Proverbs 31: Week 10 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week 10 of our Proverbs 31 journey! This week we are looking into good, evil, and God. If you'd like to go back to one of our previous stops, let our "Wolfe Notes" guide you. 

  • In January we examined our value with the help of Proverbs 31 verses 10 and 29.
  • In February we learned what uplifting means by looking at Proverbs 31:11 and 23.
  • In March, we will consider the virtue of respect by studying Proverbs 31:12 and 28.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your March calendar with daily activities, the lamp for your feet (the Bible), and let's get going! We're journeying through the concluding poem of Proverbs and we're so glad you decided to walk along this road with us! Imagine that as we walk, we're talking about the daily activities. Our side of the discussion is outlined below. What would you add? How would you challenge us?  (Ideas that are our thoughts alone are designated with an *.)

A couple stands holding hands in wheatfield with cloudy skies over head. Text overlay quotes Proverbs 31:12

About Good from various sources.
About Evil from various sources.
Other Versions of Proverbs 31:12, including our own.
Commentaries of Proverbs 31:12.
*Look at Roles Applying Proverbs 31:12 to helper and keeper roles.
*As Christ's Bride how do we apply Proverbs 31:12?
*Godly Wisdom What Proverbs 31:12 teaches us about God.

About Good

From various sources.
  • Hebrew from Bible Hub
    • towb: beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, good
    • In Proverbs 31:12: benefit
  • Definition from Merriam-Webster 
    • suitable fit (*Like a helper! Genesis 2:18)
    • can be relied on
    • profitable, advantageous
    • agreeable, pleasant
    • salutary, wholesome
    • amusing, clever
    • content, not wanting or needing anything further (*No need for spoil! Proverbs 31:11)
  • "What does it mean to cling to what is good?" article from Got Questions
    • Define key terms:
      • Good = moral excellence
      • Cling = stick or hold together and resist separation (*Cleave to your wife! Genesis 2:24)
    • Interpretation considering key terms: "Embrace moral goodness (or virtue); love it."
    • Why we should "embrace moral goodness" or "cling to what is good".
      • It shows our identity. The godless hate what is good. 2 Timothy 3:3 while we, Jesus' betrothed, love good and hate evil - the enemy of good.
      • It helps us find Jesus. We are made right with God through Jesus Christ, our righteousness, who we seek, hunger, and thirst for by clinging to good.
      • It allows God to:
        • transform us from within
        • teach us His good and perfect will 
        • work everything in our lives for good.
      • It leads to a truly happy life. Sticking close to God is the only way to find perfect, eternal wisdom which is key to attaining eternal, supreme good.
    • What motivates us to do good?
      • Jesus' example. Through sincere, sacrificial love, Jesus laid down His life for His sheep. John 10:11
      • Jesus' will. He gave His life to free us, cleanse us, and to make us His own so that we might do good works with zeal. Titus 2:14 & James 3:13
  • Other Verses from Open Bible
    • Romans 12:21 ESV: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    • Mark 10:18 CEV: Jesus replied, "Why do you call me good? Only God is good."
    • Micah 6:8 KJ21: He hath shown thee, O man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
    • I Thessalonians 5:21 KJ21: Test all things; hold fast to that which is good.
    • Psalm 119:68 NLV: You are good and You do good; teach me Your statues.
  • *CONCLUSIONS: Only God is truly good. To do good, we must know and seek to follow the will of God. Otherwise, we are only doing what we think is good; what is good to us may not be good to God.

