“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”
We have been going verse-by-verse through the Book of Proverbs for 2 ½ years. We began this devotional series in May of 2018, and we now arrive at the final two verses.
This closing passage tells us that the virtuous woman was not motivated by the praise and approval of people; rather, she was motivated by a deep respect for the Lord. People in the community saw her humility. They experienced her character, competence, and kindness. They witnessed her productivity.
Because of her fruitfulness, she was deeply respected by the community. She did not seek the praise of people; nevertheless, because of the life of integrity that she lived, she received the praise of people. Praise was the fruit of her life, not the goal of her life.
“You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7.16-20)
I encourage you to go back and re-read verses 10-31 in this chapter, and make a mental note of the attributes of the virtuous woman. Make a note of what she does. Make a note of her “works.” Also, notice her motives … why she does what she does.
The virtuous woman exemplifies how Christians should operate in the world. Our works should flow from our faith and obedience to Jesus, and it is our works that establish our credibility in society.
Trust God, be obedient, and let your works praise you in the gates. The world is watching.
More tomorrow …