The mother whose wisdom is included alongside the wisdom of Solomon

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Have you ever paid close attention to Proverbs 31? This is an oft cited chapter that refers to the „virtuous woman”  / or the „woman who fears the Lord...” and lists her qualifications. If you have not read the entire chapter, you might mistakenly attribute this chapter to Solomon. Yet verse 1 states:

„The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:”

Now, there is no other mention of this king anywhere else in the Bible, and some older commentaries attribute King Lemuel to being Solomon. Regardless who this king is, the verses in Chapter 31 are quoted from this mother of King Lemuel.

Now read this chapter again, noting that it is written by a woman and if you are one of those women who usually cringes or avoids reading this chapter altogether, because you think it describes a „superwoman” or that it is an impossibility for one woman to display all of the qualities described here, I would encourage you to read the article attached in the link at the bottom of this article, beneath the notes.

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

What are you doing, my son? What are you doing, son of my womb?
What are you doing, son of my vows?
Do not give your strength to women,
your ways to those who destroy kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to take strong drink,
lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
and wine to those in bitter distress;
let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
Open your mouth for the mute,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Open your mouth, judge righteously,
defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10  An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
and provides food for her household
and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.

Photo credit www.dailymail.co.uk

Some short notes which makes some  great points from this Proverbs 31 commentary at www.graceinabundance.com:

Her textual identity –

  • The text of Proverbs does not name the noble woman it describes in such detail. The author is King Lemuel, who was known by Israel‟s sages even though he remains unknown to us. He received the instruction from his own mother. In addition to admonishing her son that a king must not give in to any unrestrained living that would jeopardize his ability to rule, she summarizes the kind of wife that would add honor to his name. He must look for a truly valiant6 wife who fears the Lord and not be tempted by mere beauty and charm. Lemuel applies the advice to more than the royal household, for the husband described within is an elder of the city, not a king. Thus, what was originally designed as advice for a prince has been included in Scripture for the benefit of all classes.
  • Some deny that this too-good-to-be-true wife could be just one woman. She must be an ideal, composite picture of what one could desire in a wife if it were possible to acquire it all in one package.  Nevertheless, we cannot escape the textual presentation of her as one, distinct person whose wisdom benefits not only her household but the community as well. Seeing her as a composite creates unwarranted opportunity for excusing ourselves from any obligation to be like her.

Before determining how this instruction should be applied to today‟s woman, several assumptions need to be recognized.

  1. Assumption 1: She is a mature woman.The woman described in the text is a mature woman, not a new bride. She shows the confidence of one who has gained experience over time, both in her spiritual development and in her skills as a homemaker. Young men hoping to discover a readymade Proverbs 31 wife are setting themselves up for a disappointment if they expect to say “I do” to a bride with this much skill or wisdom. In the same way that homemaking skills become perfected with practice, so also understanding and wisdom increase over time when one walks with the Author of wisdom. A new bride may not match the Proverbs 31 woman‟s skill, but she will be counted wise if she makes a conscious choice to follow the Way of Wisdom.
  2. Assumption 2: Her husband is a wise and mature man. Second, this woman is married to a man who is qualified to sit in the gates as an elder of his people. He has presumably been successful in his own endeavors and thereby has gained the respect of the community. He recognizes that he has a superb wife and appropriately leaves the management of the home to her.
  3. Assumption 3: Her household is economically well off. Third, the Proverbs 31 wife is part of a well-to-do household. Waltke mentions that the poem “assumes the husband has founded the home on a sound economic foundation (24:27) and within that context his wife can settle down and function to her maximum ideal.20 The text indicates that the woman‟s prudent management of the family‟s resources brought economic security to all of her household. Many women conclude that it would be impossible to live up to this woman‟s example without also having her servants. In their dreams, the servants would do the household work and leave them free to carry on her other pursuits. However, this betrays both a misunderstanding of the role of servants and of the author‟s point. In the North American context, servant brings to mind either  the historical slave of  the Southern plantation, or (2) a domestic worker whom only the rich can afford to pay. Neither description comes close to depicting the Proverbs 31 household servant. Even today where modern “electric servants” to which the West has become accustomed do not exist, household chores can be both physically demanding and time consuming. Without readymade clothes, canned foods, and prepared spices, clothing and feeding a household require a huge amount of one‟s day. With no electricity or indoor plumbing, every chore done by the machines the West takes so much for granted becomes a major job. The housewife needs help. Servants help, but they also bring responsibility. The Proverbs 31 woman shouldered this responsibility as normal routine in her household and did it well. The wise woman can live with or without servants. In either case, she organizes and carries out her work with wisdom, overseeing and advising everyone in her household.
  4. Assumption 4: The Proverbs 31 woman is a healthy woman. The fourth assumption from the text is that the Proverbs 31 woman is healthy, strong and fit for her job. Can a woman excuse herself from being a Proverbs 31 wife, then, if she has not been blessed with a healthy body and a vigorous immune system? If the amount of household tasks accomplished is the rule by which we measure a woman‟s worthiness, then we have established a superficial standard for wisdom. Certainly a healthy body is valuable, but wisdom is not dependant upon physical strength. Being a Proverbs 31 woman does not demand the perfect body. Instead, it needs a healthy spirit that is attuned to the Spirit of God.

