Sunday, May 17, 2015

Week Two: The Gates

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.

Last week, we focused on the praise of the Proverbs 31 woman.  Her works honor and revere God and will earn her praise at the gates. This week, we are taking a closer look at those gates and their meaning.

Begin this time, as always by praying and reading through our passage. This will assist in opening our hearts and minds to what God would have us learn as well as memorizing the scripture.

The word gates appears in scripture 144 times. If we look through these verses and the definition of the word in the verse, we see that gates were not only important to cities, temples and homes, but are also used in reference to both Heaven and Hell. (click the links to see all the verses and definitions of "gates" in scripture)

Verse 31 in Proverbs 31 says:

Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

How does this praise relate to the significance of gates within scripture? We know that the gates can refer to death, how might a virtuous woman's works praise her at death? Markets were often also held at gates, how would her works praise her there? While thinking about these, record your thoughts and observations in your journal.

With Our Children

This week, spend time sharing what you learn about gates with your little ones. Make different kinds of gates with them out of Legos, boxes, doorways or blocks and read 2 Samuel 18:4 with them.

And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.

Explain how soldiers were often inspected at the gates to check their armor, weapons, cleanliness and stature. Allow your children to act this scene out with dolls, toys or on their own.

As they pass through the gates have the "king" inspect the weapons and uniforms and appraise his soldiers readiness for battle.

Then, reread Proverbs 31 with your children and change the characters in your play. Have the Virtuous Woman pass through the gates and God as the inspector. How will she be praised? How will her work praise her? Is she ready for His battle? Will she pass the inspection?

Blessings to you all this week and have a joyful Sunday!


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