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

Anne Pratt :: Proverbs 31 Verse 31

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GIVE HER OF THE FRUIT OF HER HANDS;
AND LET HER OWN WORKS PRAISE HER IN THE GATES.

Image-LET HER OWN WORKS PRAISE HER IN THE GATES

This passage is thought by some writers to be the continuation of the praise bestowed on this excellent matron by her husband; others regard it as a prayer offered up on her behalf. We have spoken of the gate as the place of assembly and of commerce, where the fruits of her industry would be known and appreciated, and where men would speak of her virtues; where she would be mentioned as a great example of female excellence, and her deeds of mercy and her unblamable life would characterize her as a mother in Israel, and a devout and humble servant of the great Jehovah.

Although a life of consistent virtue generally brings its own reward in the esteem of those whose good opinion is truly valuable, and though the hand of the diligent usually, in some degree, maketh rich, yet it is not always in this world that the good receive of the fruit of their hands. But there is a world on which the holy women of old have long since entered-a world to which we are all hastening, when every one shall receive according to the deeds done in the body, whether they be good, or whether they be evil. We cannot be saved by an exemplary and virtuous life; for never yet was there a human being who lived, and sinned not; and the holiest action ever performed by sinful man had yet mingled with it so much infirmity of motive, that it needed the atoning blood of Christ to render it acceptable in the eyes of an infinitely holy God. But Christian principle, though it will not enable us, while in this world, to offer a perfect obedience, will certainly be accompanied by the practice of holiness, an earnest endeavour after godliness, and a hatred and avoidance of sin. For the Scripture has said, "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (Jam 2:26). While we cannot answer God for one of a thousand of our transgressions, yet he will reward the humblest deed of good which proceeds from love to Christ. And when the beloved apostle spoke of the blessedness of those who die in the Lord, he adds, "they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them" (Rev 14:13).

The pious deeds which they had wrought on earth were not forgotten in heaven; but they followed as evidences of love to Christ, as the result of holy principles, and are thus accepted and approved by a gracious God. Blessed indeed are they who steadily endure, amid all temptation; for when they are tried, they shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him: and thus the fruits of their hands and hearts shall be given to them through all eternity.

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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