In summary, then, although the author of Proverbs 31 delights in all this jewel of a woman does in the ruling of her household, her above-rubies value is not dependent upon her homemaking skills, her worthy husband, her comparative wealth, or her physical health. Her value is in using the wisdom God has given her, a wisdom that springs from her fear of the Lord. 

This is no assumption. The writer summarizes this remarkable wife with these words: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”24 Herein is the key to understanding the entire poem: the noble wife is a woman who fears the Lord. Focusing only on this industrious woman‟s work will cloud this crucial point.

Many women, even non-Christians, out of innate common sense and providential goodness devote themselves to caring successfully for their husbands and children, making the needs of their household the primary focus of their lives. What, then, differentiates the wise wife of Proverbs 31 from her counterparts? It is her fear of the Lord, not her wise shopping or her control over her children.

How does the Proverbs 31 woman‟s fear of the Lord make her different from other accomplished homemakers?

1. Her focus is on God.
2. She hates evil.
3. She is compassionate and fair to all.
4. She delights in the Lord’s commands.
5. She is teachable.

You can read the entire commentary here – http://graceinabundance.com/userfiles//Superwoman%20translit.pdf

Honoring the Biblical Call to Motherhood

In honor of all mothers, who are celebrated in European countries today, the 8th of March, we are posting this article today:
mom9

Read the entire article here- http://www.desiringgod.org

In this message, John Piper directs a word of honor and encouragement to mothers from 1 Timothy 3 and he also recounts the impact his mother, Ruth Piper, had on his own calling:

2 Timothy 3:14-15

But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it [mark those words] 15 and how from childhood [this signals to us who it was that taught him these things] you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

1. From Whom Did Timothy Learn the Word?

want you to see two things. First, who is Paul talking about in verse 14 when he says, “. . . knowing from whom you leaned it”? He is talking about Eunice and Lois, Timothy’s mother and grandmother. There are three clues that lead us to this conclusion. First, Paul refers (in v. 15) to this learning as happening “from childhood.” Second, we see in 2 Timothy 1:5 these words, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.” So Paul has already connected Timothy’s faith with what he got from his mother and grandmother.

The third clue is the answer to the question why Paul did not refer to Timothy’s father. The answer is found in Acts 16:1 where Luke tells us about how Paul chose Timothy in the first place as missionary partner. “Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.” So Timothy is the product of a home with a believing mother and an unbelieving father. That’s why Paul did not say that Timothy learned the scriptures from his father. He didn’t. His father didn’t believe them. But his mother and grandmother did. That is who Paul is referring to in 2 Timothy 3:14.

2. Remembering the Character of Your Godly Mother Is a Great Incentive to Holding Fast the Scriptures She Taught You

Now the second thing to see in this verse is that remembering the character of your godly mother is a great incentive to holding fast to the scriptures she taught you. Let’s read it again so you can see this. Verse 14: “But as for you [Timothy], continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed”—that is, don’t give up your faith, don’t give up the scriptures, don’t give up your salvation. Then comes these crucial words referring back to Eunice and Lois: “knowing from whom you learned it.”

In other words, Timothy, one of the ways—not the only way—one of the ways to strengthen your faith and persevere through hard times and not give up on the scriptures is to remember who introduced you to word of God and the way of salvation. Remember your mother, and your grandmother.

So let’s make very clear: the apostle of Jesus Christ in this text bestows on motherhood and grandmotherhood a great honor. You have a calling that can become the long-remembered ground of faith, not just for your children—mark this—but for the untold numbers who will be affected by your children. And that’s in addition to all the other thousands of ripple effects of faith in your life.

and here’s a couple of memories Piper had of his mother:

God’s honor was paramount for my mother. I wrote:

“I never got spanked for makin’ mess in my pants,
but I did for skippin’ church;
which goes to show mama cared more about keeping; God’s name
and my soul clean
than she did her own hands.”

she took right and wrong very seriously and held me accountable to the highest standards so that I knew in all the conflict I mattered a lot to my mother. I wrote:

And I seldom felt worse than when mama cried:
I got a speedin’ ticket one night
and mama wept like I’d shot somebody.
All the way to the station at midnight she cried
and made me pay it off right then and there.
One thing was for sure:
I mattered a lot to mama.

