Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday, April 3rd: Proverbs 30-31, Hebrews 5 ~ Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Proverbs 30-31; Hebrews 5

In Proverbs, Agur demonstrates the futility of life without wisdom, and also the blessings obtained from God's Word. We cannot obtain enough insight, correct every injustice, or curb some of the most common sins. It is only through knowledge of the Holy One-God's only Son, Jesus Christ, who was crucified, died, and resurrected-that we are rescued from pressure of inadequacy, failure, and ultimately, eternal damnation. Knowledge and soundness of mind gained from the Lord enable us to approach life in this world with confidence.

King Lemuel was taught God's Word by his mother in order to equip him to serve his subjects. While we may never find ourselves in such a high position of authority, let us learn from his mother's example. Rather than focusing her teaching on how he could achieve financial and material success or how to increase his power, she taught him God's Word. God's Word from cover to cover bears witness first and foremost to another son: God's Son, who, at the appropriate time, took on human flesh and was born to a virgin mother. He did so to fulfill God's promise to bless all nations. Indeed, His death for the sins of the entire world opened up the gates to heaven. Verses 10-31 are an acrostic poem; each line begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. There is no indication who wrote this final second of the Proverb. On account of its different style, this poem is probably not an extension of King Lemuel's words. Yet this is a wonderful poem, praising virtuous women. It also serves to instruct men in what to look for in a potential spouse. The woman described here is truly remarkable. While it is often assumed that women played a subservient role in the home and society of ancient Israel, this woman defies such description. Not only is she the manager of the household, she is also a shrewd businesswoman (and is praised for it). Notice, however, that everything she does is for her family and, by extension, her community. She lives and works for the well-being and livelihood of others. She is not interested in promoting her own self-worth, but her worth is demonstrated by her service, which is ultimately motivated by her love for God. Such a woman should be treasured and honored.

The most basic human relationship, according to God's design, is the joining of a man and woman in holy matrimony. However, due to our active rebellion, this relationship has been undermined. In His mercy, God still blesses our marriages. Since our relationship with the Creator is restored in Christ, this likewise serves to restore our marriages and all other human relationships.

In Hebrews, Jesus Christ, our true High Priest, shares our humanity and knows the weaknesses that we experience. Being one with the Father, He is the source of God's full forgiveness. If we approach God confident in our own goodness, we will be condemned according to the strictness of the Law. But Christ Jesus is gentle and understanding. He forgives us, gives us confidence before the Father, and helps us in all our needs. Christians grow in maturity by building on the basic teachings of the faith and connecting God's promises with the new way of life that He gives. Those who reject God's promises should fear the just judgment of God. If we fail to be fruitful in love, mercy, and generosity, we become like thorns and thistles, fit only for His fire. However, we can be confident that God, who has given us the gift of salvation, will grow the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Leviticus 1-3; Hebrews 6

1 comment:

Pamela said...

The "Proverbs 31 Woman" sets an example for woman that seems unachievable. I think in today's culture it is the epitome of women to do it all and have it all and it comes at the expense of ....well everything. In my own life, I have learned that as a working Mom that something always suffers. If I'm feeling awesome at work and my lessons are going well and I'm on top of paperwork and meeting then it likely means that something at home is suffering. If I am an attentive wife, doting mother, and my house is in pristine condition then likely it means that my classroom agenda is not going well. I think the misguided notion that women can do it all and do it well is a misconception that society has adopted. Something always suffers. The Proverbs 31 woman does seem to have it all and do it all but her motivation is all about her family-and by extension her community. I guess she also doesn't have the internet to distract her! ;)

We've been studying Hebrews at church and I think this applies to the Proverbs 31 woman too:

In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

When we rely on society's view of women and the lack of value in seeing women as helpers and keepers of the family we are denying God's role for each respective gender role. We are immature in our thinking and in our understanding of God's perfect design for men and women.