Hello family! Today, let us look at these wise words of a woman to her son. We are looking for ways that this inspired wisdom can help each of us be the Salt and Light that Jesus speaks about in the Beatitudes.
The sayings of King Lemuel—an inspired utterance his mother taught him.
2 Listen, my son! Listen, son of my womb!
Listen, my son, the answer to my prayers!
3 Do not spend your strength on women,
your vigor on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, Lemuel—
it is not for kings to drink wine,
not for rulers to crave beer,
5 lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
6 Let beer be for those who are perishing,
wine for those who are in anguish!
7 Let them drink and forget their poverty
and remember their misery no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
We all have a unique spiritual DNA. There are so many things that go into our make-up as human beings who are beloved by God and operating in God's Kingdom.
Our personalities, values, cultures, convictions, relationships, vocations, and many other things play small roles in our individual stories. In the Kingdom of God, each of these individual stories come together to tell a collective story about God's love for each of us individuall and all of us as a community.
I love this passage of scripture where Lemuel's mother writes these words of wisdom that teach us how different people can live as Salt and Light in their own contexts. You probably noticed that the main instruction that she gives her son (who is a King) is to act wisely so that he will never forget the poor, oppressed, or outsider. Lemuel's mother knows that Lemuel's behavior that leads him to remember and serve the poor is how Lemuel will be Salt and Light as a leader.
Then, the Proverb begins to talk about women. The woman who spoke the words that are recorded in this Proverb understands and teaches us to understand that there is no box for a Godly person to fit in.
In other words, the woman in Proverbs 31 is an example where she is neither “just” a homemaker, or “just” a career person. (As if either of these needs the other to be validated!) This woman isn’t advocating for one or the other. She is simply living into the fullness of the opportunities life presents, and doing it all out of reverence for God. The real “word” from this woman is not that every godly woman needs to be a wife, mother, real estate agent, farmer, seamstress, etc... But, rather, that the "secret sauce" in the story is that a person who truly lives a life of reverence will be Salt and Light in all they do. The beautiful thing about this is that it takes into account the truth that we all have a unique Spiritual DNA and God's desire is that different individuals will be Salt and Light in various contexts around the world.
This week, let's explore what it looks like for you to live as Salt and Light in your vocation, relationships, family, culture, values, convictions, and personalities.