and she laughs without fear of the future.
It is a time-worn stereotype of women that men discuss repeatedly. It's the image of a woman standing in front of a closet that is bursting with clothing and shoes, and wailing, "I haven't a thing to wear!"
Ladies, I'm not going to fuss at anyone about shopping too much or too little. I'm headed in a different direction, and this is for our single readers, too, not just those of us who are married!
I like how this is translated in the Septuagint; "strength and honor are her clothing". . . we saw in verse 17 that her arms were strong for her tasks, and we've also noted that her strength came from the Lord, as ours should. We must not only rely on God for the strength for each day, but also fortify ourselves with correct and ample nutrition, too. Honor, though, is a virtue which can give a woman (single or married) a moral force and dignity. It can arm her against care and worry. It can give her a strength of will that will be revealed in her behavior, her posture, and her outlook on life.
A woman of honor is not afraid of what "may" happen, for she knows in Whom she trusts, and has also done her own duties to the best of her abilities. Because of this knowledge and preparation, she will rejoice in the time to come, or, she laughs at the future. Another verse that conveys this concept is Job 5:22. You may want to take a moment and look it up, and read it in context. The speaker, Eliphaz, is detailing the security and peace of a person whose mind is "stayed on Him." (Isaiah 26:3)
The Greek and Latin translations both take another route with this verse, and indicate that this Spirit-filled woman can "rejoice in the last days," as in the day of death. While it's true that having the comfort of God's mercy and peace can push away the fear of death, there is so much action in this chapter that I think Lemuel's mom is referring more to the cares and distresses of life here on earth. Though we are weak on our own, in Him we are strong, and we have strength and honor to withstand our enemies --- and persevere in doing good. As Paul told us, we have the . . .
. . . belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18 for the full passage)I can't think of a better way to dress ourselves. We can certainly smile at the future, full of confidence that He is with us.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)