I have always loved the Proverbs 31 woman, she is a great example of how to be a Godly woman, wife and mother. I wish I could have met her and watcher her in action!! But I'm glad that I have these 22 verses to learn from. Now that I am approaching becoming a wife, these things are becoming more important to me.
The Lord has pressed upon my heart to go through the verses one by one and dig deeper into them to learn what the Lord would say to me.
So here we go!!
"An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels." (esv)
"Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies." (nkjv)
"A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more that diamonds." (msg)
First of all, who needs a book on self esteem!! Look at that, I am far more precious and worth more than diamonds, rubies and jewels!!! It has been said that diamonds are a girls best friend! What girl does not like pretty jewelry or want a diamond ring! In the worlds eyes those are precious things and they offer you a higher status and wealth. But for me, in the Lords eyes and in the eyes of a Godly man, I am more precious than all of those put together! A true Godly man will look for a woman with Godly character and she will be precious to him.
Verses 10-31 are called an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Hebrew word for woman or wife is Ishshah, אִשָּׁה. The text is backwards, so the last letter on the right is actually the first letter of the word and the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
The NET bible says that the Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of valor and excellence. This is the same expression the bible uses to describe Ruth. In Ruth 3:11 it says she is a worthy or virtuous woman. Here the title indicates that the woman possesses all the virtues, honor and strength to do the things that the poem will set forth.
So how do we become this excellent wife or woman?
1. Be Selfless
2. Be Submissive
3. Be Sanctified
As we look at these three points we are going to look at two examples of women who lived these things out on a daily basis, Ruth and Esther.
1. Be Selfless.
Selfless means to have little or no concern for oneself, unselfish.
Ruth 1:16-18, "But Ruth replied,“Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people and your God will become my God. Wherever you die, I will die – and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I do not keep my promise! Only death will be able to separate me from you!”
Ruth was selfless, willing to leave her own country and people to take care of her mother-in-law. This promise is unto death, meaning no matter what she will always be there, with Naomi.
Esther 4:15-16, "Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law. If I perish, I perish!”
Esther was selfless, willing to risk her life to save the Jews from extinction. For her to go into the king without being summoned was punishable by death.
Being selfless is one step towards becoming a Godly woman. We need to be willing to put ourselves aside and do what is best for others. Not for us to be a push over or let people walk all over us. But if the situation calls for selflessness, then we need to call for the power of the Lord for strength. Ephesians 6:10 says, "Finally, be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of His power."
2. Be Submissive.
Submission is to be characterized by tendencies to yield to the will or authority of others.
Ruth 2:5-23, "Boaz asked his servant in charge of the harvesters, “To whom does this young woman belong?” The servant in charge of the harvesters replied, “She’s the young Moabite woman who came back with Naomi from the region of Moab. She asked,‘May I follow the harvesters and gather grain among the bundles?’ Since she arrived she has been working hard from this morning until now– except for sitting in the resting hut a short time.” So Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen carefully, my dear! Do not leave to gather grain in another field. You need not go beyond the limits of this field. You may go along beside my female workers. Take note of the field where the men are harvesting and follow behind with the female workers. I will tell the men to leave you alone. When you are thirsty, you may go to the water jars and drink some of the water the servants draw.” Ruth knelt before him with her forehead to the ground and said to him, “Why are you so kind and so attentive to me, even though I am a foreigner?” Boaz replied to her, “I have been given a full report of all that you have done for your mother-in-law following the death of your husband – how you left your father and your mother, as well as your homeland, and came to live among people you did not know previously. May the Lord reward your efforts! May your acts of kindness be repaid fully by the Lord God of Israel, from whom you have sought protection!” She said, “You really are being kind to me, sir, for you have reassured and encouraged me, your servant, even though I am not one of your servants!”
Later during the mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come here and have some food! Dip your bread in the vinegar!” So she sat down beside the harvesters. Then he handed her some roasted grain. She ate until she was full and saved the rest. When she got up to gather grain, Boaz told his male servants, “Let her gather grain even among the bundles! Don’t chase her off! Make sure you pull out ears of grain for her and drop them so she can gather them up. Don’t tell her not to!” So she gathered grain in the field until evening. When she threshed what she had gathered, it came to about thirty pounds of barley! She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much grain she had gathered. Then Ruth gave her the roasted grain she had saved from mealtime. Her mother-in-law asked her, “Where did you gather grain today? Where did you work? May the one who took notice of you be rewarded!” So Ruth told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked. She said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May he be rewarded by the Lord because he has shown loyalty to the living on behalf of the dead!” Then Naomi said to her, “This man is a close relative of ours; he is our guardian.” Ruth the Moabite replied, “He even told me, ‘You may go along beside my servants until they have finished gathering all my harvest!’” Naomi then said to her daughter-in-law Ruth, “It is good, my daughter, that you should go out to work with his female servants. That way you will not be harmed, which could happen in another field.” So Ruth worked beside Boaz’s female servants, gathering grain until the end of the barley harvest as well as the wheat harvest. After that she stayed home with her mother-in-law."
