I can’t believe it has been almost been two weeks since I last posted on the virtuous woman. I have included a short re-cap to refresh our memories.
It is hard to find a virtuous wife because virtuous women are rare due to the high standards set out in Proverbs 31. We also discussed that while it may be hard to be a virtuous woman it is not impossible as all things are possible with God. The following is a list of characteristics we have discussed thus far:
1. Her husband can trust her. (vs. 11)
2. She enriches his life or adds value to his life. (vs 11)
3. She brings him good and not harm each and every day of her life. (vs 12)
4. She works hard providing clothes and food for her family by her own means. [It can be things or food she makes with her own hands or with money she earns from skills, trade, or employment] (vs 13-14; 17)
5. She rises early to take care of her family and prepare them for the day. (vs. 15)
6. She makes wise purchases that will not only add to their assets, but will be profitable as well. (vs. 16)
I hope you are all still following on with this study. I recognize it has been slow going as I don’t post on this topic every day, but it was my intention to add a little variety so that we don’t get bored or overwhelmed.
Proverbs 31:18 (NLT): She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.
Proverbs 31:18 (NIV): She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
“She makes sure her dealings are profitable”
A virtuous woman makes sure her dealings are profitable. Haven’t we discussed this one multiples times in this chapter? One may think God is really trying to tell us something here, but I think it goes a little deeper. Let’s take a closer look at the NKJ and KJ versions of this same verse:
Proverbs 31:18 (NKJ) : She perceives that her merchandise is good.
Proverbs 31:18 (KJV): She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:
One of the most common Hebrew translations of “perceives” or “preceivith” is “taste”. Using that translation, a virtuous woman tastes that her merchandise is good. In other words, she gets a taste of the fruits of her labor. To get a better picture, let us back up a verse or two. In verse 16 we learned that a Proverbs 31 woman purchases land to make a vineyard. In verse 17, she continues to work hard in that vineyard, and now in verse 18 she is reaping her rewards for that hard work.
“Her lamp burns late into the night.”
Have you all heard the saying, “early to bed, early to rise”? It is a popular saying, but it clearly did not come from the bible as verse 15 says a virtuous woman rises before the sun and verse 18 says she stays up late into the night. I prefer to rise early in the morning to get a jump-start on my day, but as the day goes on I get less productive. I will even admit that up until a year or so ago 8PM was TV time (a/k/a “veg” out time) for this wife and mother. I worked hard all day and this was my reward for getting through the day. I have since changed that habit and I can’t believe how much more time I have to do other things, such as bible reading or studying, blog writing or preparation, family time, or just taking the time to think and communicate with God.
I honestly believe the verse 18 is a simple reminder that hard work will be rewarded. It may not come in the form of money or actual fruit, but the rewards will be there. I often feel like my children are the reward for my hard work. I am neither rich nor poor by the world’s standards, but I am clearly blessed with a wonderful family and I would not trade them for all the money in the world. I also believe verse 18 is to remind us that idle hands are the tools of the devil. If I keep myself busy doing the works of the Lord, I am less likely to become the devil’s helpmate.
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,