Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Why Rubies?

Hi Ladies,

I wanted to tell you about the creation of this blog title:
  • I needed a title for our Bible Study Book,
  • So I found a nice statement from Proverbs 31, which we studied this semester.
  • Then I read your testimonies, and many related to your "worth,"
  • Which led me back to the title I had previously chosen which fit pretty perfectly!
  • Hence, this title stuck when choosing a title for our Bible Study Blog.
Ironically, I have been doing a Proverbs 31 study the last few weeks. I have been researching each verse, doing word studies, and making applications. So since you all already have a background in this passage and it has been a recurring theme, I would like to share some of it with you!

Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

Proverbs 31.1-9

A little history: King Lemuel is thought to be another name for King Solomon, the author of Proverbs. If this is true, his mother that is speaking to him is Bathsheba, with whom King David committed adultery but was later forgiven by God and blessed greatly. Notice that his mother is giving him godly advice, showing him the way of the Lord even though he is all grown up and ruling Israel. It is kingly advice, but advice we can learn from and apply today. It is important to note the influence she has and godly wisdom she is giving. This is such an important part of being a mother and a leader. 
This passage has been described as "...divine wisdom applied to the earthly conditions of the people of God."                                                                               - Scofield Reference

Proverbs 31.10 

Who can find a virtuous woman, ...
This woman is "rare, but not entirely wanting."                                  - Scofield Reference

Consider these verses... 

Whoso findeth a good wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of The Lord.      - Proverbs 18.22
A godly woman is a blessing to others and can help bring others closer to God.
Houses and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from The Lord.   
                                                                                                                                        - Proverbs 19.14
Earthly wealth can be given by your earthly father to provide security and comfort. Spiritual wealth and heavenly gifts are given by your Heavenly Father. Godly women are literally gifts from God that are given to provide wisdom and guidance to others through what she has been given.
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband...                                                               - Proverbs 12.4
Notice this says that this woman is a crown to her husband, not a trophy. A trophy is a "decorative object awarded as a prize for a victory or success." A crown is something that "imparts splendor, honor, and finish." Christian men are told to honor their wives.*^ The Lord tells us He honors those who call upon Him.^* A virtuous woman is worthy of honor from her family and from her Father. But what does the Bible mean by "virtuous"?

Virtuous: Of strength and moral courage; potent, powerful, effective; having the power to produce a desired effect                                                                                                                              - Webster
A woman who is powerful and effective, yet is strong and moral? Sometimes I struggle with being an effective Christian, especially when it comes to moral issues. It seems like anything goes today and morals are not considered a strength. Sometimes Christian values are even looked down upon as being closed-minded or at least out of date. This makes it hard or sometimes illegal to stand up for the things that are right and Biblical. It is important to realize that this is how Satan is bullying Christians into being passive about things that are completely contrary to what The Lord says. But if we overcome this we will be that effective person, fulfilled by God and confident in our faith. 
When I read this definition I imagined a woman who was effective and powerful in her impact on others while having strength and standing by morals. A woman who was so unashamed and walked so closely with Jesus that others desired that kind of relationship with Him.^ 
Our example should be a powerful and positive one. As Christians we need to ask ourselves, What affect am I having on others?
If you are feel you lack knowledge, pray for knowledge and read His answers.                              If you feel that you don't have that kind of courage, pray for courage and look to His example and the examples of others.   
Consider Ruth...

~ She was virtuous. This was known by everyone around her.*
~ She affected change in those around her. She led Boaz to follow the Will of God.**
~ Her willingness to be bold led to powerful results. Naomi was saved, she became the great-grandmother of King David, and the ancestor of Jesus Christ.***
~ Her virtue was the product of her decision to follow God, even when it was difficult.****

... for her price is far above rubies.

~ Preciousness
~ Great value
~ Costly glories
~ Wisdom
~ Though not the largest gems, they are the hardest besides the diamond symbolizing the solidarity of marriage

Consider these verses...

Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding... She [wisdom] is more precious than rubies: and all the things that thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her... Her ways are of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace... and happy is he that retaineth her. 
                                                                                                                           - Proverbs 3.13,15,17-18
The Bible refers to a collective group, male and female, as "He". However, when the Bible refers specifically to Women and Wisdom, the word "She" is used.
 The Bible is God's Holy Word, breathed upon by the Holy Spirit, and every word has meaning. I believe it is significant to note that Wisdom is given a female attribute.''' On the other hand, we should strive to gain Wisdom through studying His Word. 
No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies.   - Job 28.18

For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.          
                                                                                                                                          - Proverbs 8.11                                                                                                                     
The Bible compares Women and Wisdom to rubies. God chose the to describe a godly woman as virtuous and to compare them to rubies, both meaning strong, rare, honorable. Isn't it amazing how perfectly the Word of God fits together? 
The Lord also says that nothing is to be compared to her, meaning Wisdom up in Proverbs 3. He also starts that chapter with the words "My Son." In my mind I can just see God the Father giving the Dad Warning before His daughter's first date: "She is a precious one, you hear? You better treat her like the princess she is... or else." Yes I have quite an imagination, but after all, 
He is my Father, my Protector,  and He loves me enough to die for me. 
This is how He thinks of me, His daughter. And if you are His daughter, this is how He thinks of you too. Remember this when you start to question your worth. 
But also remember that we also have a responsibility.  As His daughter we are to represent Him, honor Him, with our actions and with our affect on others. He tells us to walk worthy of the situation He has given us, and with humility.^^^ 
Let's start walking like we are worthy of Heaven
Worthy of the sacrifice Jesus made for us
Worthy of the responsibility we have to be a light for Him.

Love you girls,

*^ Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honor unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.                                                                           - 1 Peter 3.7
^* He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
                                                                                                              - Psalm 91.15-17 
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.   
                                                                                                          - Jesus, John 13.15
... for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. 
                                                                                                            - Boaz, Ruth 3.11 
** And he said, who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed be thou of The Lord, my daughter for thou hast shown more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requires...    
                                                                                         - Boaz and Ruth, Ruth 3.9-11
*** So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife... And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be The Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that His name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be a restorer of thy life and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, born him.                                                                                                              - Ruth 4.13-15
**** And she [Naomi] said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall by my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: The Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.                                                                 - Ruth 1.15-17
''' Read Proverbs 8 and notice that Wisdom is referred to as "she", then speaks in first person as "I". 
^^^ I therefore, the prisoner of The Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forebearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling, One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.               - Paul to the church at Ephesus, Ephesians 4.1-6


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