Ruth put her self under the submission of Boaz and her mother-in-law. She followed what they wanted her to do. Because she was a Godly woman she knew it was good to listen to the advice of those around her.
Esther 4:10-17, “All the servants of the king and the people of the king’s provinces know that there is only one law applicable to any man or woman who comes uninvited to the king in the inner court – that person will be put to death, unless the king extends to him the gold scepter, permitting him to be spared. Now I have not been invited to come to the king for some thirty days! When Esther’s reply was conveyed to Mordecai, he said to take back this answer to Esther: “Don’t imagine that because you are part of the king’s household you will be the one Jew who will escape. If you keep quiet at this time, liberation and protection for the Jews will appear from another source, while you and your father’s household perish. It may very well be that you have achieved royal status for such a time as this!” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa and fast in my behalf. Don’t eat and don’t drink for three days, night or day. My female attendants and I will also fast in the same way. Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law. If I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai set out to do everything that Esther had instructed him."
We see here that Mordecai instructed Esther to go into the king and she agrees to do it. Esther put herself under the submission of her Uncle even though she was married and now the Queen. It would have been very easy for Esther to tell him no and do whatever she wanted. But she knew it was the right thing to do.
We as Godly women have to be willing to be under the submission of our husbands (one day) and also parents or others in authority. As we walk in the power of the Holy Spirit this will be an easy task. Ephesians 5:21 says that we must be under submission to each other out of reverence for Christ. We must first be selfless to become submissive.
3. Be Sanctified.
To be Sanctified is to be separate from profane things and dedicated to God.
Ruth 3:13-17 "So Boaz married Ruth and had relations with her. The Lord enabled her to conceive and she gave birth to a son. The village women said to Naomi, “May the Lord be praised because he has not left you without a guardian today! May he become famous in Israel! He will encourage you and provide for you when you are old, for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, has given him birth. She is better to you than seven sons!” Naomi took the child and placed him on her lap; she became his caregiver. The neighbor women named him, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed. Now he became the father of Jesse – David’s father!"
Ruth lived a set apart life and God blessed her for that. She was not concerned with worldly things, but Godly things. We see from the genealogy of Christ that Ruth is in the line of Jesus. What a blessing that would have been to be in the line of Jesus the savior of the world!!
Esther 8:1-17, "On that same day King Ahasuerus gave the estate of Haman, that adversary of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Now Mordecai had come before the king, for Esther had revealed how he was related to her. The king then removed his signet ring (the very one he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther designated Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s estate. Then Esther again spoke with the king, falling at his feet. She wept and begged him for mercy, that he might nullify the evil of Haman the Agagite which he had intended against the Jews. When the king extended to Esther the gold scepter, she arose and stood before the king. She said, “If the king is so inclined and if I have met with his approval and if the matter is agreeable to the king and if I am attractive to him, let an edict be written rescinding those recorded intentions of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote in order to destroy the Jews who are throughout all the king’s provinces. For how can I watch the calamity that will befall my people, and how can I watch the destruction of my relatives?” King Ahasuerus replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I have already given Haman’s estate to Esther, and he has been hanged on the gallows because he took hostile action against the Jews. Now you write in the king’s name whatever in your opinion is appropriate concerning the Jews and seal it with the king’s signet ring. Any decree that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be rescinded. The king’s scribes were quickly summoned – in the third month (that is, the month of Sivan), on the twenty-third day. They wrote out everything that Mordecai instructed to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces all the way from India to Ethiopia – a hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all – to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, and to the Jews according to their own script and their own language. Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. He then sent letters by couriers on horses, who rode royal horses that were very swift. The king thereby allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and to stand up for themselves – to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any army of whatever people or province that should become their adversaries, including their women and children, and to confiscate their property. This was to take place on a certain day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus – namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar). A copy of the edict was to be presented as law throughout each and every province and made known to all peoples, so that the Jews might be prepared on that day to avenge themselves from their enemies. The couriers who were riding the royal horses went forth with the king’s edict without delay. And the law was presented in Susa the citadel as well. Now Mordecai went out from the king’s presence in purple and white royal attire, with a large golden crown and a purple linen mantle. The city of Susa shouted with joy.For the Jews there was radiant happiness and joyous honor. Throughout every province and throughout every city where the king’s edict and his law arrived, the Jews experienced happiness and joy, banquets and holidays. Many of the resident peoples pretended to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had overcome them."
Wow, what a blessing it is when a matter is resolved. Esther had the weight of all her peoples lives on her shoulders. She had to be set apart to endure this trial. How easy it would have been for her to fall away from her faith and relationship with God living in the palace. She was away from her uncle and surrounded by ungodly people. But she held fast to her faith and was sanctified for just a time as this.
We must be set apart from the world to be Godly wives, mothers, friends and daughters. John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth." We must be in the word daily to receive His truth for our lives. We must stay unspotted by the world so that we will be able to lead our families in the way of the Lord.
In our relationship with the Lord we must be selfless, serving Him daily and accepting His will for our lives. Then we must be submissive to Christ, obeying what He is telling us to do. Then we will become sanctified, dedicated and set apart to the Lord.