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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Bible Study, Proverbs 31 Woman » Proverbs 31:16

Proverbs 31:16

  She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.

After a huge delay in our study, let’s get back to work!  Not many women in my neck of the woods are in the market for a vineyard.  A garden spot, yes, a vineyard, no.  This verse I believe is one of confusion for many women – especially those who have determined to be keepers at home.  But hopefully with the help of the Holy Spirit we will sift through and find the relevance in it for us today. 

 

I don’t know about you, but I am NOT much of a business person.  Paul tells me all the time that I would be a great business person because I can multi-task so well and manage so many things.  (He loves me a lot. :-)) But I don’t think I would be good at many business activities.  Let’s look at the original definitions of these words and see what they say.

The Hebrew word for Considereth:

 Strong’s H2161 – zamam  – verb

 1) to have a thought, devise, plan, consider, purpose

            a) (Qal)

1) to consider, fix thought upon

2) to purpose, devise

3) to plot (of evil intent)

 Hmmmmm – I think we can remove #3 from our examination since we know this particular “considereth” was not of evil intent. The other three definitions are very pertinent and offer some insight here. “To have a thought”- this is how any endeavor begins. How many times I have heard it said and indeed said myself, “I have an idea!”.  That can be four scary words for any husband to hear, don’t you think?!!!!  Seriously though, everything begins with a thought, an idea.  As humans, we have the ability to reason in a way that separates us from all the other creatures of the earth.  We are made in the likeness and image of God and one of the greatest attributes of being human is our thinking mind.  That being said I do know that there are some folks, bless their hearts, who don’t spend much time in deep thought at all.  Have you noticed that?  It is remarkable to me that there are people walking around, driving cars, having children, even working jobs and they don’t ever indulge their own brain in any kind of deep thinking.  Frightening. But this woman in Proverbs 31:16 was thinking.

 In this scripture we see that she was considering, other words from the thesaurus are: cogitate, contemplate, deliberate, dream of, envisage, examine, meditate, mull over, ponder, reason, reflect, ruminate, scrutinize, speculate, study, take into account, think out, think over, toss around.  This paints a fairly strong impression that this woman was not a fly by night kind of person.  She was carefully weighing a decision before she moved forward with it.  I want to take a few minutes here and delve into something that I think is a danger for most women.  Our intuition.

God blessed women with a wonderful gift called intuition.  It is that unexplainable knowing that we have at times that gives us insight into a situation.  I have known many women in my lifetime who absolutely run their lives based on their strong sense of intuition.  I remember one woman who was convinced that she had the ability to read people like a book based on her initial intuition.  She had even convinced her family that she could tell when a person was near death just by looking at them.  (Made me nervous every time she looked at me!!! Ha!!)  But let me say that while I do believe intuition is real, I also believe that God gave it as a tool of discernment and not a way to be a psychic.

 There are many theories, essays and even studies on intuition and how it works, but the truth is there is no way of knowing how it works.  Intuition is usually, in my opinion, a thought or concept that develops and over time it can indeed change.  Our intuition is only as good as whatever our knowledge and experience have shown us.  Do not be led by intuition.  Discernment is a different matter and should always be balanced by the Word of God and confirmation from brothers and/or sisters in Christ.  The Logos – which is the written Word of God – is available to us for confirmation and study.  The Rhema is the revelation of the Word by the Holy Spirit – for certain situations in our life.  It is all about the application of Scripture.  Intuition is neither Logos nor Rhema and should not be ranked equally with them.

Now why do I include this in our study of verse 16?  I believe that many times women (and men, but I am not addressing men in this study) give more weight in the decision making process to their intuition than they do to the Word of God, whether Logos or Rhema.  It is paramount that we women never assume that we have omniscience in our thought process.  What I mean by that is that only Jehovah God Almighty is omniscient – all knowing – and only He can truly move out based on His own thoughts.  This is vital to understand.

 The woman in our verse today is not leaning on her intuition to make her decision.  She is using a careful process and considering all the aspects of the situation.  I believe it is her desire to be productive and useful to her husband.  She wants to increase their financial situation by purchasing something that she can then use to produce a good product which she can sell for profit.  I do not believe that this is a normal daily activity for her.  In looking at all the verses in this chapter about her, there is no indication that she is a land speculator.  This appears to be an individual situation and she is very serious about it.  I have heard people reference this scripture in suggesting that women should be out there “wheelin’ and dealin'” and making money.  A pretty far stretch to pull all of that out of this verse. 

 We can also see that she uses the “fruit of her hands” to plant the vineyard.  She is adept at producing quality products and then being able to turn around and sell them at a profit.  The word “fruit” is defined in the Strong’s as “produce” – what she has produced – with her own hands.  This woman is a crafter, a gardener, a seamstress, a baker, a spinner, etc, etc.  It is very obvious that she doesn’t spend her time on frivolous or non-productive activities.  I have a strong impression that she would not be a television watcher if she lived in the modern era.  🙂  In our family, we taught our children to be productive with your time.  If you are sitting – shell peas, do some needlework, whittle – do something!

