By Tamika Eason
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When I began to look at Proverbs 31 I will admit I was greatly challenged. This particular passage has been expounded on for years. In fact, I believe it would be safe to say, it has been often referenced as the ideal description of the perfect wife. What was overwhelming to me was the constant reflection and insurmountable picture that this woman of God exemplified. Who can achieve this laundry list of attributes? Who can attain this title- Lady Wisdom?
“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10).” Unfortunately we look too often at this description of God’s ideal woman in a literal sense. If we allow her portrait of only tasks and duties to explain her, we have missed the biblical jewels in this Lady Wisdom portrait- the pearls. Those smooth, lustrous, and highly regarded stones of great worth. Let’s look at the use of pearl in scripture, Matthew 7:6, in the sermon on the Mount Jesus instructs, “do not give dogs what is scared; do not throw your pearls (wisdom) to pigs.” Matthew 13:45, Jesus addresses the parable of the hidden treasure and the pearl. Verse 45 and 46, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” Looking at the summary of what makes her life far above rubies is given it is her spiritual only that is mentioned.
This composite portrait of ideal womanhood is a beautiful, ornamental string of pearls. Look at a few of her pearls, she is a manufacturer, importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholster, and merchant. Now in this lifetime I know this list in its entirety is unattainable for each of us, however there is room for effort here. Our string of pearls greatly depends on our desire to seek this life of Lady Wisdom. Not the mistaken picture of a servile, retiring, and domestic life, but those qualities of character, wisdom, and compassion. She possessed those basic qualities of success, in particular, her reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord, for “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).” She acquired those seven Christian virtues that Peter spoke of in II Peter 1:5-7, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” Ladies, I don’t know how you are taking all of this, but it looks like to me that God is calling us out!
It’s time out for this modern woman; time out for this women’s lib movement. It’s time to be real in Christ. Lady Wisdom lacked nothing from her admonition to God, in fact, it enhanced the love and praise of her husband and children. In her devoted service of her relationship to Christ, she willingly provided for and nurtured her family and countless others. For we know what happens when we love- love begets love. When we love Christ in all fullness of being, that same love permeates through to our giving, our living, and our serving. Doesn’t is almost appear as though Lady Wisdom strung those pearls effortlessly? That is just how powerful the Spirit of God is when we take on His nature.
Praise God, because through study and application of His Word, He enables the teaching of His Word. My Pastor says, you cannot teach what you don’t know and you cannot lead where you don’t go. Knowing then that God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him, so then it should come as no surprise that supreme fulfillment to obedience in God’s Word is His blessings. Proverbs 31:21-22 reads, “She is not afraid of snow for her household: for all of her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.” Look at the underlying, manifold blessings of God. Do you see what she is really referencing here? Let’s look at another passage in Isaiah 61 and look at how great the Lord’s favor is, “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. As a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels. (Isaiah 61:10).” You know God specializes in giving His best! The lacking element is our best. The songwriter boasts, “the best is yet to come.” I know this to be true, that no reward can surpass the greatness of perfect rest in our Father’s kingdom, but there are some jewels- some pearls to be acquired before we leave this place. There are some manifold blessings that God wishes to bestow in the lives of His people.
You see pearls are more than stones of great worth. They are a testament to the glowing praise and commitment of Christ living. Whether a strand for a necklace, bracelet, or earrings, we are all striving to become more like Christ. In this radiant portrait, Lady Wisdom excels in her private and public devotion to God. Her secret, which is open to everyone, is the Holy Spirit’s climax to the story, and to the book of Proverbs. It becomes clear that the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord, which is the beginning, the chief and choice part of wisdom is put forth as the true foundation for a life which is valued by God.
I’m in the market for a strand of pearls, how about you?
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