Author: Lori Apon
If there was ever a time to learn how to rejoice over the future, it is at the beginning the much-anticipated year of 2021. Lessons for men (believe it or not), women (married, single, and widowed), and the body of Christ on how to be prepared and not scared are found in one of the most familiar chapters in the Bible, Proverbs 31. This chapter applies to this three-fold audience more than ever!
The Word of God is rich with treasures to unpack. At first glance, Proverbs 31 is only an important guide for men who are looking for a wife and for women on the responsibility of caring for a home. Without a doubt, entire books could be written on the qualities to be found in a wife and how to be that woman based on the wisdom and instruction found in Proverbs 31.
Digging deeper though, there is a gem to discover in these scriptures. Some commentators believe this portion of scripture may refer to the bride of Christ, the church not just those mentioned above. How exciting is that? If there were ever a time for the God’s people to be a light in the dark, it is now, and the secrets on how to shine brighter than ever before come from the encouragement to be prepared and not scared as the future unfolds.
Oh yes, it is crucial to be ready for unknown times with an extra stash of beans, warm clothes, and toilet paper 😊! However, the sobering spiritual challenge found in the depths of this passage uncovers a different kind of food and clothing to be considered.
Understanding the message and importance of stocking up on what matters provides a strength that allows us to laugh in the face of the future.
With this spiritual focus on the woman in Proverbs 31 as the bride of Christ, let’s look together at how to we can prepare for and rejoice at the future. We must be personally ready and as members of the body of Christ—the church.
2 ways to be prepared and not scared:
- Wear the right clothes. Evaluate your spiritual wardrobe. Are you clothed in the robe of righteousness girded in strength?
- She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it (Proverbs 31:13).
- She girds herself with strength (Proverbs 31:17).
- Her clothing is of linen, pure white and fine, and of purple (Proverbs 31:22).
- Strength and dignity (honor) are her clothing, and her position is strong and secure (Proverbs 31:25 AMPC).
- She fears not the snow for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet (Proverbs 31:21).
- She stretches out her hands to the distaff. And her hands grasp the spindle (Proverbs 31:19).
Her outer garment is the righteousness of Christ: To prepare for the future, we must consider our relationship with God. The blood of Jesus Christ shed on the cross paid for and covers our sins. Are you part of His bride? If you have accepted this free gift of salvation and have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, scripture promises a crown for those who look forward to the end of time and long for his appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). Not only are you going to wear a crown, but also His robe of righteousness symbolized by wool/linen (purity) and purple (royalty).
It is also important to understand that the double covering of her family is more than layering them with red coats and scarves (Proverbs 31:21AMPC). It is possible to rejoice at the future, without fear, when we prayerfully cover our loved ones with the blood of Jesus at the beginning and end of each day. This type of prayer was modeled by the Old Testament priests who sacrificed the burnt offering morning and night. The Apostle Peter prayed that the ones he loved would be sprinkled with the blood of Jesus (1 Peter 1:2).
This virtuous woman—the bride of Christ—looks beyond her own wardrobe also providing coverings for her family, friends, and community. She is actively used of God by His grace for the purpose planned for her before she was born. She sews comfort and encouragement from the Word of God into the tapestry of the lives of others.
Clothed in Christ’s righteousness and covered in His blood, we are secure in our position as a child of the King. The girding of this strength provides the “spiritual, mental, and physical fitness necessary for our God given task” (Proverbs 31:17 AMPC). Talk about spiritual spanks and a reason to put on the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3)!
- Eat the right food. Investigate your diet. Gathering, preparing, eating, and serving spiritual food is of utmost importance.
“She is like the merchant ship. She brings food from a far country” (Proverbs 31:14 AMPC).
Providing nutritional fruits and veggies for your family is important; however, the challenge here is to also serve a diet of the Word of God. We must be like newborn babies who “long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation” (1 Peter 2:2).
Job 23:12 gives more insight, “I have esteemed and treasured up the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” Is the Word of God our substance for living or are we feasting on shallow, and often deceptive thoughts, and believing the lies from the world and the enemy of our souls?
“She rises while it is night and gets spiritual food for her household” (Proverbs 31:15 AMPC), and “Her lamp does not go out, but it burns on continually through the night” (Proverbs 31:18 AMPC).
“Night” is not only referring to evening when the sun goes down but also spiritually dark times. Here we are encouraged to rise and remain awake during seasons of trouble, sorrow, doubt, and fear, gathering spiritual food as necessary provision. Are you spiritually feeding yourself, your children, grandchildren, and those under your influence from God’s Word?
“She does not eat the bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27 AMPC).
Healthy eating also consists of what we eliminate from our diet, gossip, discontent, and self-pity. We must be careful not to binge on Netflix while idly scrolling through social media. The idle mind is feeding ground for what comes out of the mouth—poison that will destroy lives.
When your diet is on the promises in the Word of God you will look forward to the future, knowing at that time your faith will be made sight.
“She tastes and sees that her gain from work is good” (Proverbs 31:18 AMPC).
Finally, when your deepest satisfaction is in God you will fear the Lord and not the future. Let’s rejoice knowing we have done our part to make ourselves ready for it.