Ruth 4:8-12. Final chapter - The virtuous woman creates a home as a type of Christ, part 2.
Christianity involves the operation of a personal power producing effects inexplicable by the laws of nature. The very basis of Christianity is supernatural.
PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, And he will have no lack of gain.
PRO 31:12 She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.
The virtuous woman does what she does because she has fallen in love with goodness, towb.
PRO 31:13 She looks for wool and flax, And works with her hands in delight.
The same Hebrew asah, to be active, to work, is used of Ruth gleaning in Boaz’s field. We should imagine that Ruth took delight in her work since the product of it provided for the woman she loved so dearly.
The excellent woman is proactive, which flows completely from her love of the Lord. She looks or seeks for wool and flax. She doesn’t wait until she is forced to work or is compelled by her husband or need, but she plans ahead, for she loves the work (chepets: delight, pleasure, desire).
Every woman has this opportunity. The gospel is for all. The blessings of the Lord are for all. There are many women who have homes with families who do not love to manage it. There is only one reason for a lack of love and joy in any of us and it is the decision to reject the Lord and His will to walk by means of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us that all have gone astray and all have gone to their own way, but God has caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon Him.
“Looks for wool and flax” - plans ahead and is prepared because she loves what she does.
We don’t find Jesus ever rushing to get anywhere in the Gospels, which is amazing when remembering that He had a ministry of only 3 ½ years to accomplish all that He came to do. I suppose we could conclude that He had plenty of time because He never wasted it. He was always about the Father’s business and prepared for and did just that. We would be wise to do the same.
Jesus delighted in the work of the Father. He was filled with joy in doing it.
He also loved us and for that reason also He worked the greatest work, laying aside His own joy and endured the cross, despising the shame.
If we abide in Him, we will find joy in everything that we do.
Not everything we do is joyous fundamentally, yet we know that if it is God’s goodness that we are about, we possess a deeper joy that overflows any pain or lack of comfort.
It is not a paradox to lay aside our own joy or comfort in order to sacrifice for another. Though it may be painful for a time, the joy will return to us in greater force through knowing that we have fulfilled the will of the Father and that we have fellowshipped with the Lord’s own suffering.
As Heb 12 states, as it references our Lord’s efficacious and unique sacrifice, we must keep our eyes upon Him.
It is only when we get our eyes on people and ourselves that work becomes burdensome.
Perspective is everything when we work.
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Come to Me, the Lord said, and I will give you rest. When we consider Him, we will not grow weary or lose heart.
Some are motivated to work in the service of others because they personally love them. It could be the mother who loves her husband and children and so works hard to make a home for them. But this will only motivate her so far. When prolonged sacrifice is needed, human love will not be enough. Such a person will not be able to avoid seeking for recognition, appreciation, and thankfulness, and though they certainly deserve it, the work of God never depends upon it. Human love doesn’t keep working and serving when the recipient is continually selfish and only consuming. Human love only partially motivates. Love for God and His way fully motivates all of the time.
Yet, love for God knows that work and service is always to Him. Hence, the excellent woman works with delight. And God is always watching and He promises that your reward will be great.
Our Lord worked and served the Father and His reward was great, which was the ability to serve others and be exalted for just that.
Love for people only partially motivates. It is not enough in the face of great sacrifice. It is love for God that is needed.
With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.
Doing all things as unto Him, not just because He’s watching, which He is of course, but out of love for Him.
We all know the difference between work and delightful work. The hands seem to do better and more efficient work when the soul is delighted.
PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
PRO 31:11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
PRO 31:12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
PRO 31:13 She looks for wool and flax,
And works with her hands in delight.
PRO 31:14 She is like merchant ships; She brings her food from afar.
Pic: merchant ship of the like that Paul likely sailed on.
Merchant ships are an image of her prudent, calculating, and brave nature. She goes above and beyond.
Paul travelled upon a merchant ship to Rome and suffered the danger of the weather. Merchant ships on the Mediterranean and in the seas of the East were always under a certain amount of danger. Certainly, the motivation of a merchant ship was profit, but the excellent woman has a much higher motivation.
Sailing in the ancient world was adventurous and dangerous and it took brave men to do it. Rough seas, storms, collisions in low visibility, technical problems with the ship, provisions, tricky navigation, and of course pirates all made ancient merchant trade a dangerous proposition.
The excellent wife is brave and prudent in acquiring the needs of her household.
Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into the sheath; the cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?"
Think of the bravery of our Lord and then think of why He had it. He did not express His deity. Also, as He said to Peter, He didn’t call for thousands of angels to help Him. He said, “Father, Your will be done.” He relied and trusted in His Father.
It is simple, but not always simple to do. Sometimes we must fight the good fight and trust no matter what sight tells us or the urges of the flesh bid us.
The excellent woman loves what she does, she loves God’s good, and because she desires it so intensely, she must rely upon God to get it done. This gives her courage like a merchant ship in uncharted waters.
Love of good, full dependence on God, and courage gives her the energy to deny herself in the service of her household.
PRO 31:15 She rises also while it is still night, And gives food to her household, And portions to her maidens.
She rises early because the care of her home is more to her than comfort because this care is a satisfaction and a joy.
She prepares for the children and the servants their daily portion while they sleep. The picture is of her being up before the others and giving out or preparing the necessary food for the day.
She could choose her own ease and they still would be fed, but because she loves the home and the work as our Lord did, she is diligent to provide in the best way possible. She cares more for others than for herself. This is certainly the mind of Christ, and His mind is to be in each of us.