Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bible Study Notes in Proverbs- Chapter 31

Proverbs 31

-The words of King Lemuel (Name means “devoted to God,” little is known of this king, some believe he was from the kingdom of Massa in northern Arabia, from notes in “New American Standard Bible: Life Application Study Bible.” Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI, 1995, pg. 1104), which are an oracle (massa'- load, burden, a bearing, a carrying) that his mother taught him and vowed upon him. She instructed him not to give his strength to women, or to give his ways to that which destroys kings. It is not for kings, or those in authority, to drink much wine or even desire strong drink. This has a way of polluting judgment and is inexcusable in national leaders. Sober thinking is important for those ruling. They will forget what they decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted in their domain if they are drunkards. Strong drink and wine is rather for those who are perishing and have bitterness in their lives. They drink to forget their poverty and remember their trouble no more. The righteous king will speak for those with no voice, defend the rights of all the unfortunate, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy (Proverbs 31:1-9).

-Now, in the final section of this magnificent book of wisdom Scripture, King Lemuel describes, from his mother’s teachings, the worthy woman. This section gives us the most vivid picture in the entire Bible of the righteous, strong, productive, caring woman that every man needs at his side. The age-old question is begged at the beginning of the pericope, “An excellent wife, who can find?” Her worth is beyond that of jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her. In other words, she is faithful and steadfast. Her man will have no lack of gain because of her. She does him good and not evil every day of her life. She is industrious, looking for great business deals, and works with her strong hands in delight. She is compared to merchant ships that bring desired goods and food from afar to the luxury of her household. She rises in the night to prepare food for her household selflessly. Her maidens even get portions from her. She considers a field and with discernment and acumen buys it for the family. From her own earnings, she plants a vineyard. She is savvy with the money. She girds herself with strength making her arms strong and in great shape. She has a sense that her gain is good, and she is diligent well into the night. She weaves clothes by herself, and extends her hand graciously to the poor and needy with sincere help. She has no fear. Her family is clothed for cold weather, or any harshness of the environment. They are also clothed with the finest of clothes due to the nature of her stylish sense and dedication to labor. She even makes clothing for herself of fine quality (in that time it consisted of linen and purple). She is dignified and classy. Her husband is well known in the gates as he sits among the elders of the land. She is also entrepreneurial as she trades her fine garments and belts, while selling them too. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she smiles at the future.” She has wisdom when she opens her mouth to speak, and the teaching of kindness is ever present on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and is never idle. She stays busy with production. Her children rise and bless her along with her husband, for she has done well. Her husband notes, “Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Now the climatic verse in honor of the Godly woman, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.” She is to be given the product of her hands and her works will praise her in the gates (Proverbs 31:10-31).

-*Application* I give glory to God that He has blessed me with such a woman. Rachel Sue, I love you with all my heart. I diligently instruct others to seek these qualities in a woman, for it continues to go well for those who do.

Verses to Memorize: Proverbs 31:10, 30

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