Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Proverbs 31:12 commentary; how the church presents Christ

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

The virtuous woman can be trusted to do her husband good. We are told;

1 Peter 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.

One of the ways to understand the Bible is by word markers. For instance, some people will run to a dictionary when they see the word ‘eschew’ which is not an archaic word as I recently saw it in a sports article online. However, it is not a word we regularly use. But, here one way how you uncover the meaning of a word, as it is intended in the Bible. First, you look for similar phrasing, with the same words around another word or phrase in either that verse or one nearby.

In this case we see “let him eschew evil” in verse 11 preceded by “let him refrain his tongue from evil”. So, we can deduce that the specific meaning of eschew, as intended in verses 11 is to refrain from it, particularly to refrain from speaking it. See how simple that was?! There are several places where you can discern meanings by the use of word markers in the Bible.

Now, back to the virtuous woman. A good wife will not only seek to do her husband good but will likewise not seek to do him evil. Evil is defined in the Bible as, among other things, malice and malicious as in “an evil beast” in Genesis 37:33. It also carries with it the meaning of negative as in “an evil report” in Numbers 13:32. An “evil woman” in Proverbs 6:24 is manipulative and being one of the foreign women to Israel in the land would entice a man to do wrong against God. An “evil man” is violent as in Psalm 140:1 and wicked in Psalm 10:15. He is rebellious in Proverbs 17:11 and in 2:12 seeks froward things.

A husband and wife ought to be able to trust each other completely. They should be able to know in their heart that the other party would never willingly do anything to hurt them or their relationship. The church should never do anything to bring shame on the cause of Christ. Churches that willingly hide evil in the pulpit or the flock, who allow wicked men and women in places of importance to stay in position simply because they are who they are regardless of what sins they’ve committed against some innocent or helpless person are just the kind of wife that is not trustworthy.

A church that is a rebel against government not because of something the government has done to prevent them from doing what Christ has called them to do but simply for political reasons is not doing the work of the good wife, the virtuous woman. The church that is more concerned with political party politics than Christ is an unfaithful wife. The church that is more concerned with getting in the newspaper or on the TV news than with service and worship and obedience is not a faithful wife.

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