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Many of the verses of Prov 31 have made a modern day woman cry out and say “I can’t do it!” but v18 kind of rubs the salt in the wound.
We’ve already read that this woman
· Is virtuous, excellent, strong
· Her husband trusts her
· She’s busy with her hands
· She’s an astute consumer
· She herself provides for her household needs
· She is wise with money
· She is strong, (she seems to exercise!)
And now we read that she rejoices in her gain – she is profitable – and that she seems to work through the night as well! When does this woman ever stop!
Prov 31:18 She senses that her gain is good, and her lamp does not go out by night.
This verse tells us that she sees the benefits of her productivity, she knows that the benefits are there and that they are good! These benefits are hers today – she experiences them. Do we see the benefits of our productivity? The world thinks in terms of wealth and affluence but God’s kingdom has a different set of value so we need to be careful not to look for gain in areas that God doesn’t look for gain.
Paul said, But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Phil 3:7 Paul recognised all the things that he previously held to that he thought put him in good stead in the eyes of God, but when he met Jesus this changed. God sees ‘gain’ differently. We need to see things as God sees them.
I have re-written Paul’s decree with myself in mind, a woman who has pursued Prov 31 –
…though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks she has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: I was brought up by a Prov 31 woman, who trained me in the ways of keeping house and managing household, I am able and skilful. I have studied with zeal books on the subject, helping others to pursue excellence. But ….. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ ….
My housework, my striving for orderliness will not gain me Christ, nothing I do in my flesh will gain me Christ. Christ will transform me: transform my habits which will affect my household, my finances, my days but He must come first. My goals must be in Him.
· Does He want me to have a perfect house? No, He wants me to train my children and be hospitable to those in need.
· Does he want me to be a successful business woman? No, He wants me to be a good steward with what He has given me in order that I may give to others.
· Does he want me to run a charity organisation or successful ministry? No, he wants me to be aware of the needs of the people around me and the people I meet down the street.
The answers might be different for you but be sure of what He does require of you.
To love the lord your God with all your heart and
to love your neighbour as yourself.
Do my skills, talents, upbringing, expectations, dreams get in the way of this happening?
Do I look for gain where God looks for gain?
It is so good to constantly check our motives and direction. I have to constantly work on working on maintaining the wheel of the ship to see if it is going in the direction God wants. What a great reminder you gave for me to do that again.