Please read Proverbs 31:10-31 and note anything that speaks to the building of faith.
For me, the above exercise was not easy. Upon first (and second) look through this scripture for specific descriptions of her faith, there appears to be only one somewhat obvious statement of faith building. Proverbs 31:30 says that this woman fears the Lord.
Psalm 115:11 tells us that “All you who fear the Lord, trust the lord. He is your helper; he is your shield.” So clearly, fear of the Lord plays a big part in trusting and having faith in Him.
Even though the description of the Proverbs 31 Woman does not directly state that she was a woman of faith, her strong faith becomes increasingly apparent the more you study this description of her. In fact, if you consider her character attributes, evidence of her faith becomes more obvious. Let’s look at one powerful examples of this in contrast to a powerful example of the opposite.
Please read Proverbs 31:25. Being clothed with strength and dignity and living without fear shows a strong faith. In other words, her quiet faith provides an effective example of a strong faith. Consider her example as an opposite to the example the women in 1 Timothy 2:9-15 provide.
Note that in this letter to Timothy, Paul is not saying that women cannot be teachers and leaders. What he is saying is that acting in a loud, disorderly and flamboyant way is not appropriate for women in the church. And remember too that Paul’s purpose was to get rid of false teachers, not to stop women from being leaders in the church for all time. (For more on this portion of scripture, please read An Examination of 1 Timothy 2:8-15.)
In contrast to the women in 1 Timothy 2:9-15, the Proverbs 31 Woman gives a terrific example of what a woman of faith looks like. Her quiet faith teaches us in a powerful and effective way.
Perhaps the most effective evidence of faith in the Proverbs 31 Woman comes in verse 31.
“Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”
In this verse of Proverbs 31 Woman and also significantly the last verse of the book of Proverbs itself, we realize that this woman exemplifies what James rather bluntly says is the best way to know if a person has faith. Here’s what James had to say about the best evidence of faith.
Now go back through Proverbs 31:10-31 noting the good deeds of this exemplary woman. Based on her deeds alone, does her faith become even more evident?
When we combine the fact that this woman feared the Lord (v. 30) and that her actions revealed her faith (v. 31), we realize why she is called a woman of faith. We can also see how faith is best illustrated and built in our own lives.
For further study:
If you have not already done so, please read the first two parts of this series.
The New Living Translation Note Maker’s Bible describes the theme of James as follows:
James stresses the need for Christian living not only to show the reality of a person’s inner development but to show the world that the gospel does, in fact, change lives. If a person claims to be a Christian but is no different from an unbeliever, what benefit is that to anyone, much less to a world in need of truth? When we follow Christ in work and action, we can be a transforming force in the world.
With this theme in mind, take a few minutes to read the book of James. While you read through this short book, note the attributes, characteristics and qualities that James describes in a person of faith and how they exist in the example of the Proverbs 31 Woman.
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