Vol. 16 No 33 – August 13, 2017
- Identification of the right woman, Prov 31:10-31.
The following are principles found in Prov 31:10-31 regarding a worthy woman that provides several principles that a man can utilize in identifying his right woman. These verses are in acrostics fashion, meaning that each verse begins with the consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
This poem is made up of three sections:
- The introduction, vs. 10ff, that announces the theme of the excellent wife, vs. 10, and her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
- The central portion, vs. 13-24, that focuses on her life, interrupted by a brief description of her person, vs. 17f, and a further note on her effect on her husband’s reputation, vs. 23, before ending as it began with her industry, vs. 24.
- The poem then ends by focusing on her person, vs. 25ff, and reward, vs. 28-31.
Its chiastic structure is as follows:
- Her value, vs. 10.
- Her effect on her husband, vs. 11-12.
- Her industry, vs. 13-16.
- Her person, vs. 17-18.
- Her industry, vs. 19-22.
- Her effect on her husband, vs. 23.
- Her industry, vs. 24.
- Her person, vs. 25-27.
- Her value and praise, vs. 28-31.
You may ask, “how can a woman do all of this and be all of these things?”
The poet cleverly delays answering this question, not revealing that her life demonstrates her fear of the Lord until the end of the poem, vs. 30. This is a reflection of Prov. 1:7, and is thus a “bookend” of the entire Book, showing what a life lived in the fear of the Lord, a life lived wisely, looks like.
Therefore, in regard to the right man recognizing his right woman, he should see the following qualities in her directed towards him, (and for believers only, with her motivation being the Lord), Eph 6:6.
Eph 6:6, “Not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”
Vs. 10, tells us that your right woman will have certain things for you that she does not have for anyone else. The man must recognize her first and be aggressive to her. The man makes the identification first. Since she is rare, she must be “found,” like rare jewels and wisdom itself, cf. Prov 2:1-4. This implies a careful search, a search that is rewarded by the favor of God, cf. Prov 18:22; 19:14.
In vs. 11, her way of life gains her husband’s trust. As such, the right woman becomes a home to the right man. The heart of the man is at home with the right woman’s soul. The right woman regards the right man as her lord. The right man’s right lobe has confidence in her. This is called love security of the soul. The right woman will not flirt, tease, or think about some other guy. She is totally occupied with him when he is absent.
In vs. 12, the right woman will do good to the right man, show him good, and cause him good, Prov 12:4a. Material prosperity is also in view here.
In vs. 13, the right woman makes decisions to please her right man. The right woman dresses only to please her right man. Her soul is so occupied with him that she is motivated to always appear in clothing he appreciates. She searches diligently to find clothes to impress him. She works with pleasure because it is for her right man.
Vs. 14, says that she goes to extra effort to find things for her right man to please him, like his favorite food. It shows her willingness to search out that which is best for her husband and household. The point is not the distance that she travels, but that she does whatever is necessary to provide for his needs.
Vs. 15, tells us that her mental attitude determines how things go around the house. The right woman places love for her right man above her own comfort and personal wants. Not only is she careful to seek what is best, she disciplines herself to meet the needs at the right time. She is also generous and giving.,
Vs. 16, tells us that she pleases her right man in business, e.g., she is an aggressive business woman either directly or indirectly.
In vs. 17, we see she prepares herself for whatever may be the task. She understands that whatever must be done should be done well, cf. Ecc 9:10. “Strong arms,” means she works hard at whatever she does.
In vs. 18, whatever she does related to her right man is worthwhile to her, which she knows by experience with him. She is stimulated by him and in a state of perfect human happiness. The second half of the verse indicates the self-sacrifice inherent in such a woman.
Vs. 19, indicates she is industrious. She is occupied with those things which bless him. She gives him no cause for concern. She does not play games, (cheat on him), nor is she vindictive and seek revenge against him. Her instincts of love keep her concentrating on her right man. She no longer depends on parties, outside friends, and fun. She does not try to hurt her right man who is so vulnerable to her social or mental unfaithfulness.
