Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Proverbs 31:10... again.

I have found myself lately massaging these truths into lives around me.  Also something I am reminding myself of as well.  Too good not to re-post.
An excellent wife who can find?
  She is far more precious than jewels.
אשת־חיל מי ימצא ורחק מפנינים מכרה׃
Proverbs 31:10

I will set aside the word "wife" for now as I know a lot of single women struggle with that part - but please read Isaiah 54:5-6 while you meditate on it.  The words I want to focus on are "excellent" and "precious".  The word "excellent" comes from the Hebrew word chayil which means strength, might (especially warlike), to show oneself strong, to display valor.  This chayil woman is not a damsel in distress.  This is a woman who listens to God and obeys His commands.  A woman who does not give in to temptation but fights spiritual battles.  This is a Titus 2 woman who teaches younger women.  A woman of tested faith like that of Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2), Abigail (1 Samuel 25), Esther and Ruth.
In war, the victors take away the captive’s weapons and sheath their own - just as Christ takes away Satan's weapons and absorbs God's wrath.  Victors have the capability to use their weapons and the discernment of when to use them.  This virtuous woman is equipt with spiritual strength and discernment.  She knows when to wield the sword of the Spirit and when to listen, know, and/or speak with love and compassion.  This is an excellent woman.

Before we get on a Joan of Arc testosterone rush, I'd like to talk about the word "precious".  In some translations it says, "of  more worth than jewels," or "precious stones."  It speaks of her value.  Now, this passage is talking about a woman who, as we see later, works out her faith.  However, I do not want to miss this opportunity to speak to all daughters of the Most High God.  No matter if you were reborn yesterday, if you have strayed from the Good Shepherd, or if you have dedicated your life to Him for decades - to Him, you are lovely and precious.  Do you see yourself as valuable to God?  You are.  In Psalm 84, the sons of Korah exclaim, "How lovely is Your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!"  You are that dwelling place.  You are lovely.  
Paul urges the Corinthians three times (1 Corin 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corin 6:16) and again to the Ephesians (2:21) that we, children of God, are the dwelling place of the LORD!  We together are a holy temple of the living God!  You were bought at a price!  Do you know that price was the by nature pure blood of Christ?!  Do you know of how much more worth that is than jewels?  You were bought with blood that is, by its very nature, pureHagnos, meaning venerable, pure from carnality, sacred... you were bought with the most valuable thing ever and ever will be in existence!  This preciousness, this value not deserved or earned but given to you freely by Christ Himself!  Preciousness that He alone can give because He alone is, by His very nature, precious.
This is a value that I don't think we can fully understand this side of heaven.  It is so wonderful I can't help but cry every time I think of it.  If this were a hand written letter, as in the time of Paul instead of a blog post, it would be warped through and through with tears.  Tears of love as I desperately desire all my sisters to know this truth.  Probably also tears of disbelief.  This is how my Abba Father sees me?!  The great I AM that I AM?!  The magnitude of this astounds me.  It fans into flame an urge for excellence that will please my Father.  Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!  Help me to fight the good fight of faith, and make me to look like Your precious Son.