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Shepherds Hill Homestead » Bible Study, Proverbs 31 Woman » Proverbs 31:18

Proverbs 31:18

 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.


Perceiveth – Strong’s H2938

1) to taste, perceive, eat

I found it very interesting that the word “perceiveth” in this scripture is actually the word “taste” or “eat”.  In fact, this word is used 11 times in the scriptures and 10 of those times it is translated as taste.  In Psalms 34:8 we also see this word but it is translated “taste” – “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”  Obviously we cannot taste the Lord like we would taste food, but there is a concept there of getting the flavor.  Taste was given to us – one of our senses – as a way to know if we should ingest something into our body.  As infants, our sense of taste is very refined and truly is a method of survival.  We instantly know when something we taste is bitter or sweet.  In fact, the Lord gave us a gag reflex that will cause us to spit out anything that doesn’t taste safe.  Amazing how He planned our bodies. As we age our sense of taste tends to decrease and change and it is then through wisdom that we must discern the goodness of what we take in.  We can overcome our sense of taste and develop a taste for something through sheer will power, but this can lead us into areas where we might not need to be.  Likewise we can force ourselves to accept things into our lives that are not good for us.

Our next word in this verse is “merchandise”.

Strong’s H5504 – cachar

1) traffic, gain, profit, gain from merchandise

a) traffic, gain from traffic

This definition makes it clear that this merchandise is the return on her productivity – gain from what she is producing.  My next question would have to be, “What are you producing?”  How can we perceive that our merchandise is good if we produce nothing?  I have pondered this many times.  We live in a push button society.  This keyboard that I am using is a large part of my daily work.  I type on it all the time in answering emails, writing articles and bible studies, working on our website, editing photographs, etc.  Yet I actually am not able to produce anything tangible from all this tapping away.  I can print out a document so I suppose that is something tangible.  People who write books produce something tangible.  And many folks make profit from books, articles, websites.  But is that YOUR merchandise.  Is this bringing any gain into your home? Our Shepherds Hill Homestead website certainly brings blessing to our family and hopefully to others.  It is a source of ministry and outreach for us to anyone in the world who might find it.  I thank the Lord for the opportunity He has given us in this tool.  BUT!  If the electricity goes off, it is gone.  If the internet goes out, do I have other sources of ministry and outreach.  Do I produce more than words on a page.

I recently saw a quote on the website “Pinterest” – “Thank you Pinterest for making me feel so creative, even though I’ve really just spent the last 3 hours on the internet!” In my daughter Haley’s words, “TADAAAAH!!!!” – and there ya go.  How amazing it is that we as humans feel that thinking about something or even planning something is equivalent to producing something.  In some ways perhaps we have produced something – ideas.  And without those ideas there can be nothing tangible, right?!  Ah hah!!  That is exactly what happens – we talk ourselves into production that never comes.  We roll things around in our mind.  Accumulate all sorts of information, facts, plans and then . . . nothing.  Do you see what I am talking about here?  Have you been on this merry-go-round?  Do you have binders full of ideas?  Do you have bookmarks on your computer that would be a book if you printed them out?  Great!  Where is the actual item that came from it?  Is your merchandise merely ideas and intentions?

Our verse tells us that she perceives that her merchandise is good?  (We examined the word good in our study of verse 12, so I will not go back into that – please re-read that study.)  But in order to perceive our merchandise is good, bad or ugly we must HAVE merchandise.  Now let me assure you – I have binders – LOTS of binders.  I have many bookmarks in my favorites folder on the computer.  I do a lot of surfing on the internet when I am researching something, but I also produce quite a bit of items for our family and farm.  Paul and I have raised our children to always be in the mind set of producing something.  I recently read an excellent quote, “The smallest deed is better than the greatest intention.” – John Burroughs (thanks Cynthia).   How true this statement is! Are you actually producing or are you just intending to do so?

I do want to take a moment and address the issue of whether or not our “merchandise is good”.  If we are born again and therefore Servants of the King, we should be always seeking excellence in our lives.  A servant is one who works FOR the Master.  He/She is the reflection of the Lord.  With this concept in mind, is it acceptable to turn out shoddy work?  When we were homeschooling our children, I had to grade their daily work and keep track of their records for transcripts, etc..  But many was the time when they would make a 100 on their paper but I would have them go back and redo the work.  Why? Because I knew that even though they had made a good grade they had truly not mastered the concept being taught.  There is a vast difference in turning out acceptable work and mastery.  We see this in everyday life.  Sadly, we often see it in the lives of parents and children.

I remember a kind and gentle woman from years past who kept a VERY dirty home.  She was the mother of 8 children.  There were times when I would visit in the home and to be honest felt uncomfortable about sitting down on the furniture because of the filth.  From time to time as the opportunity arose, I would mention to her that the environment was not really safe for children and could cause rodents and ultimately sickness.  Her response was that she had 8 children and none of them died from her raising yet, so she didn’t see any problem.  In her mind there was no need to make any changes because life progressed the way it was.  She could not see that there would have been so much more for her family if she had sought to do her best.  Sadly the fruit of those years has not turned out well.  But she was a very kind, sweet and charitable woman – her fruit however, was not good.

“her candle goeth not out by night”

Okay, not sure if we want to step into this one, are we?   🙂  I, for one, love my sleep!!  I am not sure I like the idea of having to keep the lights going into the night.  Sounds like we would get very tired.  Ha!  Aren’t we happy that this says “her candle” and not HER!!  The Strong’s defines the candle as lamp.  So it is an obvious translation – I like those. 🙂  We can begin to study many scriptures about sleep:

Proverbs 24:33-34 “Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”

Proverbs 3:24        “When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep  shall be sweet.”

