Value is something that I believe is more important than people realize. As a person, we are always looking to see what our value is: Is it in our waistline? Our bank account? Do we find our value in how much we get accomplished every day, or by how much we are praised by other people?
Our societal value as a woman has definitely changed through the last century. On one hand, women gained the right to vote in 1920, so that was a huge step for us. On the other hand, the feminist viewpoint determined that the value of a woman was still not equal to the value of a man, and thus began the struggle for women to be “just as good as men.”
In Proverbs 31, we are going to look to see how God values women.
“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.“
The Hebrew word for “jewels” is “paniyn,“ which means “perhaps corals, rubies, jewels.”
Value is something that can be found in every book in the Bible. For example, in Leviticus we see the value of offerings in the Temple for different sins: the burnt sacrifice was offering the whole body, while the sacrifice of peace offering had only part of the offering being burnt as a gift for God, and the rest was given to both the priests and to the worshipper. The burnt offering was symbolic of the “whole man” being offered to God, while the overall symbolism of the peace offering was more of sharing, joint participation, friendship and true worship.
The value of the offering coincided with the intention of the worshipper.
In the New Testament we see the element of value in the gifts that were offered to Jesus when he was born, as well as the spices that were used to cover his body after he had died. “After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.” (John 19:38-42)
To put the value of this into perspective: In today’s market the 75 pounds of aloes and myrrh will sell for $150,000-$200,000. Joseph and Nicodemus placed great value in their respect for Jesus, and paid their respects in the highest fashion.
What I want to do here is to explore what else God finds so valuable that He describes them as “more precious than jewels.”
Job 28:18 “No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal; the price ofwisdom is above pearls.”
Proverbs 3:15 “She (wisdom) is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”
Proverbs 20:15 “There is gold and abundance of costly stones, but the lips ofknowledge are a precious jewel.”
Proverbs 31:10 “An excellent wife, who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.”
From wikipedia: “Wisdom has, in the Western tradition, been listed as one of four cardinal virtues. As a virtue it is a habit or disposition to perform the action with the highest degree of adequacy under any given circumstance. This implies a possession of knowledge or the seeking thereof in order to apply it to the given circumstance. This involves an understanding of people, things, events, situations, and the willingness as well as the ability to apply perception, judgement, and action in keeping with the under standing of what is the optimal course of action. It often requires control of one’s emo tional reactions (the “passions“) so that the universal principle of reason prevails to de termine one’s action. In short, wisdom is a disposition to find the truth coupled with an optimum judgement as to what actions should be taken in order to deliver the correct out come.”
The reason why wisdom is so important to God is because “ wisdom is a disposition to find the truth coupled with an optimum judgement as to what actions should be taken in order to deliver the correct outcome.”
It is our pursuit to have wise disposition to first find the truth of God, and then attach that Godly wisdom to a judgement in order to have virtuous behavior, actions and reactions in order to deliver an outcome which will glorify God. This is why wisdom is important to God. Solomon was considered the wisest man because he sought wisdom from God first. John the Baptist was considered wise because he always preached in order to give God the glory. Ruth was wise because she sought Godly wisdom and counsel before she made any decision. Sarah was a wise woman because she obeyed God and followed her husband.
Just think about this: The value of an excellent woman is far more precious to God than jewels. He sees an excellent woman as a virtuous force who is able to accomplish many things, and her children and husband praise her.
This is not a perfect woman. God does not praise the perfect woman. There is no value in a perfect woman. There is no perfect woman listed here. God finds value in a Godly woman. She is equally as important to Him as all of the wisdom he spends the entire book of Proverbs defining.
The value of a virtuous woman is beyond compare in God’s eyes.