Morning Bible Study
The Bellers are coming home. Kim and
the kids are back on May 24, Caleb arrives on May 29, and we’d like their house
to be ready to go
We now have all the items we’ve been looking for, but you can still donate
towards the “Beller Fund”.
They’ve got a couple thousand dollars of anticipated expenses ahead, and
we’d like to see them enter the country with no debt.
We could use some help on Saturday May 19, 10am, after the Second Harvest
Outreach. We will start at church and
head over to the new house, set up beds, and whatever else is needed.
Coordinate with Lisa or Daniel if
have any questions
The book of Proverbs is all about wisdom.
Wisdom is not about knowing facts.
Wisdom is about knowing what to do with what you know.
Wisdom is knowing when to do it.
Wisdom is knowing how to do it.
Proverbs are sayings, typically short, that give wisdom and insight into
They are intended to help you lead a better life.
They are not absolute promises, as in “if you do x,y, then z will always happen and your life will be
They are general principles – that if you do them your life will be
generally better than if you didn’t do them.
31:1-9 Mom’s Advice
:1 The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him:
:1 The words of King Lemuel
There was no king in Israel known as “Lemuel”.
Some think this is a nickname for Solomon.
Lemuel means “devoted to God”.
:1 the utterance which his mother taught him
Moms often give good advice. I like
Maybe today slow down and enjoy your family a little.
:2 What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows?
:3 Do not give your strength to women, Nor your
ways to that which destroys kings.
:3 Do not give your strength to women
The problem is not that women are evil.
But a man can be destroyed by women.
I wonder if it’s significant that “women” is plural.
Samson was a man with a “women” problem.
With Samson, it was one woman after another, including a prostitute, until
he meets up with Delilah, a woman who sold him out to the Philistines for some
(Proverbs 31:3 The
Message) Don’t dissipate your virility on fortune-hunting women, promiscuous
women who shipwreck leaders.
Good advice from a mom.
: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
If a leader spends too much of his time inebriated, he’s not going to be
making very smart decisions.
: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.
:4 It is not for kings to drink wine
The Bible does not condemn the drinking of alcohol.
Yet if you want to be an effective leader, you should think twice before
taking that drink.
More good advice from mom.
:8 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.
Mom encourages her son the king to stand up for the defenseless.
31:10-31 The Virtuous Woman
This next section could be a continuation of the advice from Lemuel’s mom.
The ancient Jews considered it a separate section, and thought it was written
This is also an alphabetic acrostic.
The first verse begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the
next verse with the second letter, etc.
How can you apply this next part?
If you’re a gal – this is an idea of how God wants to work in your life,
whether you’re single or married.
If you’re a single guy, this is the gal you ought to be looking for.
If you’re a married guy, this is the kind of gal you want your wife to be
if she isn’t already.
If your wife isn’t like this gal, don’t worry because at the end of the
message I’ll talk about how to get a new wife.
:10 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.
:10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
The word for “wife” is the simple word for “woman”.
A gal doesn’t have to be married to develop many of these qualities.
virtuous – chayil – strength, might, efficiency
This is talking about a “strong” woman.
Not physical strength, but strength of character.
Boaz used this word to describe Ruth:
(Ruth 3:11 NKJV) …for all the
people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman.
:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So
he will have no lack of gain.
:11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her
For a marriage to flourish, there needs to be trust.
It’s hard to live with someone you don’t trust.
It’s hard to love or give of yourself if you don’t trust the other person.
There are things that break trust:
Can trust ever be regained when it’s been broken?
Yet it can, but it takes intentional work on the part of both people.
One person needs to show that they are trustworthy, and the other person
needs to learn to risk trusting again.
All this takes time.
Trust isn’t regained overnight.
:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
:12 She does him good and not evil
Sometimes when we’ve been hurt or wronged, we can lash out at each other.
We can hold grudges and be slow to forgive.
And we justify it all by telling ourselves just how painful the hurt was
that I received.
(Romans 12:21 NKJV)
not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Some of you at this very moment are thinking, “Preach it Rich! Tell them
they need to be good to me!!”
I’m not talking about the other person.
I’m talking to you. I’m talking
to the one that’s listening to me. Do
good, not evil.
: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.
(Proverbs 31:14 The
Message) She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings
back exotic surprises.
We call this “shopping”. The
virtuous woman is a good “shopper”.
A Woman's Guide to Men's Gifts
(compiled by a virtuous woman)
When in doubt - buy him a cordless drill. It does not matter if he already
has one. I have a friend who owns 17 and he has yet to complain. As a man, you
can never have too many cordless drills. No one knows why.
If you are really, really broke, buy him anything
for his car. A 99-cent ice scraper, a magnetic phone holder or something to
hang from his rear view mirror. Men love gifts for
their cars. No one knows why.
