Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Proverbs 31:25 commentary: she shall rejoice

25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

Strength, in Biblical terms, can be the produce of something, the result of its efforts.

Genesis 4:12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.

Genesis 49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

In the Bible, God is said to be our strength.

Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.

As you can see by Genesis 49:3 above, strength and power are synonyms. So it is in the following verse, as well, among others.

Psalm 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

The church is clothed in honour because the church honours God.

1Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

(Notice how “despise” in the above verse is synonymous to lightly esteem.)

When judgment comes the person or thing judged is either honoured or condemned. Here is honour again as praise and extol.

Daniel 4:37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

The church’s rejoicing is not now but in time to come (although we rejoice constantly now because we have an expectant hope for that time to come.) Before the influence of Greek philosophy the church’s vision was always looking upward expectantly waiting for Christ to return. That was a fundamental part of her mission. But when Sophistic sermons and philosophy became dominant in the church as many people steeped Greek higher learning, rhetoric, and standards entered in, the church lost her first love and began to look to earthly control and moral teaching rather than casting off the values and cares of this world and looking for a better country in heaven.

Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

That statement comes first before the following verse;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Christians are called to good works but rather than redecorating the waiting room to Hell, they are to be focused upward and outward to the expectant return of the Lord Jesus Christ to rule. “…she shall rejoice in time to come.”

A church that does good works, feeds the poor, helps the sick, and supports the weak without presenting the gospel is simply another worldly humanitarian organization just as a church who preaches without doing those things is simply an empty shell (James 2:16.)

The Lord is the church’s strength and she is honored because she lifts Him up. Because of these things she shall rejoice when the Lord returns to call her out, then returns with her to rule the earth. Think about that.

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