A message by Pastor Bill Mann on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at King’s Grace Fellowship.
Proverbs 31 (NKJV)
Tonight, marks the end of our journey through Proverbs. My hope is that from this point as you read Proverbs the Holy Spirit will bring to your remembrances some of highlights that have been shared. Remember these are divine, time honored principles that will help guide your journey through life.
Proverbs 31:3 (NKJV)
Do not give your strength to women, Nor your ways to that which destroys kings.
Proverbs 31:3 (The Message)
Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous women who shipwreck leaders.
Throughout Proverbs there are warnings regarding boundaries for sex. I think these warnings can be distilled to this: Sex is wonderful within the context of godly boundaries. (marriage) Outside those boundaries things will go sideways. The warnings prior to this one and including this one all indicate this notion. A common thread is that each individual must decide for themselves to heed the warning and get as far away as possible from the threat.
I try to take a pragmatic approach to things and logically think through the subject at hand. Here are some of my person observations about sex. Human beings were designed for sex. They desire sex for various reasons. There are innate dangers in men and women being together if boundaries are ignored, forgotten, or set aside.
The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom. Desiring, seeking after (through the principles), embracing (loving and making it personal) and practicing wisdom. Here is one last shot concerning the very important issue of sex. Having Christ mind about it and embracing it will set you free and keep one safe.
If only some of our politicians would have had mothers who would have taught them this.
Proverbs 31:4–7 (NKJV)
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; 5 Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, And remember his misery no more.
The wisdom of Proverbs (God’s wisdom for a good life) is designed to bring fullness and abundance. Not necessarily the amassing of material things, but the rich satisfaction that comes from knowing one is at peace with God and man because of the choice to honor the wisdom of biblical principles by doing them and loving them.
Here again like sex, is a warning about the abuse and or the potential abuse of alcohol which is somewhat of a theme in Proverbs. As I have already commented about Christians and alcohol, let me reiterate once again that it’s the abuse of things that cause trouble to mankind. One attribute of a person who is living the spirit-filled life is “self-control). I think self-control would apply to alcohol.
I know that there is wide latitude in interpretation as it pertains to alcohol consumption. Some are for abstinence others are for moderation. We will not conclusively decide this issue tonight. But the wisdom of Proverbs is for one to understand the potential pitfalls of alcohol. From the passage one could conclude that in certain situations alcohol consumption could be encouraged and condoned.
This passage is not a “proof-text” for abstinence nor does it grant license to consume recklessly. I speaks of wisdom for one to ponder prayerfully.
Proverbs 31:8–9 (NKJV)
Open your mouth for the speechless, In the cause of all who are appointed to die. 9 Open your mouth, judge righteously, And plead the cause of the poor and needy.
I actually think The Message rendering of this passage wins.
Proverbs 31:8–9 (The Message)
“Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. 9 Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute!”
It was not my intention to go verse five verse, or passes by passage through this proverb, but it seems that I am. I just thought that these were so good.
Here in this passage, is a biblical principle that we should stand an advocate for those who cannot. It’s difficult did name of every situation that this should be done in, but the principle is in tact. I like to compare it to what God did for us. We were lost, and completely hopeless because of our sin. But God, while we were still active sinners with no intention on giving up our sin, demonstrated his love for us by sending his son Christ Jesus who willingly gave up his life for ours.
He advocated then for us, and he is still advocating for us..
1 John 2:1 (NKJV)
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.
Here, being led by the Holy Spirit isn’t absolute must. How is it that we should know what we should advocate for? The Holy Spirit we’ll make this known to us. Our job is not to judge the sinfulness of a person, but to point them to the Father, knowing that His love, demonstrated by our compassion and care for them will draw them to repentance.
“In statistics (and some other fields, such as medicine, I believe), the best available benchmark under reasonable conditions is sometimes referred to as “the gold standard”. This phrase is also used colloquially to mean an ideal against which others are compared – google gives its definition as “the best, most reliable, or most prestigious thing of its type”
I call it the Gold Standard for Women because I see it as a personal goal worthy of aspiration. Let’s read it, then I make some comments:
Proverbs 31:10–31 (NKJV)
10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. 11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life. 13 She seeks wool and flax, And willingly works with her hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, She brings her food from afar. 15 She also rises while it is yet night, And provides food for her household, And a portion for her maidservants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; From her profits she plants a vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength, And strengthens her arms. 18 She perceives that her merchandise is good, And her lamp does not go out by night. 19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And her hand holds the spindle. 20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. 21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry 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, And supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness. 27 She watches over 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 daughters have done well, But you excel them all.” 30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, And let her own works praise her in the gates.
Now before serious comments I get a chuckle whenever I read, “Who can find a virtuous wife?” because in tandem I think of Pro. 20:6b. These are the 2 great questions of the Bible:
These are actually serious questions? Would anyone here make the boast that they have reached the end of their personal perfection. I mean, there are no more struggles with the flesh. You ARE the person you have always wanted to be in Christ. There is nothing to really improve upon.
That’s what I thought. No one! Throughout the years of pastoral ministry, I have run into many women who feel so inadequate because they’re not in their estimation the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. Instead of being a goal to walk towards they feel less than victorious because of never measuring up.
We are all in the same boat. We read the Bible and we see our own inadequacies. Oftentimes the enemy of our souls is able to get us to fixate on where we fail instead of where we succeeded. Of course it does not mean that we should give license to our failures but on the same token it does is no good to sideline ourselves refusing to move forward to become all that we can be in Christ.
This chapter is a reference manual for the godly woman, however every man would be a better man if the principles of these attributes were in them as well. Remember, these seem “counter-culture” but they are attributes of a life lived for God.
1. Don’t ignore the warnings. (sex & alcohol)
2. Speak for those who cannot speak.
3. Be zealous for godly attitudes, principles & activities. (love & embrace [by doing] them)