Vs. 20, indicates her generosity. It tells us that because her soul is full of grace happiness from her right man, she extends grace to others.
In vs. 21, red dye was expensive; scarlet clothing was a sign that they were well-prepared for harsh weather with the best clothing that could be made. It tells us that the right woman anticipates certain kinds of disaster and heads them off. She prepares for disaster before it arrives and makes provision.
In vs. 22, the right woman makes herself beautiful around the house because her right man is there.
Vs. 23, The right woman makes it possible for the right man to concentrate on work and be away from home without worrying about her. She compliments and implements, but never competes with her right man. She is not a nag. She turns him on, but never puts him down. She seduces him, but never belittles him. If he had the discretion to choose such a wife, he may also have the insight necessary to rule as a judge, cf. Ruth 4:2-11.
In vs. 24, we see the super-abundant blessing that she is to her right man. The right woman supports her right man with fanatical loyalty and love.
Vs. 25, “her clothing,” metaphorically what she wears, the qualities she has in her soul. It says that the right woman is the glory of her right man and wears her glory in her soul, which includes having a sense of humor. She has beauty of soul. She is totally relaxed, giving her the ability to laugh at housework, office work, or whatever she must do.
Vs. 26, when she speaks, the right man is thrilled because wisdom comes out of her mouth. Divine viewpoint and Bible doctrine is the basis of her conversation. She refrains from verbal sins. Her words are words of healing and life, thoughtful and wise.
In vs. 27, she is alert in her soul and not idle. Her activity is not the frenetic rushing of the fool, unable to discern what is most important, and so shifting her energy from object to object. She is faithful and busy because she knows what is most important and, understanding this, focuses her attention and energies to accomplishing it, both for her own sake and for the sakes of her right man.
The last four verses show the response of all who know her.
Vs. 28, says that her sons remember her with happiness, as does her right man, and praise her. Your right woman should have a good reputation first with her family and then with those in society.
Vs. 29, the quotes are for a song of praise. For the right man, only one woman surpasses all others: his right woman. She waits for her right man by taking in Bible doctrine.
Vs. 30, her beauty is not in her physicality, but in her soul. You should not use physical beauty to determine your right woman. Beauty is deceitful. Identification is made in the soul. When you get turned on by some woman’s looks, then you missed your identification. She is not your right woman. Beauty, sex appeal, and a great body is not the basis for recognition of the right woman. Once identification is made in the soul, you will find she has the most beautiful body. The woman occupied with Christ will receive praise from her right man.
Vs. 31, reminds us of Boaz who said that everyone in his town, literally “gates,” knows that Ruth is an “excellent woman,” (the term used in 31:10 and repeated in 31:29a). She was highly esteemed because they had seen her faithfulness toward Naomi, both in coming with her from Moab and in gleaning grain for the two of them, Ruth 3:11. Therefore, the right woman is not praised for her beauty, vs. 30, but is honored and respected for her way of life, her faithfulness, especially directed towards her right man. Therefore, she is blessed inside the marriage.
Proverbs states repeatedly that wisdom must be sought and, when found, obeyed. This life is not one of privilege and rank, but the result of deliberate and repeated decisions to act, speak, and live wisely. Just as the craftsman is honored for his skill Prov 22:29, when a right man and right woman recognize and respond to each other, they will be blessed as a result of their wisdom.
- Attacks against right man/right woman relationships.
The greatest attack on the gift and the Divine law comes in the soul. Therefore, life in the cosmic system is an attack on right man/right woman.
- All mental attitude sins attack right man/right woman, Song of Sol 8:6, 8; Prov 6:34; 27:4.
- Negative volition toward Bible doctrine is an attack on right man/right woman, Jer 12:7-9; 15:8-9, 15-21; 16:1-2; 17:9-11. Negative volition toward doctrine destroys right man/right woman relationship.
