virtues that they have are ways to show a woman is blessed. When the poet writes, "An excellent wife who can find?" This is not talking about the shortage of good wives out in the world, it is a way of showing value to the wife. An excellent wife does not mean she is the poster girl perfection. It means she is a woman of valor... she has strength, influence, general competence in wealth, ethical and intellectual powers. She is devoted, thoughtful and full of purpose. The woman/wife who fears the LORD is the one who is to be lifted up.
(R) Respond: LORD, I am thankful for my wife and for her love for you. She is an inspiration to my children and to me and she is far more precious to me than jewels.
Jeff has been in full-time ministry for thirty years. He currently serves as Executive Director at Anchor House Ministry at SeaPort Manatee in Palmetto, FL and he is a part-time Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Southside in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored A Lent Devotional (A Spiritual Journey to Lent) an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). All three are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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