Saturday, March 17, 2012

Proverbs 31:15 commentary: the church's work

15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Considering this from the point of view of the church, let’s consider a couple of things. We are in the night of man’s existence. He is blind and stumbling about trying to find his way.

Judas left to betray Christ and something important began for mankind.

John 13:30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

That reference to night was more than just an expression of the time of day. Consider these verses as perhaps more than just metaphorical. Paul knew in what dispensation mankind lived.

Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

1Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

While the pseudo-Christian state churches believed that the light of Christ was enlightening the world through their efforts Bible believers know that the world is shrouded in darkness.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

1Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

1Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

“The night is far spent” and the dawn is coming. The virtuous woman rises to feed her household with good works and with the word of God. (I have explained before the relationship of food to God’s words.)

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Remember who has maidens to send forth as messengers to spread her word?

Proverbs 9:1 ¶ Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars: 2 She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table. 3 She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city, 4 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, 5 Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled. 6 Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of Godly young women in the household of God. Maiden is not just a reference to an unmarried woman but it can refer to a female servant. The church has a special ministry to spiritually nourish and equip young women. As the 1865 poem by William Ross Wallace said, “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”

The church that runs down women, that belittles their importance, that tries to present a view of them as no better than pack animals is not Christ’s church.

The place of women in Christ is important to consider. Paul said,

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Peter said,

1Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

(The vessel reference is the deference we are to give them as being physically weaker than men in general. See 1 Thessalonians 4:4 for vessel as our body.)

So, here is a picture of the church. You can make it literally mean simply a reference to a hardworking wife of means with a household to run and servants to administer, but the parallels to the church seem clearer.

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