- Various stages of reversionism such as blackout of the soul, scar tissue of the soul, emotional revolt, as we noted in Eph 4:17-19, are attackers of this principle. These attacks are accompanied by adultery, fornication, or promiscuity, Prov 5; 6:20-32; 1 Cor 11:3-16; Jer 31:22; Ecc 7:26-29.
Jer 31:22, “How long will you go here and there, O faithless daughter? For the LORD has created a new thing in the earth; A woman will encompass a man.”
- Various perversions of the doctrine are an attack, including:
1) Autoerotism or masturbation. In this, self-responds to self and that is a perversion.
2) Homosexuality or lesbianism, Lev 18:22; Rom 1:26-27. Homosexuals are not sick, they are sinful. There never has been and there never will be a sin for which there is not a solution, a spiritual solution from the Word of God.
3) Bestiality, sexual response to animals, Lev 18:23.
4) Adultery and fornication. These are a perversion of the Divine institution, Ex 20:14; Prov 5:20; 6:32; 1 Cor 6:9; Heb 13:4.
Heb 13:4, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”
On the other hand, no disaster, pressure, or unfaithful act can destroy AGAPE impersonal / unconditional love coupled with personal love between a right man and a right woman.
- The right woman is still today a great gift from the Lord, Prov 18:22, “He who finds a wife, (his right woman), finds a good thing and obtains favor, (she is a blessing), from the LORD.”
The Lord brought the first woman to the first man in grace. Adam, the man, recognized her in his soul. He called her ISHA, part of himself. This explains the burning of 1 Cor 7:9, which is not a wave of libido but the soul climax, where every compartment of the soul’s essence is stimulated by total concentration on the one you love. The word for ‘good’ here means that he has acquired the original gift from God to man. As we noted above, the original gift was the right woman.
Eph 5:32, “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
Paul now mentions the wonderful bond between Christ and the Church, which illustrates the love of a husband for his wife. The creation of the Church from the single man, Christ, (as Eve was produced from Adam), is the foundation of this spiritual marriage.
Paul’s reflection on Gen 2:24, caused him to exclaim, “This is a great mystery.” The fact that husbands and wives become one, just as Christ and His Church are one, was almost too much for Paul to comprehend. Remember, that prior to his conversion, Paul had a zeal for God that led him to persecute the Church. But upon his conversion, he suddenly had the manifestation of Christ in him, and for the first time he was entered into a relationship with Christ. From that point forward, he was able to enjoy that intimate relationship with Christ, as all believers can. That is what led him to understand and now exclaim the greatness of this mystery, “Christ in you!”
Col 1:27, “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
As we have noted and seen in Gen 2:24, the union between husband and wife is closer than that of parents and children. And yet, the believer’s union with Christ is even closer and, unlike human marriage, will last for all of eternity.
Vs. 32, begins with HO MUSTERION, μυστήριον for, “the mystery, secret, hidden, or unrevealed.” We have noted this word in Eph 1:9; 3:3-4, 9, and will see it again in Eph 6:19. As we have noted, “mystery” has reference to the once-hidden purpose of God, which has now been revealed in Christ. Different aspects of this mystery can be highlighted according to the context of each passage that it is used in. Here, it is the mystery doctrine of Christ and the Church being one.
Therefore, it refers to the doctrine which was unknown in the past but is now revealed in the Church Age. As such, all doctrine pertinent to the Church Age should be well known to the Royal Family, yet it is not known outside the family of God, (i.e. to the unbeliever), and was never known to the Old Testament writers or believers.
MUSTERION is followed by the Demonstrative Pronoun HOUTOS, “this,” referring to the union between one man and one woman mentioned in vs. 31, and the Adjective MEGAS, μέγας for “great,” that means, great in quality, more important, more prominent, and more outstanding. With this is the Gnomic Present, Active, Indicative of EIMI, “is,” for a timeless general fact.
