Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Study #2: Proverbs 31:11-12

In our second study of the Proverbs 31 woman we are going to look at the next 2 verses of what a virtuous wife should look like. We are painting a picture with words.

Proverbs 31:11-12:

The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. (ESV)

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. (MSG)

The heart of her husband has confidence in her, and he has no lack of gain. She brings him good and not evil all the days of her life. (NET)

Like we talked about last time this is an acrostic poem, meaning that the first word of every verse starts with the letters in order of the Hebrew alphabet. So now we are going to look at the second and third letters.

The first word in verse 11 is Batach which means Confidence. In Hebrew it's read from right to left בָּטַח . The 1st letter on the right is the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, נ , which is Bet. Confidence is to full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person.

In verse 12 the phrase "she will do" means: recompense or to deal fully with. In the Hebrew it's Gamal,גמאל. The third letter of the Hebrew alphabet is ג, Gimel. Recompense is to repay; remunerate; reward, as for service, aid.

The husband of the Proverbs 31 woman has confidence in his wife because he knows she will reward him with good and not evil all the days of his life!

So what are some steps I can take to become a trustworthy person in every area so that the heart of my husband can trust in me?

The first woman who pops into my mind is Mary the mother of Jesus. At first sight it doesn't seem like Mary would be the best example of a "trustworthy" wife. I mean she did get pregnant before she was fully married to Joseph. They would be betrothed for a year, then after that they would be able to come together in marriage. During the betrothal they were considered married, but with out the intimacy of marriage.

Let's look at some points we can learn from Marys life.

1. She was a willing servant.

Luke 1:26-38:

"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God. “And look, your relative Elizabeth has also become pregnant with a son in her old age – although she was called barren, she is now in her sixth month! For nothing will be impossible with God.” So Mary said, “Yes, I am a servant of the Lord; let this happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her."

She was willing to serve the Lord no matter what the cost. No doubt the implications of what was about to happen fully resonated in her mind. Becoming pregnant out of marriage was not allowed or excepted back in her day! But even at her young age she knew the Lord was in control and his plan was best.

When our husbands know that we are listening to the Lord and are willing to serve Him, they will know that what we are saying and doing is from the Lord. Mary now had to tell Joseph that she was with child of the Holy Spirit. I'm sure that she was afraid to tell him, but she had confidence because this message came straight from the Lord. I wonder what would have happened if Mary was the type of girl who lied and tried to cover up the truth? I don't think Joseph would have been so willing to believe her, even when the angel told him it was true!

To become a virtuous woman or wife I must be trustworthy, willing to serve the Lord no matter what the cost, to my happiness or comfort level. And as a result of this the heart of my husband will safely trust in me, I will give him no reason to question or doubt my judgement!

2. She was willing to believe.

Luke 1:39-45

"In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

Mary believed in the Lords word; His word always comes to pass. She didn't freak out when she heard the plan, asking a million questions. She did ask a couple of important questions, but she never questioned the Lords word. Mary knew that the road was going to be a rough one, but she believed that her God, the only God, would get her through.

We must be willing to believe the Lords word and His promises. There are a lot of things that go on in our lives, good and bad, up and down. We must cling to the promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. When we are trusting in the Lord and turning to his word, we will be able to be that strong pillar for our families. Our husbands will know that we will be level headed and constant during bad times. Their hearts will be sure, knowing that we will be strong and able to handle whatever comes our way. All this comes from believing in the word of God like Mary did.

3. She was willing to rejoice.

Luke 1:46-55

"And Mary said,“My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has begun to rejoice in God my Savior, because he has looked upon the humble state of his servant. For from now on all generations will call me blessed, because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name; from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him. He has demonstrated power with his arm; he has scattered those whose pride wells up from the sheer arrogance of their hearts. He has brought down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up those of lowly position; he has filled the hungry with good things, and has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.” So Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home."

Mary rejoiced!! Wow, can I say that I have rejoiced in my circumstances lately? I don't think that even my trials can compare to what she was going through. What a blessing it is that we can look back at Mary's life and see how she handled things! I'm glad that people can't look back at my life to see the things I've said or done in different situations. When I rejoice in my circumstances the people around me won't be able to help but notice my attitude and follow suit. Matthew 1 says that as Joseph considered these things the angel came to him in a dream. Mary was right to put her hope in the Lord, He sent a messenger to Joseph telling him that what Mary said was truth. She was confident in the Lord, rejoicing in the blessing of being the mother of the coming Messiah.

Are we willing to rejoice, even when things are bad? How can the heart of our husbands safely trust in us when we have a bad attitude or if we are always flying off the handle? We need to be confident and steady, then our husbands will know that their hearts will be safe.

When Proverbs says His "heart" safely trusts in her it means this: inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding 1a) inner part, midst 1a2) heart (of man) 1a3) soul, heart (of man) 1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory 1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will) 1a6) conscience 1a7) heart (of moral character) 1a9) as seat of emotions and passions 1a10) as seat of courage.

In other words we will bring him peace of mind. While he is at work he knows that we are at home, taking care of the kids, doing our job as a wife and mother and if we are working then he knows we will do what it takes to also help provide for our families. When we are out he knows that we aren't going to spend all the money in his bank account. When trials come he knows that we will stay cool under pressure, that we will stay the course.

Mary is the perfect example of a virtuous wife and woman. None of us is perfect, I will be the first to admit that! But when we are aspiring to these things the Lord will bless us!

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