Sunday, May 10, 2015

Bible Study Week 1: The Root

Oh the Proverbs 31 woman! What is it about her that is both so inspiring and so intimidating?

31 The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
14 She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
16 She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
17 She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
18 She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
19 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
20 She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22 She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
24 She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
25 Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
29 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
30 Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Thirty one verses about a woman who is arguably perfect, right? These days, I'm 16 weeks pregnant and I count it a good day when I manage to get out of bed let alone get out of my pyjamas! 

Pam Foster tells us in the Bible study we're using to not feel like a failure when reading about this amazing woman.

"She shouldn't intimidate us. We should admire and emulate her!"

This week, we'll be reading the whole chapter of Proverbs 31 (posted above in the KJV). Pam, like I, suggests we pray before reading this. Ask God to open our hearts to what he would have us learn. This is the only week we will be focusing on the first nine verses so take some time to really look them over. 

As we read, let's use our journals (that you hopefully collected last week!) to help us think about the following questions:

1. Who wrote this chapter in Proverbs?

2. Whose words is the author sharing?

3. Who is being spoken to?

After thinking about these questions, go back and read the chapter again. Use a highlighter or colored pencil to brighten the words praise, bless, and blessed in yellow

After our highlighting, we are instructed to go back through our reading and make a chart in our journal to organize our observations of the verses we have highlighted:

Verse Reference
Who or What is doing the Praising?
Who is being Praised?

After finishing our study each day, let's commit to praying again to thank God and about what we have found. Let's also pray about the main characteristic of the woman in this chapter. Ask God if this is a trait we can share....even if we don't know how quite yet.

This prayer, this truth, is our root during our study (thus the name of the chapter!) and we should keep it in mind while we continue this week and the next 30 weeks. 

"This is the root that produces the beautiful fruit of the virtuous wife's life"

Fun activity to do with our children!

*For this activity, you will need: paper and pencils/crayons

1. Read verses 10-31 of your preferred translation to your children and ask them to listen carefully for a verse they would like to illustrate.

2. After you finish reading, tell them to secretly select a verse to draw (make sure they don't tell!)

3. When they are done, have them share their drawing while you reread the passage.

4. Ask them to listen carefully for the verse they illustrated and raise their hand when they hear it.

5. When all the drawings are identified as verses, reread verses 30 and 31. Ask them what kind of woman is being praised in these verses. Discuss what it means. 

I hope all you wonderful ladies are having a lovely Mother's Day and have a glorious week ahead of you!



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