Therefore, Paul is referring to the greatness of the fact that marriage between a man and woman makes them one throughout the history of the human race. This is the backdrop to what comes next, which is what truly excites Paul, “but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.”
It begins with the Connective use of the Conjunction DE, “but,” that connects and does not contrast, so we can translate it, “now.” With this is the Personal Pronoun EGO, “I,” as Paul is referencing his own thought pattern here.
Then we have LEGO for “speak, say, tell, etc.,” in the Instantaneous Present, Active, Indicative where Paul is referring us to the great mystery.
That great mystery is noted in the Preposition of Reference, EIS, with the Accusative Noun CHRISTOS, “Christ,” and the Preposition EIS once again, with the Accusative of HO EKKLESIA, for “assembly, congregation, or the Church.”
So, we translated this, “now I am speaking with reference to Christ and the Church,” were we do not have to repeat “with reference to,” regarding the Church, as the first suffices for our understanding in English.
The establishment of Divine Institution (D.I.) #2 in the Garden of Eden, Gen 2:24, was based on the precedent of the union between Jesus Christ and the Church, (i.e., the body of Christ that is made up of every believer of the Church Age). This precedent was seen and known by God from eternity past, and from His foreknowledge He was able to establish D.I. #2 in the Garden of Eden between one man and one woman to reflect the union that the Christ has with the Church.
The mystery union between Christ and the Church was unknown to mankind, including believers of the Old Testament, until the first Advent of Christ and the establishment of the Church on the Day of Pentecost, followed by the preaching and writing of the mystery doctrine for the Church Age in the New Testament.
In this mystery union, Christ has a love for His Church that is unprecedented. In other words, man by himself cannot express the type of love Christ has for His wife, the Church. Yet, the believer in Christ has the capacity to love his wife as Christ loves His Church, because the believing husband can understand the mystery doctrine of this union and the precedent for that kind of love.
In other words, the love that the Christian husband must have for his wife is a love that cannot be fulfilled by an unbeliever or by a believer who does not know the mechanics of the spiritual life.
Once again, we have reference to the last of the Seven Figures of Christ and the Church, “We are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom,” as noted previously in vs. 22 and 27. As we noted previously, this relationship between Christ and the Church is contrasted to that relationship of God and Israel, and is unique to the Church Age believer under the mystery doctrine for the Church Age.
- The New Testament revelation concerning the mystery of the one body of Christ between bride and groom, is given in expressed terms in Eph 3:1-12. It is based on the sacrificial love of Christ, Eph 5:2, 25-27, that surpasses knowledge, yet, can be comprehended by the positive believer, Eph 3:18-19.
- It is an assurance of the Church’s authority as consort of Christ. In the sense in which other citizens are subjects, the wife of the king is not a subject of the king. As the word consort suggests, she is a co-sharer in his reign. No actual responsibility is allocated to her, but the fact remains that she is governing rather than being governed. This distinction is highly significant when recognized in relation to the King of kings and His Consort, the Church. As the designation King-Priest indicates that Christ will reign, as well as exercise priestly functions, so the title “royal priesthood” applied to the Church, 1 Peter 2:9, means that Church Age believers are co-reigners rather than subjects of the King. This is clearly asserted in Rev 20:4-6, “And they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years… but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him a thousand years.”
- It is a revelation of the bride’s position above all created beings.
The Church, as Bride of the Lamb, attains to an exalted position by virtue of Christ’s infinite majesty, which could not be attained by any creature in any other way. Of His elevation, it is said in Eph 1:20-21, “Which he brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come.”
The Lord Himself speaks of this sublime elevation when He said in John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
Also in John 17:24, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am; so that they may see My glory, which You have given Me.”
