Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Welcome to Day 156 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Proverbs 30 and 31 seem to be an addendum to Solomon’s proverbs. I’m curious as to why they were included alongside Solomon’s…
Proverbs 30, written by Agur, son of Jakeh, claims to be a prophetic utterance. I like how he structured his writings… A brief outline from the Matthew Henry Commentary:
I. His confession of faith, Prov. 30:1-6.
II. His prayer, Prov. 30:7-9.
III. A caution against wronging servants, Prov. 30:10.
IV. Four wicked generations, Prov. 30:11-14.
VI. Four things unsearchable, Prov. 30:18-20.
VII. Four things intolerable, Prov. 30:21-23.
VIII. Four things little and wise, Prov. 30:24-28.
IX. Four things stately, Prov. 30:29-33.
Proverbs 31, written by King Lemuel, also claims divine inspiration as does Proverbs 30.
Insert Proverbs 31:10-31 here!
(You know, it only occurred to me today that Solomon did not write these verses!) I never paid much attention to the first nine verses that attribute these proverbs to Lemuel, although some commentaries think that Solomon wrote these under a different name. But I’m not sure why he would have done that. Seems to me he wanted credit for all his writings? Perhaps it was the content about a virtuous woman/wife that caused him (if it is to) to write under a different name? There is little known about any “King Lemuel.”
If this were really Solomon, Bathsheba would be the mother referenced in verses 1 and 2. Interesting…
Psalm 33:18, “the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, 19 to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.”
Ephesians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world…”
Today’s reading is rich! Wrapping up Proverbs with Proverbs 31, and starting Ephesians, one of my favorite books, is only six chapters, but provides us with some of the best scripture passages! With deep insight into faith, unity, Christian living and the “office” gifts. This is going to be an exciting few days of reading!
Having said all that about Ephesians, today’s application is going to be about Proverbs 31…
I want to encourage both men and women with these verses today. There is much insight as to the scope of the role of women, as well as the response to such a woman. (Her husband, her children, even the elders of where they lived, and the impact she had on her community!)
My wife uses a term, “mamby-pamby” (actually, the term is “namby-pamby” as I searched it…) No matter, the definition is “weak and lacking character.”
This term is now immortalized in a recent Geico commercial when the “counselor” barks, “Maybe we can prance on over to mamby-pamby land get you some self-confidence ya jack wagon!”
The woman described in Proverbs 31:10-31 is no “mamby-pamby” woman for sure.
She was the Martha Stewart of her day. Smart, sharp, hard-working. Capable. Accomplished.
There aren’t enough adjectives to describe this woman.
And she worked outside her home, although her home was certainly her base.
What I love is that she had her hand in just about everything! She not only cared for her family, provided food and clothing, but she also was a business person. She bought a piece of land and planted a vineyard!
v 18 states that her trading is profitable.
And she still made time to care for the poor in her community.
I like this woman!
I wonder if she actually existed or if these verses merely are like a job description for all women, everywhere.
If I were a woman, I would see the possibilities in there verses, NOT the ensuing pressure to perform that accompanies them. This is not a high-jump to fail on your final attempt.
You want to stay at home. Stay at home. You want to start a business, start a business. You want to do both, do both. (It’s worth noting that her husband lacked nothing, while she was out doing business, and her children “rise and call her blessed!) All areas of life were well attended to.
These verses give a lot of leeway for women to create their own destiny, and to be secure in your decisions.
The thing is, v 11 “her husband has full confidence in her.”
I wonder how many women get that from their husbands?
My wife has my full confidence. She has been self-employed for most of our married life, while raising our kids. I empowered her to make decisions. She is sharp, smart and capable. I never felt any great need to have to be involved in day-to-day decisions. She always included me, but she knew when the chips were down, she could decide. (Unless I’m delusional… which is possible. 🙂
At a recent women’s worship gathering, I prayed over the women out of these verses, and asked the question, “How many of you don’t feel blessed by your children, or never felt like you had the full confidence of your husband?”
The response was overwhelming. Maybe half the women stood up and I prayed a blessing over them.
Much of life is thankless, whether one is male or female.
We have to get to a point where our confidence comes from the Lord, and what HE thinks of us (based upon what the Bible says) outweighs what others think of us. I’m not talking about ignoring other’s input, especially our spouse or even our employer, but knowing who we are AND whose we are, is huge.
I could go on and on about how much I love this passage for all women everywhere, and the encouragement it gives me to bless my wife to achieve her full potential.
But it works both ways.
I know I have her full confidence, too!
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:15-23