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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Anne Pratt :: The Excellent Woman of Proverbs 31

Anne Pratt :: Proverbs 31 Verse 25

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STRENGTH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING;
AND SHE SHALL REJOICE IN TIME TO COME.

Image-STRENGTH AND HONOUR ARE HER CLOTHING

The stability of the conduct of this Jewish woman and the good reputation which it gained her, render this figure sufficiently expressive. She was, indeed, clothed in strength and honour, and might well rejoice in coming days. For old age she had prepared something more than a store of mere worldly good. She had not only been provident of present wealth, and wrought such works as time should not easily injure-such as she should not blush to acknowledge as hers in future time,-but she had laid up in the hearts of her husband and children, and the poor and needy, a treasure of love, which time should not change. Above all, if the days should come, when, in the figurative language of Solomon, the grasshopper should be a burden, and desire should fail, and the almond tree should blossom, her help and stay would be on God, her hope and trust in heaven, and the joy of the Lord should be her strength. He who had sustained her through the active period of life; who had kept alive in her heart his love and fear, at a period when temptations from outward circumstances and inward feelings were great, would not fail her, in days when exertion would become toil, and when the desire of rest had taken the place of pleasure in her heart; for he had said, "Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you."

How beautiful and graceful is the repose of the aged servant of God! How placid the mental rest and assurance of one who has served God from youth upward! The Christian graces, mellowed by time, shine now with a mild and settled lustre, and the meek waiting upon God diffuses over the later hours of life its calm and steady light, like the soft tints which the moon casts on the tranquil sea. Every one too must rejoice, who has been enabled, by God's grace, to maintain through life a consistent profession of holiness; and to have spent the days in useful employment, must bring to old age its pleasant recollections. No self‐gratulation would indeed fill the pious mind on a review of the past. "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name" be the praise (Psa 115:1), would be the exclamation of one who opened her mouth with wisdom; but she would trace with thankfulness, how God had led her all her life through the wilderness; how he had placed her in a land where his ordinances were known, and his name honoured; and had enabled her to conduct her household in the fear of the Lord, and to provide them with every temporal and spiritual good. For such blessings she would rejoice in the time to come, in the season of grey hairs; for such pleasant remembrances, she would lift up her heart to God and be thankful.

But the time to come may have reference to the day of death-to that solemn hour of final parting with earth-to that glorious moment of entering heaven; and at a period when the worldly woman might shrink with fear, she might rejoice in the Lord. For David sang, and the response to his harp has been echoed by millions of God's children in the last hour: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psa 23:4). Leaning on this staff, how many pious men and women of all ages have entered the valley, singing as they went! Many years before this time Jacob had said on his dying bed, "I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord;" and Job, full of a fervent faith, had exclaimed, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God" (Job 19:25-26). We have not recorded for us the last breathings of Moses, yet how calmly and cheerfully did he resign his breath! and when the Lord bade him go up alone to Mount Nebo, and to die there, after having given his last glance to the promised land, what was his testimony of his heavenly Father? "Yea," said the dying saint, "the Lord loved his people;" and looking up to God, he added, "all his saints are in thy hand" (Deu 33:3), and thus he rejoiced in God, when heart and flesh were failing. "Ah!" said a holy woman known to the writer, "in a few moments I shall be in heaven; I have nothing to do now; I am only waiting: oh, how I long to be released! Christ is with me; nature may fail, but he never will."

The "time to come" may also have reference to eternity-to the unending myriads of years to be spent in the presence of God-to the days of glory to be passed in that heavenly city, to which the pious Jew, as well as the Christian, was tending, where the inhabitant shall no more go out. And who shall describe or imagine the joys of heaven? What earthly tongue shall tell of the rejoicing in that time to come, when the Lord shall say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord?"

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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