August 31, 2009

Proverbs 31

1 The sayings of King Lemuel—an oracle his mother taught him:

According to Learn the Bible there is a great deal of debate as to who King Lemuel is. There are several options, including Solomon himself. I think the most interesting thing about this passage is that it highlights the proverbs taught to a son by his mother. Then later in the chapter we're going to read about the wife of noble character. I never realized this was how this chapter began! And as far as I can tell it is still King Lemuel's mother who is telling him what to look for in a woman!

2 "O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows, >]">

3 do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.

4 "It is not for kings, O Lemuel—
not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,

5 lest they drink and forget what the law decrees,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.

6 Give beer to those who are perishing,
wine to those who are in anguish;

7 let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.

8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.

9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character

I think so often women read this to find out the perfect person we should be. Wouldn't it be cool if single men would read this to know what to be looking for?:

10 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 dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

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.

What a picture that is? When I'm lazy I want to eat carbs, which in turn just make me want to be lazier!

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 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Lord, thank you for the Proverbs. I want to fear you.


Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

A couple of years ago I noticed that this passage is a mom instructing her son what to look for in a wife. That means I need to be teaching my sons to look for this type of woman (as well as modeling her for them!).

Natasha said...

I like your thoughts on the bread of idleness, I had not gone there with that but it TOTALLY applies to my life too!!!

Candice said...

I love that for once it shows a mom giving her son some good old advise and wisdom. This mom is teaching her son from an observer's point of view. She has watched his father lead as King and noted what was important. Maybe the father was a horrible king and she is telling her son what he should do different. Maybe the father is a great king and she is reminding her son of what the dad does that is right. One thing she does do is stresses that a wife needs to be equal to him. Notice how they are both respected at the gate. They are both honorable people. Even though she is a queen she is not idle and beyond working. She even serves her servant girls. She is humble! She looks for the betterment of her family.

Lord, create in my a heart that seeks to serve you and your word. You will guide me into a noble wife. Amen

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

I've been thinking about this some more. Funny how our Christian culture tends to focus on teaching girls what to look for in a husband (and discouraging them from "bad boys.") But we don't put much time, energy or books into training our boys what to look for in a wife. In fact, how offended would we be to hear or read a book by a mom instructing her son to look for a woman who doesn't eat the bread of idleness?

One day I will have 3 sons searching for wives. Now to train them that a "wife of noble character" is better than a "corner of a roof" or "living in the desert" (Prov. 21:9, 19).

Ps. Read at your site. 1:24 pm eastern