Proverbs 31: Week 11 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week 11 of our Proverbs 31 journey! This week we dissect discernment, wonder in worship, and bone-up on blessings. 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 holding hands in a wheat field with a cloudy sky above. Text overlay reads: Bless; to breathe God's life into my words, thoughts, and actions.

Application in the past, present, and hope for the future.
How-To choose between good and evil.
Worship by singing to the "King of My Heart".
Verse Two Noting phrases and key words of Proverbs 31:28.
*Literal Meaning of Proverbs 31:28.
*What is Weird? Research something that strikes you as odd about Proverbs 31:28.
About Blessed from various sources.


Of Proverbs 31:12 In the past, present, and hope for the future.

She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
  • Past: Pridefully. "That's right, I do bring him good. He better appreciate it!"
  • Present: With conviction. "Actually, there are a lot of ways I am bringing him evil." I seek my own interests or importance above his needs. I belittle his pain while elevating my own. I get annoyed by his behavior or choices. I serve while grumbling and complaining. I insist on my own way, often refusing to consider his.
  • Future Hopes: Acceptance. To realize I am fully human and not God, therefore I will never ever bring my husband only good. But, by continuing to walk in God and to make choices according to His will, my hope is that in the future I will bring increasingly more good to my husband than evil.


Choose between good and evil (based on an article from Loyola Press).
  • Introduction of the Fight Between Good and Evil
    • Good 
      • Genesis 1:4 (first appearance of the word good) God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.
      • Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (Including humankind. We too were created good.)
    • Evil
  • The Fight Continues
    • Choices between good and evil are not clearly defined but muddled.
    • Discernment is the process of tuning into God's will.
    • Both immediate and long-term decisions indicate how in or out of tune we are with God.
  • How-To Choose Good
    1. Spend time alone with God regularly. (To remain familiar with His will: study the Bible, pray, and worship.)
    2. Search your feelings. (Ask: When today did I feel in and out of tune with God?)
    3. Beware of temptation. 
      1. Identify what tempts you to make poor choices.
      2. Create an action plan to counteract your temptations.
    4. Be conscious of your conscience. Your conscience will alert you to possible misalignment with God's will of doing good rather than evil.
    5. Get help. In addition to God's grace, we have the Bible, the Church, and other saints to help.
    6. Check out the fruits. Consider what your words, thoughts, and actions produce. Production of good fruits (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) indicates a good decision.


By singing (and responding) to the "King of My Heart" performed here by Kutless.

  • The Chorus: "You are good, good, o-oh" 
    • Linger here. Let the words envelop you.
    • Choose to believe it. 
    • Make this phrase your heart song. 
    • Remind yourself: "He is good; I am not."
    • Recommit: "I choose to follow you because I know 'You're never gonna let, never gonna let me down.'" 
  • The Verses
    • Teach me to run to You
      • when I am afraid, 
      • when I need refreshment, 
      • when I need encouragement. 
    • "When the night is holding onto me," 
      • I will remember You are there: (When I ascend to heaven, you are there. When I make my bed in hell, you are there.) 
      • I can count on Your goodness, Lord, no matter what.

Verse Two

Noting phrases and key words of Proverbs 31:28.
  • Phrasing: Her children / arise up / and call her blessed, / her husband also, / and he praiseth her.
  • Key Words: children, arise, blessed, husband, praiseth

*Literal Meaning

This woman is respected by her children and husband who cannot stop speaking favorably regarding her.


*What is Weird?

 Research something that strikes you as odd about Proverbs 31:28.

  • Is a woman without children not worthy of blessing?
    • Luke 23:29 Be sure of this: The days are coming when they will say, 'Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never gave birth, and the breasts that never nursed.'
    • Isaiah 54:1 Sing, O childless woman! Break out into loud and joyful song, Jerusalem, for she who was abandoned has more blessings now than she whose husband stayed!
  • What does it mean for her children to "arise up"?
    • A willingness to speak up about her. (Bible Hub)
    • They are grown up, adults. (George, p. 210)
    • *To prepare themselves to set about the evils they will face in the day by centering themselves in her goodness. (My own interpretation based on the use of "rise up" in the following verse.) 
      • Numbers 10:35 And when the ark traveled, Moses would say, "Rise up, O Lord! May your enemies be scattered and may those who hate you flee before you." (NET)
      • By "arising up" in her blessedness, they are strengthened for whatever the day may bring.

