Proverbs 31

Over August we're going to read through the book of Proverbs. There are 31 days in August and 31 chapters in Proverbs, so we'll be putting them up on Saturdays and Sundays too.

Instead of relying on other reflections on the passages, we want to make space for God to speak to us all in the expectation that we will be transformed into his likeness as we open ourselves to his Spirit and seek to live wise and godly lives.

Open yourself to the Spirit, ask him to highlight a particular verse, phrase or section for you to think about during the day.

Read the chapter slowly. If something jumps out at you or catches your attention stay with that for a while.

Ask yourself, does this make me feel uncomfortable/reassured/challenged?

Ask questions of the Proverb?

Why did the original writer think this was worth writing down?
How does did this apply to people's lives in the past?
How does it apply to my life now?

Ask the Spirit what he may be saying.
Is God calling me to change/repent/see things differently?
How would my life look different if I lived this out?
What steps can I take to make this happen?

Take this Proverb with you throughout the day and see how the wisdom of the ages can transform your life today.

Proverbs 31

31 The sayings of King Lemuel - an inspired utterance his mother taught him.

2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
    Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength on women,
    your vigour on those who ruin kings.

4 It is not for kings, Lemuel
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
    and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
    wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.

8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Epilogue: the wife of noble character
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
    She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 'Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.'
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honour her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
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