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.
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