About Evil

From various sources.
  • Hebrew from Bible Hub
    • ra': adversity, bad, evil
    • In Proverbs 31:12: evil, injury, wrong
  • Definition from Merriam-Webster 
    • morally reprehensible: SINFUL, WICKED
    • causing discomfort or repulsion: OFFENSIVE
    • disagreeable
    • causing harm
    • marked by misfortune: UNLUCKY
  • "What is the definition of evil?" article from Got Questions
    • Two definitions:
      • Contradictory to God's nature. (Psalms 51:4 NIRV: You are the one I've really sinned against. I've done what is evil in your sight. So, you are right when you sentence me. You are fair when you judge me)
      • A disaster, tragedy, or calamity. (I Kings 17:20 CEB Elijah cried out to the Lord, "Lord my God, why is it that you have brought such evil upon the widow that I am staying with by killing her son?")
    • Contradictory to God's Nature
      • God is good (Mark 10:18) So, evil can be defined as lack of goodness (*Like darkness is defined as lack of light. John 1:5)
      • God is love. So, evil could also be defined as an absence of love. An absence of love leads to unloving behavior which results in harm. 
      • Evil Behavior 
        • Includes sin against people and against God.
        • Man is responsible for the evil he commits.
        • Starts with evil in the heart. ("Here's my heart, Lord. Speak what is true." Song performed by Crowder)
          • Matthew 5:22 VOICE: But here is the even harder truth: anyone who is angry with his brother will be judged for his anger...
          • Matthew 5:28 NLT: Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 
        • Starts slowly and builds
          • At this point we are in Satan's trap and are slaves to sin 
            • Romans 1:21 TLV: For even though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. Instead, their thinking became futile, and their senseless hearts were made dark.
            • Romans 1:28-29 ICB: People did not think it was important to have a true knowledge of God. So God left them and allowed them to have their own worthless thinking. And so those people do the things that they should not do.
          • We are only freed by God's grace
    • Physical evils are out of our control, but they may be God's retribution.
  • Other Verses from Open Bible
    • Psalm 5:4 VOICE: You're not a God who smiles at sin; You cannot abide with evil.
    • I Corinthians 15:33 ISV: Stop being deceived: "Wicked friends lead to evil ends."
    • Isaiah 5:20 MEV: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who exchange darkness for light, and light for darkness; who exchange bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! 
    • Ephesians 6:12 KJV: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    • Romans 3:23 KJV: For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God
  • *CONCLUSIONS: To not do evil, we must depend on and return to God. There are times we will slip, but continue checking the condition of your heart, watch for the slow fade, be on your guard, seek the light.

Other Versions

Of Proverbs 31:12, including our own.
  • KJV: She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
  • ERV: She does good for her husband all her life. She never causes him trouble.
  • TLB: She will not hinder him but help him all her life.
  • MSG: Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
  • NABRE: She brings him profit, not loss, all the days of her life.
  • VOICE: Every day of her life she does what is best for him, never anything harmful or hurtful.
  • *Wolfe Stew Versions:
    • (She = Wisdom): When you commit yourself to Wisdom, only good - never evil - will come from it.
    • (She = earthly wife): Make choices that continually point your husband to God who is good.
    • Personally: Seek good in your life by committing to Wisdom.
    • Relationally: Choose to act, speak, and think in ways that point others to God.
    • Spiritually: Know that good only comes from God. Surrender to that. YOU are NOT good; He is. Defer to Him.
    • Intellectually: When you consider a choice and want to know which one is good, go to God. Seek His wisdom. Search His book. That is where you'll find your answer. You don't know and can never define good apart from God.


  • The good of the wife is unmixed, constant, permanent, an improvement, and a contribution.
  • Her motivation is 
    • to repay her husband for the good or kindness rendered to her.
    • to seek his best interests.
    • to promote his honor and glory.
  • She is able to do good because her love "rests on deep moral grounds". (Keil and Delitzsch) 
  • *Conclusions:
    • Her goodness reminds us of God's love: consistent and constant in a way that improves.
    • She acts in a way that Christ's Bride would act:
      • Qualified and eager to work to bring glory to His name.
      • Strengthened by remaining rooted in His love.

*Look at Roles

Applying Proverbs 31:12 to helper and keeper roles.
  • Helper
    • Complement him by thinking about and doing the things that will bring him good.
    • Respect him by believing that and reminding yourself why he deserves good.
  • Keeper
    • Lead her by always living a life of goodness.
    • Love her by believing the best intent regarding her and communicating your belief.


*As Christ's Bride

An application of Proverbs 31:12 from this perspective.

  • We, as Christ's Bride will:
    • Complement Him by staying in the light (John 3:20-21) to produce many good fruits (John 15:5).
    • Respect Him by believing He is good and reminding ourselves of His goodness. ("Evidence" by Bethel Music)
  • Because Jesus:

*Godly Wisdom

What Proverbs 31:12 teaches us about God.

God alone is good. Apart from God, we cannot truly do good. The only way for true goodness to come from our lives is to remain in God.

Final Thoughts

What revelation most moved you this week? Where did you struggle? 

I remember reading in Jenn Wilkin's book Women of the Word the idea that "God is (fill in the blank), so I'm not." In this context, it would be, "God is good, so I am not good." When I read it, I had a difficult time accepting it. I want to believe that God is good, so I can be good too - in His power. But I finally think I get what she's saying. It is a trap to fall into the mindset of ever thinking I am anything that God is because it negates my need to rely on Him. Alternatively, if I consistently remind myself that only God is good, I know I need to keep rooted in Him to find goodness.

Fellow travelers, I pray you leave the study this week knowing in full confidence that God is for you. Commit your heart, soul, mind, and strength to Him and know goodness. Then, do good.

Growing with You,

Are you ready for week eleven?

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