Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Proverbs 31:14 Like merchant ships? Seriously?
Verse 14, "She is like merchant ships, she brings her food from afar."
Seriously? Yes, there is a connection here, between the ideal woman and merchant ships of the era in which this verse was penned.
And I am not talking about a homemaker who drives miles to one store, to stock up on a bargain priced orange juice, and then drives miles further to pick up sale-priced pot roast. Although within reason, the checking different stores and clipping coupons, etc is an excellent way to be a good steward of the resources that God has blessed us with!
This woman is indeed engaged in good planning and careful management, but there are some other truths that we can find in this verse . . .
Ships in the days of Solomon were propelled in several ways -- and none of these had anything to do with the latest motor or combustion technology! First, see those oars up there? There were men on the ship whose only job was to sit on a bench, listen to the beat of a drum or the shout of a supervisor, and row, row, row. Tedious? Yes. Effective? You betcha. They could have that ship moving very quickly across the sea.
It's known that the merchant ships of ancient Israel traded with Phonecia, Tyre, Egypt and other regions. There's no way they could have doen that with only the power of their oarsmen.
A more powerful way was the wind --- see that large sail? When the wind was right, the sail would billow out and the ship would move under the wind's power. Lastly, the ancient sailors knew of the strong currents in the sea; there were powerful streams of water that could take them where they needed to go.
The point I am trying to make is that the ship could not move under its own power. And neither should we. Whether we are married and trying to emulate this ideal wife, or single and living for the Lord in ways that married woman cannot (I Cor. 7:34), we can't do it under our own power. In our own way, we need to be reliant on God to guide us, and to be the power behind all that we do.
It's pretty easy to tell ourselves, "I'm going to rely on God for my source of power today!" Makes us feel good all over .... we know it's the right thing to do, and we may even feel proud of ourselves for making that resolution. But those warm, fuzzy, proud feelings won't last long when the boss dings you on your yearly report with unfair feedback, the dog tracks in mud on your freshly-cleaned carpet, your hubby criticizes the seasoning on the pork chops, and the youngest child shows you her rash. Then, to top it all off, you realize (too late) that you forgot to pay the water bill.
So, it's important to have a PLAN on how we will rely on God today.
More on this tomorrow......