February 29, 2020 at 5:12 am #17855Kimberly FowlerParticipant
Proverbs 31: 10-31
10 “An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
I use to read this and think that I could never live up to such a woman who seems almost superhuman: never seems to need sleep, working days AND nights, somehow providing for the entire household while at the same time out buying up real estate and planting crops, and always graciously kind…WOW! Who COULD live up to that??
But tonight it was like God dropped a bombshell on me and had me look again at Proverbs 31…
I believe the woman depicted here is a SPIRITUAL depiction of the Bride of Christ. She can do all these things because nothing is impossible for her (the Body/Bride of Christ) because these things are FROM Christ! She is empowered to give out of surplus out of that which she already has in Christ. These are character traits of the Bride of Christ, not the character traits of a single human individual! And even words like “night” may not be “physical night”, but the fact that while the world is in darkness, she is preparing to provide for those in darkness (I don’t really know what it all represents), but God is just showing me that this “woman” is the “Bride” who clothes herself with strength (with Christ) and can prosper others because she has already prospered herself/been prospered with CHRIST! She does these things because she is already lavished by these things through her Husband!
“She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple.” In the Bible, fine linen can represent righteousness, and purple can represent royalty. (She has clothed herself with CHRIST!)
“She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet.” She is not afraid of “snow”: you can’t gather harvest in winter, so others could lack provision during times of “snow”, yet the Bride is not afraid of “snow” or “lack” because her household is “clothed in scarlet”/covered under the blood of Christ – there is no lack in Christ!
Again I don’t know exactly what it all represents in translation, but before when I read this, it was like condemnation, because I could not live up to such a woman. But there is such excitement to read it through the lens of what it means in Christ! I am empowered through Christ to have the character that is seen here, to know that I can prosper in what I put my hand to, whether it is supplying what is needed for family or for excelling in the workforce. I can do all things through Christ!
WE are that “excellent wife” (the Bride), “more precious than jewels”. This is how Christ sees His Bride, and the verses following after that declare how He has empowered His Bride in all His ways/His character! How exciting is that!!
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