The very place to which He refers is especially prepared, as though no existing realm of glory could be worthy of His Bride. Think for a moment on the exaltation of the Son of
God and the incomparable reality of it in relation to time and eternity, to earth and heaven, to men and angels, and that the Church will have been called out and prepared without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. As you do, it will compel the conclusion that the Church’s elevation is like that of her Bridegroom, “far above principalities and powers,” cf. Eph 1:21; 4:10, that is, above the angelic creation.
- It is a surety of infinite glory.
Closely related to the high and holy position the Bride of the Lamb has and will experience is the fact that she will be glorified with Him in His glory. The word “glory” is used upwards of 180 times in the NT, and the majority of its usage refers to the glory of Christ.
- The glory that He had with the Father before the world was, John 17:5.
- The glory which John testifies was manifest in the incarnation, John 1:14.
- The glory of the transfiguration, Mat 17:2; Mark 9:2-3.
- The glory of the resurrection, Rom 6:4; 1 Peter 1:21.
- And, the glory He now has in heaven, Rev 1:13-18.
When all this glory is understood, it is not difficult to understand why He is called the Lord of Glory, 1 Cor 2:8; James 2:1, or what is meant when it is said that when He comes again, it will be with power and great glory, Mark 13:26.
Nevertheless, He who is crowned with glory and honor is “bringing many sons into that glory,” Heb 2:9-10.
Christ’s own petition is that believers may behold His glory, as we noted in John 17:24; and that they will share that glory is asserted by Paul when he wrote in:
Rom 8:17, “If indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we may be also glorified with Him.”
Col 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
The believer’s body is to be changed from a body of limitations to a body of glory, 1 Cor 15:43, even like His glorious body, Phil 3:21.
As L. S. Chafer noted in his Systematic Theology, “The Church, the bride of Christ, is an elect company called out from Jews and Gentiles to be forever with Christ in His highest glory.” I also quote his accompanying poem/song.
“The Church’s one Foundation, Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation, By water and the word:
From heaven He came and sought her, To be His holy Bride;
With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth,
Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth;
One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food,
And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
Yet she on earth hath union, With God the Three in One,
And mystic sweet communion, With those whose rest is won:
O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we,
Like them the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee.”
Conclusion; The meaning of this figure, “Bridegroom and bride.”
The symbolism of the Bridegroom and the Bride as bearing on Christ in His relation to the Church speaks of:
- His everlasting and knowledge-surpassing love.
- The unity between Himself and the Church.
- The authority and position to be accorded to the Church in ages to come.
Major features of truth are typified in the bride relationship which could be set forth in no other way. Much of God’s Divine blessing is determined for Israel, all of which is anticipated in her covenants and prophecies; but no covenant or prophecy brings that nation into heavenly citizenship or into marriage union with Christ.
Therefore, Christian believers have the greatest responsibility in marriage that has ever existed in the history of the human race. Never in history did God command a husband and wife to love and forgive as Christ loves and forgives. No one could do it until Christ came and the filling of the Spirit was given.
That is why Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in the appeal trial of Satan and the fallen angels, inside the Angelic Conflict. The fact that Christian marriage is being watched by angels is taught in the following passages.
1 Cor 4:9, “For, I think that God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, (theater to the universe), both to angels as well as mankind.”
Eph 3:10-11, “So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
1 Tim 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and His elect angels, to maintain these doctrinal principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”
1 Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Christian marriage is a part of the witness for the Prosecution in Satan’s appeal trial. Successful Christian marriage answers Satan’s contention that he won the case when mankind fell in the Garden. Part of the corporate testimony against Satan and the fallen angels in the Church Age is the Christian institution of marriage.
Therefore, the three Divine laws of Christian marriage, (wives obey and respect your husbands, husbands love your wives, and the mutual responsibility of both the husband and the wife in vs. 33), demand the highest and greatest system of honor, integrity, and virtue ever assigned to the Divine Institution of marriage, 1 Peter 3:1-9. This unusual system of Divine mandates is the monopoly of Christian marriage during the Church Age.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 17-083 through 17-085
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!