*About Blessed

From various sources.

  • Hebrew
    • ashar: to go straight, go on, advance
    • In Proverbs 31:28: pronounce happy, call blessed
  • Definition
    • held in reverence: VENERATED
    • of or enjoying happiness
    • bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune (*Our pick for best fit.)
  • Article: "What does it mean to be blessed?" at Got Questions
    • favored, blessed by God
    • a spiritual state of well-being and propsperity, a deep joy-filled contentment that cannot be shaken because God is with us through difficult times, we are blessed by Him in them
    • a true servant of God is always blessed because God has favored him or her with a satisfied soul
    • The idea of blessings started in Genesis 1:22 and continued throughout the historical record of the Old Testament. ("All throughout my history Your faithfulness has walked beside me." "Evidence" by Josh Baldwin)
    • We now live in every spiritual blessing because of Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
  • Video: "Blessing and Curse" from Bible Project
    • The Bible started with life from darkness, ordering and then blessing.
      • In the Bible, blessing means be fruitful, multiply, and fill the land (Genesis 1:28).
      • Through this blessing, God shares His life-giving ability with us.
      • Humans are appointed as God's representative image: our blessing is to take care of His blessing.
      • Eat from the tree of blessing - God's eternal life.
    • Seizing eternal life on our own terms through our own wisdom, thinking it is a shortcut to blessing is when we eat from the other tree which leads to cursing.
      • A curse is when God hands people over to the consequences of seizing blessing on our own terms.
      • We end up with scarcity, isolation, and death
    • But a human came and destroy death. Abraham and Sarah began a family chosen to experience God's blessing which extended to Israel and eventually to us through Jesus.
      • Jesus teaches us to bless people who curse you.
      • Jesus reversed the curse by healing and restoring.
      • Through Him, the curse was put to death so the blessing of God's life can be restored once again.
    • Followers of Jesus trust that following God's blessing is stronger than any curse we might face.
  • Verses
    • Matthew 5:3-12 (The Wolfe Notes Version): Blessed are you who:
      • Understand the deficit in your spirit, for you will receive the kingdom of heaven
      • Mourn, for you will be comforted
      • Embrace meekness, for you will inherit the earth
      • Hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be satisfied.
      • Show mercy, for you will be shown mercy.
      • Are pure in heart, for you will see God.
      • Make peace with all men, for you will be called a son of God.
      • Experience persecution because of righteousness, for you will receive the kingdom of heaven.
      • Are reviled, persecuted, and slandered for Jesus' cause, for you will receive a great reward in heaven.
    • Psalm 1:1-3 (MEV): Blessed is the man who: walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.
    • Luke 11:28 (MEV): But He said, "Indeed, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."
    • James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he is tried, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
    • Psalm 32:2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord does not count iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
  • *Conclusions: 
    • Because our soul, resting in our unshakeable source, cannot be shaken, a blessed person has the ability "to go on, to advance"
    • And a blessed person knows our delight is in following the will of the Lord, which will bring temptations, persecution, hunger, hard truths, and mourning. But we advance knowing the work we are doing will "arise up" a new generation.

Final Thoughts

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

I chose this concluding Proverbs poem because I struggle with it. From my perception of the reverence women project on this poem, I was reluctant to study it. This poem always felt like a list of unattainable attributes I was expected to possess to be the highly prized Godly woman, a title which countless other women seemingly achieved with ease. And this verse, about a woman's children rising up to call her blessed, was the gut-punch of the entire poem. This verse always served as a painful reminder that I would never measure up. If this is the ideal woman that God wants me to be, I miss the mark. 

But now, I see this verse, and the entire poem, differently. There is infinite depth. Even though we are taking an entire month to study two verses, I still feel like I am only scratching the surface of the treasures God stores here for all of us - men and women alike - even ones who miss the mark.

I leave you praying that God is revealing Himself to you in beautiful ways. That instead of being repelled by the expectations, you are drawn in by His abundant grace. May each step find you confident in His blessing, rooted in His grace, and observant of His power at work in you and through you.

Growing with You,

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