Suggested Reading: Proverbs 31
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Key Verses: Proverbs 31:10-11
Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
It’s interesting that at the close of Solomon’s collection of proverbs he would suggest that wisdom is summed up in the character of a mother and a wife. Could it be that he was describing his own mother and the wife of his father David? Remember they had repented of their sin. David and Bathsheba’s first child died at birth, and Solomon was their #2 child. No doubt Bathsheba shared in the words of repentance found in Psalm 51. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, believed that King Lemuel, who wrote this chapter, was Solomon himself and that Lemuel was one of Solomon’s names which means, “One who comes from God.” Wesley notes, “Perhaps David and Bathsheba, as a pledge of their reconciliation with God, gave Solomon this name, along with others, to remind him of his obligation to God.” It’s very possible that in Solomon’s eyes, his mother Bathsheba became the “virtuous wife” he describes. We serve a God who redeems the fallen and who, by His Holy Spirit, develops character so that a person, made in God’s image, can change and grow into the “stature of the fulness of Christ.” For a New Testament reading check out Ephesians 4:12-16.
O.K. so women reading this may say, “What about the character of a man or a husband?” Our next book to read in this series is “Ecclesiastes.” That book is a cry from Solomon, a man in despair, who says, “Please help me!” To all women reading this, we men recognize we need lots of help. Please pray fervently for us!!!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I pray with my whole being for Your help to fulfill all the potential that You desire to develop in me. Help me to be honest, virtuous and honourable. May the character of Jesus grow more and more in me, not by my own efforts alone, but by Your Spirit filling me, changing me, and growing me until I come into the “stature of the fulness of Christ.” Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
The body of the former President of South Africa lies in state as I write this. Over the years I have read extensively about Nelson Mandela, as well as reading his own writings. He grew not only as a boy in stature, but as a man in character. Here is a quote from The Toronto Star, “For many, he will always be the lion who walked out of a white man’s prison and into South Africa’s presidency.” The current President, Jacob Zuma, said, “His tireless struggle for freedom earned him the respect of the world. His humility, passion and humanity earned him their love.” Mandela said on one occasion, “One thing 27 years in prison taught me was to use the silence of solitude to realize how precious words are.” Reading this and thousands of Mandela’s other words has caused me to strive to do a better job of using words here on my blog. If I may have the indulgence of my readers, I’ll go well over my goal of 100 words in this blog.
I’ve been asked to say something about Mandela on the 100 Huntley Street telecast this Tuesday. I have not heard yet in the media about the prayer life of Mandela. I’ve read that during his years in prison with just bread and water for breakfast, he would lift the bread to God and say, I receive this in remembrance of Your body, Lord Jesus, and with the water, “I receive this in remembrance of Your blood.” This would have been in keeping with his Wesleyan Methodist upbringing. Then he would be taken outside to the hard labour which they required of him. I saw a photo in a Toronto newspaper from just before Mandela was elected President. I’m searching for it in vain as of this morning. It was of Mandela, DeKlerk, President at the time of South Africa, and Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the Zulu people, kneeling together during a prayer meeting. A bloody civil war was averted, and a week later Mandela was President. Rev. Michael Cassidy was the organizer of prayer meetings all over South Africa, crying out to God for His intervention and for a peaceful transition of power. I found a message from Cassidy online and I recommend that you watch at least the last part of it (fast forward to 11:50, unless you want to watch the whole message – click here). Could Mandela’s deep and mainly private relationship with God have been the secret of his amazing strength of character? I leave this for you to judge.
Yours for becoming all we can be with the great help of God’s Spirit dwelling within us,