Buy men label makers. Almost as good as cordless drills. Within a couple of
weeks there will be labels absolutely everywhere.
Socks. Shorts. Cups. Saucers. Door. Lock. Sink. You get the idea. No one knows
Never buy a man anything that says “some assembly required” on the box. It
will ruin his Special Day and he will always have parts left over.
Men love chainsaws. Never, ever, buy a man you love a chainsaw. If you don’t
know why - please refer to Rule #3 and what happens when he gets a label maker.
: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
:16 From her profits she plants a vineyard
She gets up early.
She works hard.
She handles money well.
: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.
(Proverbs 31:18 The
Message) She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for
:19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff, And
her hand holds the spindle.
NLT) Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
:20 She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the
:21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, For
all her household is clothed with scarlet.
(Proverbs 31:21 The
Message) She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter
clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
:22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and
NLT) She makes her own bedspreads. She dresses in fine linen and purple
:23 Her husband is known in the gates, When he
sits among the elders of the land.
:23 Her husband is known in the gates
She affects him
The gates of a city were where the leaders would hang out.
It was something like a combination of city hall and the local courthouse.
(Proverbs 31:23 The
Message) Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city
Do you want your husband to reach his potential?
The Proverbs 31 woman produces this kind of husband.
Our actions affect others.
Peter 3:1 NKJV) Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that
even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the
conduct of their wives,
We may think others change by how often we nag them, but
the greater impact is the life we live and the example we set.
:24 She makes linen garments and sells them, And
supplies sashes for the merchants.
:24 She makes linen garments and sells them
Is it okay for a Christian woman to have a career?
I’d have to say yes.
This gal is a career woman.
She doesn’t neglect her role at home, but notice that she is making and
selling things, buying and selling property, planting vineyards, and works
very, very hard.
:25 Strength and honor are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time
NLT) She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without
fear of the future.
:26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
She must have been reading the book of Proverbs…
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.
:27 She watches over the ways of her household
Men can do this as well, but sometimes we need a little help.
: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
:28 Her husband also, and he praises her
Some of you men might be thinking that your wife is nothing like this
“virtuous woman” and you are still wanting me to tell you about how to get a
An Amish boy and his father were visiting a mall. They were amazed by
almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that
could move apart and back together again. The boy asked his father, “What is
this, Father?” The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, “Son, I
have never seen anything like this in my life. I don’t know what it is!” While
the boy and his father were watching wide-eyed, as an old lady with a cane
hobbled up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened and the lady stepped into a small room. The walls closed and the boy and his father watched small circles of
lights with numbers above the walls light up. They continued to watch the
circles light up in the reverse direction. The walls opened
up again and a beautiful 24-year-old woman stepped out. The father said
to his son, “Let’s go get your mother!
How to change your wife
Well first you have to find that mall with the
Let me add a disclaimer – there is no guarantee that what I’m going to
share is going to “fix” anything. Your spouse is a human who makes her own
choices. But what I’m going to share IS
what God wants you to be doing as your way of cultivating and encouraging your
NKJV) —25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and
gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by
the word, 27 that He
might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or
any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Love your wives in this way:
Sacrifice. Give your life for your wife.
Be willing to lay down your rights, even willing to die for her if you
Jesus did these things to us, even when we were wretched
and filthy. He died for us.
Wash her with your words. Let her
know daily how much you love her and how beautiful she is.
You could also try the next line on her as well…if you
:29 Many daughters have done well, But you
excel them all
Gentlemen, when was the last time you said something like this to your
: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.
:30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is
I’m not sure we really get this in our modern society.
Everything around us is geared towards admiring outward appearance.
(1 Peter 3:3–4 NLT)
—3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles,
expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes
from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so
precious to God.
It’s not wrong to wear nice things, wear makeup, or have
your hair done.
But here’s the challenge for today’s Christian woman: Do you spend as much time cultivating your
relationship with God as you do putting on your makeup?
Jill Briscoe is a gifted teacher. She writes,
One day I had a speaking engagement in Florida and I shared a table with three
elegant young women. I felt fat, forty, and somewhat futile.
Suddenly and unexpectedly God inquired of me, “Why do you
think everyone is so tense?”
“Competition,” I replied with sudden understanding.
I distinctly heard his next words: “Jill, you’ll never be
For the first time I thanked God for my ordinary
good looks. I could be a big sister to women, a friendly mother, an aunt. I
could relax, knowing I would never threaten anyone. God had made me just right
for my ministry of teaching women, and that was all that mattered.
Ladies, do you know what kind of peace can come over you when you settle it
in your heart to be okay with who you are?
You don’t have to be in competition.
You just need to be close to Jesus.