Through the years we have learned many of the heritage skills and crafts here at Shepherd’s Hill and in the process we have been able to make a little money from the finished items.  It is a blessing from the Lord and we are thankful.  I want to say though – 80% of what we have learned was without a human teacher, except in the form of books, magazines and/or websites.  The reason I want to point this out is that so often we hear from folks who say that they are unable to do things because no one will show them how.  Please hear me my heart as I say this – DON’T USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO DO NOTHING!!!  (I love you!)  Please, don’t!!!  We cannot spend our entire lives waiting for someone else to step in and lead us by the nose.  The woman of Proverbs 31 is not the kind of person who had to be shown step by step each task.  Because she desired excellence in her life, she pursued her tasks with determination. She was self-motivated and a go-getter.  How sad it would be to spend years, even decades doing little to nothing because no one would take the time to motivate you.  Motivate yourself!!  The Word of God is such a joy in this because in reading the scriptures – life comes.  Excitement comes.  Encouragement comes – jump in!!!

 Let me finally add here the need to be willing to get your hands dirty.  Sweat a little – sweat a lot! I love the story of Ruth and Boaz so much.  It is perhaps my favorite in the Old Testament.  One thing I loved about Ruth was that she was a real, down to earth, willing to work woman.  We see  her going with her mother-in-law to a country she didn’t know. She knew that she would have to work exhaustively in this new land because her husband, father-in-law, brother-in-law all were dead.  She had no sons yet to help.  It was just her and Naomi and they would have to physically labor in order to survive.  Remember ladies, there were no offices with air-conditioning and carpeted floors to work in.  The work was going to be hard and uncomfortable.  But she was determined.  Then later we see her gleaning in the fields.  Gleaning – have you ever gleaned?  Well, I have.  Talk about work!  You have to pick through everything just to see if something had been left.  Usually what was left had worm damage or mold and the fields were no longer planted in neat rows to walk down – everything is cut and strewn in disarray.  Hard, dirty, sweaty physical labor.  Talk about your back hurting –

Then we read that Boaz saw her gleaning in the field  and he was VERY impressed.  I have pictured this so many times in my mind.  I know what I look like when I am out in the garden all day working.  Not a pretty site!  Soaking wet usually with dirt all over me – red-faced and bug bitten.  I am sure that Ruth was not at her most attractive, but something about her sparkled in Boaz’ eyes.  He saw beauty there. Could it have been her countenance?  Perhaps as she worked and toiled she kept a smile on her face.  Perhaps she was singing a song of praise and thanks to the Lord for his provision as she stooped picking up the grain.  Perhaps when she stood straight and stretched her aching back, she raised her hands to heaven and thanked the Lord with silent joy.  I don’t know what it was but it was something that separated her from all the other gleaners in the fields. It is evident that she was not out there griping and complaining over her situation. 

And with the fruit of her hands she fed herself and Naomi.

What is the fruit of your hands? 

Sisters,

With the new website you can easily jump in with your thoughts and ideas for the Bible Study by simpling clicking the “Comment” button.  I am looking forward to getting back into our study and as always, love to read your views as well.  Please share!

Hugs and Blessings,

Angie

 

Angelia

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"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

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7 Responses to "Proverbs 31:16"

  1. Angie(BritChickNY) says:

    Angie, thank-you for this lesson today. Sometimes it’s very easy to feel that we cannot live up to our “perceived” view of our Proverbs 31 woman but breaking it down and focusing on just this one aspect (considering/intuition) is very helpful. Too many times I (we?) rush ahead without the considering/pondering/discerning and then wonder why we stumble. Our Lord has given us, as you say, a mind able to think and reason. But we also must have patience too.
    Looking forward to more!

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      So glad you could join in with us, Angie. You are so right – patience is a MUST!!

  2. Paul Burrell says:

    Great study! it will inspire women to be more like Christ

  3. Brenda says:

    Thank You ! Just what I needed today… God Bless

  4. Regina Shea says:

    This verse is interesting and it does make me think of gardening. I also didn’t realize (or perhaps paid no attention) until you pointed out Angie is that she “considers” a field. She isn’t a impulsive buy because you want it type of woman.

    I long to be like that. I’m trying though but I still make mistakes. This past weekend we bought school supplies for our homeschool but I also bought stuff we really didn’t need like gel pens and Crayola markers,items we really didn’t need. So I’m allowing God to show the areas where I’m not being wise in my finances.

  5. Debbie Snyder says:

    I appreciate the things that you share, Angie. I’m very encouraged by it. Such a great study…I look forward to more!

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Good to have you with us Debbie!

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