Proverbs 31:10 onwards is about the wife but before that is about the husband
In Jewish culture, men memorize this chapter as a song of praise to their wives. But in western culture, it is often used as a to do list.
This is not known as the perfect wife in Jewish culture but as the women of valour. Ruth is referred to as one, not because she ticked the list but because she lived her life with incredible bravery, wisdom and strength. She lived her life with valour.
Be careful of focusing on the dos. What defines us is the integrity and bravery we bring to those roles. It is not about success but willingness. About making choices that are hard, that require sacrifice and saying NO to the easy way.
After establishing ourselves as the bride of Christ we need to explore that place of intimacy where we appropriate the authority and maturity of being a wife.
The analogy is of us as the church being the wife specified in Proverbs 31.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet. (not only for necessity but delight and ornament)
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes. (very expensive)
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Many of us may experience the Bride relationship with Jesus. We are so totally in love and we stop there. We think that because we understand the marriage supper and have made our commitment to Jesus that we have arrived. I have news for you!!!! This next step depends on your eschatology.
Let’s take these a line at a time.
In our Greek understanding, the goal of salvation is to escape this world and go to God’s dwelling place in heaven. So everything is focussed on what will be: very little about what is now. In Hebrew thought, the goal of salvation is to prepare a place fit for God’s dwelling here, among His people. He wants His kingdom to come on earth.
Linked with that, where does the kingdom of God exist? The Greek view says it is in heaven, not on the earth, whereas the Hebrew view is that the kingdom of God is God’s reign among people here upon the earth.
So is Jesus coming in order to take us away from this world? No, Jesus is coming to reign over and through us in this world. We need to focus on God’s kingdom being ‘now’, not separating it out. “Get your ticket now or you might miss the train and go to hell”: that is, if we are honest, how many of us had the gospel presented to us.
And then: “Now you have your ticket, just hold on tight. In the end Jesus will come and rescue you”, rather than what Jesus preached: “The Kingdom of God is coming! It’s right here, right now! Get ready to serve the King and manifest the kingdom”.
Greek thinking separates out our religious life from our secular life. Family, work, school, friendships on the one hand; and church on the other. But God wants His kingdom to be flowing through all of our lives, with no separation. There is no secular for us. Our lives are a whole, they are unified, and we bring the kingdom of God into everything.
In Greek thinking, the heavenly was separated from the earthly. There was no overlap. But for us, we can live in both places: we live in the realms of heaven, and we bring that spiritual realm into our lives on earth, at the same time: not in the future but now.
‘Knowledge’ to the Greek mind is information. But to the Hebrew, you cannot know anything without experiencing it. It is all about knowledge through spiritual encounter.
It’s not what you know, but who you know! We know God, but it is perfectly possible to read the Bible from cover to cover and have all the information, but never actually know Him. We need to encounter everything in the Word of God for ourselves.
We don’t analyse: we live. It is about who we are and what we do. God Himself says He is the I AM.
Rev 21:1-12 and 22-27 describe the new earth as being very earthbound. Rev 22 speaks about the River of Life and Jesus.
We will reign
2 Timothy 2:12New American Standard Bible (NASB)
12 If we endure, we will also reign with Him;
If we [a]deny Him, He also will deny us;
We will rule
Revelation 2:26-27New American Standard Bible (NASB)
26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the [a]nations; 27 and he shall [b]rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father;
We will judge
1 Corinthians 6:2-3New American Standard Bible (NASB)
2 Or do you not know that the [a]saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to [b]constitute the smallest law courts? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
New heavens and new earth in OT
Isaiah 66:22New American Standard Bible (NASB)
22 “For just as the new heavens and the new earth
Which I make will endure before Me,” declares the Lord,
“So your offspring and your name will endure
Speaking to Storms as a wife
Ruling and Reigning with Christ – What would change for us if, instead of calling God down into our situation—we allowed Him to elevate us into the strength and power of His perspective?
Genesis 1:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
God brought order out of chaos. Light pierced the darkness and He separated light from dark. Jesus is our light and we need to do the same in our lives with the authority that has been given to us through Jesus. Holy Spirit brooded over the waters. The Trinity at work using their authority to create life. So we need to speak life to our circumstances.
Rom 4:17b God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.
Jesus quietened the storm. He was asleep. You only have authority over the storm you can sleep through.
Matthew 8:23-27 New International Version (NIV)
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Authority functions from heaven’s peace towards earth. Jesus only did what He saw His Father do.
As SERVANTS we recognise our fear, but in OBEDIENCE we deal with it.
As FRIENDS we TALK to Pappa, find His perspective and wait with Him.
As SONS we understand our INHERITANCE and IDENTITY and freely receive.
As BRIDES we go into the intimate place of LOVE to receive our bride price
Hosea 2:19-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
19 I will accept you as my wife forever, and instead of a bride price[a] I will give you justice, fairness, love, kindness, 20 and faithfulness. Then you will truly know who I am.
As WIVES we pick up our AUTHORITY and RULE, REIGN AND JUDGE.
Written by Claudia Purser