map
Support I.B.C
map
map
map
map
map
map
The fear of the LORD, Wisdom, and the perfect wife
Proverbs 31

A month ago we began a study of the book of Proverbs.

-The book of Proverbs is all about wise living
-The key to being a wise person is to be right with God
-The most important verse of book of Proverbs, being so since the entire book hangs on it, is Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."
-The majority of the Proverbs owe themselves to Solomon
-According to Proverbs 25:1 the book of Proverbs was organized and put together during the reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah (by his men). About 200 years after Solomon lived and died. Up that point the Proverbs of Solomon and the other contributors would have been circulated orally and in loose collections.

Today we are going to finish up our study of the book of Proverbs with a look at Proverbs 31

Proverbs ends as it begins; with a call to fear the LORD (Proverbs 1:7, 31:30)

Proverbs ends as it begins in another way.
Firstly with a father instructing his son as to how to live wisely. Lastly with a mother teaching her son as to how to live wisely. In both cases the key to living wisely is this: The fear of the LORD is the key to living wisely. Proverbs 1:7, 31:30

Further general info regarding Proverbs 31

-It owes itself to a King named Lemuel (he is hard to identify)
-In this chapter, King Lemuel shares with us his mothers teachings. This reminds me of Proverbs 1:8 which says; "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching."
-As we shall see, Lemuel's mom had two chief concerns: 1. That her son turn out to be a good king 2. That he marry a good, virtuous, wise, God fearing woman.

Read text

The two chief concerns of Lemuel's mother

I. That he turn out to be a good king v.1-9

A few months ago when we were in the Psalms we took a few lessons on what makes for good kings and governments. Herein the subject is taken up again.

The qualities of a good king

-not a skirt chaser, not a womanizer (note how his mother warns him that chasing women will ruin him) v.3
-Not a big drinker. Why? see v.5 "Let they drink and forget what the law decrees and deprive all the oppressed of their rights"
-uphold and enforce the laws of the land
-take up the cause of the oppressed
-speak up for those who don't a have a voice v.8
-speak up for those who are destitute v.8
-judge fairly and with justice
-defend the rights of the poor and needy. v.9

We have much to learn for our personal lives from these qualities.

II. That he find a noble, wise, and virtuous wife v.10-31

Further thoughts on Proverbs 31

1. Every Christian parent and grandparent should pray that their son/daughter, if they are to be married, will find a wise and godly husband/wife.

Proverbs 19:14 says; "Houses and wealth are inherited from the parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD."


2. Godly women and men are rare and precious commodities

Proverbs 31:10 says; "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies" which mirrors

Proverbs 20:6 says; "a faithful man who can find?"

Such people are worth pursuing. Such are the most desirable and beautiful people of all-- for their is nothing greater or more attractive than godly character. Such people are the kind of people we are to ascribe to be!

The key to being a godly and righteous man/woman, is to be right with God on His terms and serious about living for Him..

3. The woman of Proverbs 31 exemplifies all of the wisdom teachings of the entire book of Proverbs. She is wisdom in the flesh. She is the perfect woman. She is the gold standard of womanhood.

Further note: The description given here is by means an acrostic of the Hebrew alphabet. Hence it serves as a proverbial A-Z of what makes for an excellent wife.

Marks of a wise, noble, virtuous wife

-a noble woman is trustworthy
-a noble woman is caring and compassionate
-a noble and virtuous woman is one who opens her arms to the poor
-a noble woman is industrious and hardworking
-a noble woman a good decision maker
-a noble and virtuous wife is one is who is faithful to her husband
-a noble woman will be a teacher of others
-a noble woman is a good mother being one who disciplines and instructs her children in God's ways
-a wise woman is one who is careful with her speech
-a virtuous and wise woman is careful in the use of money
-a noble woman is well prepared (rainy day fund, well stocked)
-a noble woman is careful as to her companions and friends (she is not a companion of fools, thieves, the corrupt, or mockers)
-a noble woman is woman dignity and humility
-a noble woman is one who has a good reputation

These qualities are what every woman is to seek after for themselves.

Further: Since the woman herein described is the embodiment of all the wisdom of the entire book of Proverbs, her qualities are what every man is to ascribe after as well. The qualities of the perfect woman are also to be the qualities of the perfect man.


4. The key to being a wife of noble character or a faithful man is this: Be one who fears the Lord

The fear of the LORD is the key to the entire book of Proverbs. This explains why Proverbs begins with a call to fear the LORD and ends with a call to fear the LORD.

-To fear God is to reverence Him
-To fear God is to recognize the God of the Bible as the one true God
-To fear God is to worship Him
-The fear of God is seen in obedience to Him

One step of obedience that God requires is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Note John 6:28-29; "Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

5. The perfect match for a God fearing woman is a God fearing man

In giving her son a description of the kind of wife he was to seek, Lemuel's mom would have had similar expectations of her son.

In the New Testament we are familiar with the teaching that a Christian is only to marry a Christian. (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1). This teaching finds support in the teaching in the book of Proverbs in that a God fearing man is to marry no other than a God fearing woman .

The Bible envisions godly and wise men marrying godly and wise women. This is the call of the Scriptures.

Are you looking for a spouse? The way of wisdom as a Christian is to actively seek out another follower of Christ. That's the wise thing to do.

As it regards waiting for the spouse of God's design, be patient, don't try to take any short cuts, and pray.


CONCLUSION

-The book of Proverbs is all about wise living
-The book of Proverbs is an easily accessible and very topical book that I would recommend reading regularly
-The book of Proverbs ends as it begins, with a son being instructed (first by a father, then by a mother)
-The book of Proverbs ends as it begins, with a call to fearing God-- this is the key to being a wise person and the key to the entire book.

The fear of the LORD: a final reminder

-To fear God is to reverence Him
-To fear God is to recognize the God of the Bible as the one true God
-To fear God is to worship Him
-The fear of God is seen in obedience to Him.

One critical step of obedience that God requires is faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Have you taken this step? It's the key to wise living. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved! (Acts 16:31)

Closing song: we choose the fear of the Lord