Pathways Through Proverbs
August 31, 2008
Today's Reading - Proverbs 31
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Following Scripture Verses
- The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
- What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
- Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
- It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
- Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
- Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
- Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
- Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
- Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
- Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
- The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
- She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
- She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
- She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
- She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
- She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
- She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
- She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
- She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
- She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
- She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
- She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
- Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
- She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
- Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
- She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
- She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
- Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
- Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
- Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
- Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
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In today's verse we see two characteristics of the virtuous woman that should really be found in the life of every child of God. When she spoke, she did so with both wisdom and kindness.
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The entire book of Proverbs tells of wisdom. Apparently when the virtuous woman spoke, she said things that conformed to the principles found in this book. Not only did she teach concepts that would help someone progress in his or her relationship with the Lord, but I'm certain that she used vocabulary that was both appropriate and Christ-honoring. Anyone listening to her would receive good advice because what she taught was from God.
I do think that we need to notice the second half of the verse as well. Not only did she speak words of wisdom, but she spoke them in a kind way. It is possible to tell the truth, but tell it in such a negative, offensive way that no one will want to listen to it. However, when wisdom, even difficult wisdom, is dispensed with an attitude of love, people will be far more willing to heed it.
I wonder how often we have left unsaid statements of wisdom that should have been given? I also wonder how often we have given out Biblical principles, but not from a heart of kindness and compassion? If we are failing in these areas, we must become virtuous, and use our mouths in the way that God intends.
Paul told the church at Ephesus that they were to be "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15). Both parts are necessary. A loving attitude doesn't help anyone if it doesn't tell them what they must hear, and great wisdom delivered in an unloving way will never produce the desired results.
Pastor Mark J Montgomery