Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. Proverbs 31:10-31
The words in Proverbs 31:10-31 form an acrostic hymn. The passage summarizes—from A to Z—the attributes of a woman of wisdom.
This great woman applies wisdom to every aspect of life. She is an entrepreneur who buys fields, plants vineyards, and decides what merchandise is profitable. She is a household leader who directs the servants. She makes and provides clothes for the poor and her household. She is not caught off guard by challenges such as weather, for she is prepared for all situations. She is not easily distracted, working late into the night.
Unlike other proverbs, these thoughts are not Solomon’s. Instead they come from King Lemuel’s mother who advised her son, “Speak for those who cannot speak … Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy” (31:8-9). A righteous king with such honorable marching orders might then become a suitable partner for an equally upright woman. A woman like the one King Lemuel’s mother describes in Proverbs 31:10-31.
She is indeed wise.
She is also strong.
Her strength is the Hebrew word chayil and is a reference to military might and power. The same word is used in verse three when Lemuel is warned not to give his strength (chayil) away. This wise woman is clearly his equal, using strength to lead righteously and care for the poor, just as her husband is advised.
Wisdom is more than knowledge. It is knowledge put into positive action. Proverbs is a book of wise sayings, and this passage is a call to action for all who read it.
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION:
What common aspects of your life need more wisdom? Do you have a partner of equal strength who stands with you?
Lord Jesus, help me become more like this woman of wisdom. Help me be the partner of equal strength others need me to be. May I become the type of person who willingly and lovingly lives a life of righteousness and wisdom through my actions. Amen.