Proverbs 31 Lady

proverbs 31Last weekend I attended a funeral of a very special lady.  During the service, a family member who is also a preacher read from Proverbs 31:10-31.  This was a first. I had never heard this spoken at a funeral – but what a beautiful way to express the qualities of a noble lady.

 


Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


 Many ladies, including myself, strive to be the Proverbs 31 lady. But have you really read this passage. The passage is full of hard work, early mornings, giving, cooking, providing.  It is full of duties she must do on a daily schedule. Reading the passage makes me exhausted.  It makes me wonder how in the world she was able to do all this when I can barely do my tasks with the technology we have.
Most of the verses speak of what she does and only a few speak of how others feel about her.  Verse 11 and verse 28 are the only verses where her husband and children have confidence in her and call her blessed.  Only one verse, verse 31, speaks of what others are to do – “honor her.”  
For women all the verses between 11 and 28 speak of our daily tasks.  Tasks that give husbands confidence, children call her blessed and people honor her for all she has done.    But tucked away in a verse that most of us may overlook is the one task and the only task where a woman can be praised.
“….but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
We can go through all our tasks of the day to receive honor and confidence from others BUT to be praised we must fear the Lord. Matthew Henry’s Commentary of this verse states, “But the fear of God reigning in the heart, is the beauty of the soul; it lasts for ever.”  Fearing the Lord is worth more than all the beauty and everything else the woman may have.
Fearing God is not a bad thing. If we fear God, we will fear what He can and will do if we do not abide by His rules. When we fear God, we will not do bad things to others because we will fear the outcome.
Who doesn’t love to receive honor and confidence from others?  But wouldn’t we rather receive praise?
So as you go about all the days tasks, do not forget the one task that is above all else.

“Fear the Lord!”

Fear he Lord

2 Comments

  1. MARY M

    I have heard this scripture read at several funerals. I thought it was appropriate because these ladies were known for their Christian words, acts and attitude..

  2. MARY M

    I have heard this scripture read at several funerals. I thought it was appropriate because these ladies were known for their Christian words, acts and attitude..

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