What I owe my mother for my soul and my love to Christ and my role as a husband and father and pastor is incalculable.

Read the entire article here- http://www.desiringgod.org
By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website: desiringGod.org

When Mother’s day is not a celebration for you – words of comfort

from Noel Piper’s blog

God knows, Mothers Day is the hardest day in the year for some of you.

Large bouquets of white roses are at the front of our church. If you were with us this weekend, one of those roses would have been for you.

Your sadness may be related to your mother:

  • Your mother is not alive.
  • Life with your mother was too difficult to celebrate.
  • Your mother wasn’t part of your life.
  • You can celebrate with your mother because she lives too far away.
  • Your mother is ill or suffering dementia.

It may be grief related to your own mothering:

  • You have longed for children but have never been able to be pregnant.
  • You have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth and never had even one sweet moment of looking into your baby’s eyes.
  • After that loss, you fear it might happen again.
  • You laid your baby down to sleep one afternoon or evening, and your little one never woke again.
  • After losing that child, you feel fear when you look at your other children or think of having another.
  • You were so close to adopting the child you already loved from a distance, and then the plans fell through.
  • Your child–whether a child or adult–lost the battle to a disease, or died accidentally, or was murdered, or took his or her own life.
  • Your child is alienated from you.
  • Your child has a disability that doesn’t permit you ever to hear “I love you” from him or her. (If this is true, I hope you will be comforted today by John Knight’s post about his wife and son)

God knows. That wasn’t a throw-away phrase I used at the beginning. God does know. He knows your fear, grief, anger, anxiety, love–the welter of emotions today that you hardly know how to name. He knows that even though you may be mostly composed most days, this day stirs it all up.

I pray that your church and others close to you will be Christ’s hands and heart for you today.

Even if other people aren’t aware or sensitive, I pray for you today that you can feel deeply the com-passion (together-suffering) of Jesus who bears our griefs and carries our sorrows.

Elisabeta Galis, amintiri cu mama

Elisabeta Galis

Am avut o mama extraordinara! Pe linga faptul ca a crescut 5 copii, a slujit Domnului si ca sotie de Pastor. Nu a fost usor, considerind ca  Dumnezeu ne-a dus pe tarimul Statelor Unite ca emigranti care ne-am inceput viata intru totul de la ‘zero’. Nu voi uita bunavointa ei, cum primeam frati la masa fara sa fim anuntati din timp, doar apareau la usa si mamica ii servea…sau Taticul ii ducea acasa ca ea sa le faca de mincare. Era la bucatarie la orice ora din zi, si nu imi aduc aminte sa se plinga niciodata. Fugeam la alimentara din cauza asta, mai tot timpul.

Casa noastra era o casa deschisa. De multe ori veneam de la scoala si ma trimitea mamica sa imi aleg haine din dulap pentru a doua zi, si in serile acelea, eu si cei 4 frati ai mei dormeam pe jos , (pe covor) cu fratii mei in jurul patului parintilor mei.

Taticul era singurul care lucra, si stiam ca bani nu prea erau. Imi era greu sa cer bani cind imi trebuia la scoala sau cind mai doream si eu sa imi cumpere haine noi la sarbatori. Taticul nu a acceptat sa fie platit ca Pastor. Bani nu erau, pentru ca in fiecare saptamina soseau alti frati la aeroport, pe care ii asteptam cu bucurie. Stiam programul. Dupa sosire le faceam vizita imediat si le umpleam frigiderul cu mincare, si le lasam bani si apoi ii vizitam din nou si ii ajutam pina isi gaseau serviciu. Veneau si foloseau telefonul nostru sa isi sune familia in Romania sa le spuna ca au ajuns cu bine. Taticul platea din buzunar, si citeodata intra in datorii. Dar nu se oprea de la ajutorare.

Parintii ne motivau de la scoala si mergeam ca translatori cu fratii de curind sositi pe la diferitele organizatii de inregistrare, si pe la agentii de serviciu. Obisnuiam sa vin acasa si sa gasesc persoane necunoscute in camera de primit oaspeti.

Taticul ii ducea, mamica ii servea, si nu s-a plins niciodata. Dragostea ei pentru Hristos i-a dat un imbold sa serveasca toata viata. Iar cind s-a imbolnavit, ea ne imbarbata pe noi.Cu citiva ani in urma Domnul a chemat-o la El.

Doamne iti multumesc pentru parintii mei, si astazi in special pentru  mamica mea. Ea a fost un exemplu demn de urmat, Ti-a slujit cu credinciosie toata viata. Ajuta-ma sa ii urmez exemplul.

Rodica

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

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