Proverbs 6:4          Give  not sleep  to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

Proverbs 6:9          How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

Psalms 127:2    It is vain for you to rise up  early, to sit up  late, to eat  the bread  of sorrows: for so he giveth  his beloved  sleep.

Proverbs 20:13    Love  not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied  with bread.

Luke 22:46    And  said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise  and pray, lest  ye enter  into temptation.

There are so many scriptures on the issue of sleep and slumber.  This verse really isn’t about whether or not sleeping is good.  We must sleep – our bodies cannot function without rest. Sickness would quickly come and death would be at our door.  This verse is talking about preparedness.  Being ready to do what is needed even in the night.  There is another nuance here I think, as well.  The Word uses the words candle and lamp as a symbol of the hand of God on someone – His Light, His Revelation.

Job 29:2 – 3 “Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;”

These are the words of Job when he was in the midst of his darkest hour.  He felt the loss of the light of those former times.  He was unable to see because of all the distress around him.  But the light was still there – he was just overwhelmed with what was happening to him.  Have you ever felt like that?  I have.  I wonder if this verse in our Proverbs study is perhaps speaking of the need not only for physically being prepared and ready in the night but also spiritually being prepared in times of joy and sorrow.

Psalms 18:28  “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

Proverbs 24:20 “For there shall be no reward  to the evil man; the candle  of the wicked  shall be put out.”

The same Hebrew word for candle is translated as lamp in many verses such as this one:

2 Samuel 22:29     “For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.”

The Lord gave us the parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.  The premise in this story is about 10 young women who were awaiting the coming of the Bridegroom.  Five of them were wise and kept oil in their lamps and the wicks trimmed and ready and the other 5 were not prepared at all.   Of course, the Bridegroom came in the night and the five who were prepared and ready were able to go with them, but the other five were out trying to buy oil and were left behind.  They had not prepared.  I have heard some say that the five who were prepared should have shared their provision, but if that were the case then the Lord would have told the parable differently, don’t you think?

It is imperative that we listen to the Holy Spirit of God and seek His leading in the ways we need to prepare ourselves for the times of darkness.  Whether it be in our own physical home or in our spiritual walk.  Here in Alabama, we have many different times of storms.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms with straight line winds, etc.  It is not uncommon for the electricity to go out during these weather extremes.  Our family is fully prepared for such events and we can function quite well without electricity when necessary.  I am continually amazed and saddened when I learn of folks who make no preparation at all for such times.  Now they will buy bread and milk like maniacs, but somehow they don’t think about it at other times.  They are unprepared for the darkness.  In turn their children suffer.  They also are unable to be of help to others around them at these times, because they are too busy trying to figure out what they are going to do.

Our Christian walk should be akin to our physical walk.  We should always be seeking how to increase our preparedness.  A virtuous woman is one who does all she can to be ready, even in times of darkness.


*Please be sure to send me your email address if you want to be notified when a new verse is added to our study!!!





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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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8 Responses to "Proverbs 31:18"

  1. Patti says:

    I would like to be notified when a new verse come out. Thank you

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Sure thing Patti – I will add you to the list!

  2. Yvonna says:

    Please add me 😀

  3. Le-Teisha says:

    So glad this study is updating. Your Word from the Lord is always right on time and uplifting. Thank you.

  4. Donna H says:

    Hi Angie, I finally found some quiet time to sit and really take the time to read this segment. I find this study to be such a blessing and exactly when I need it. Thank you so much for taking the time to be obedient and not just rushing through the study for the sake of doing a study. I appreciate the time in between and truly value your life experience/faith experience. I find that I think I am prepared until the next storm hits but that more and more I am able to take it all in faith and rest in the knowledge that God is in control.We have been caring for my niece’s son since February. He will be 2 years old in November. She is an addict who is involved in a really sinful life. The daily drama and the ups and downs can really be overwhelming sometimes. My other children are 15, 9, 8 and 7 so it’s been a little while since I had a toddler running around, it’s been quite an adjustment! I’ve lost 25 pounds since February – which is a blessing but also shows how drastically our life has changed! 🙂 I know that if I am not taking the time I need to spend with the Lord that I can get out of sorts really quickly. I do believe in many respects that I am fighting a spiritual battle here for this little boy and I know that preparedness is really necessary so that I don’t just ‘react’ to every new bit of news with her and every threat. I loved the passage from Job and I am know that I need to keep this in my mind. He will light the way through all of this darkness, I just need to be ready and I need to listen for HIs leading. Thank you so much for being a true mentor for me and for sharing your faith so openly. With love, Donna

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Dearest Sister – Our prayers are there with you! What a beautiful ministry the Lord has given you in taking care of this precious child! Such a service to the King in caring for His little ones. You are so right – a spiritual battle is being waged for this little boy but he has a mighty warrior fighting for him in you. Much love and continued prayers!!

  5. Shellie says:

    I’d like to be notified when the study is updated too please. Thank you for doing these. I always learn so much. You have a way of showing me something in scriptures I’ve read many times that I never saw before. It gives me much to ponder over the following week. I really enjoyed this particular one and am going to share it with my children as well. Especially my daughters.

    Donna, I’ll be praying for your situation. Praise the Lord He’s made a way for that child to be in your care. What a difference it must surely is to his little life!

  6. Heather says:

    We all make to do lists and strive to do the best we can and be organized and have something to show for it. My and I think many other mommy’s and wives also have a problem with well I still do have tomorrow…but sometimes we don’t have tomorrow…I want my days to be full and productive and actually have something to show for it. Something tangible…something physically…this is what I accomplished…This was a wonderful read for me today. I also would like to be notified when the study is updated.

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