Proverbs 31: Week 17 | The Wolfe Notes

(Updated 4/26/2024)

Welcome to week seventeen of our Proverbs 31 journey! This week we apply meaning to laying hands to the spindle and holding the distaff. If you'd like to return 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 considered the virtue of respect by studying Proverbs 31:12 and 28.
  • In April, we are training to be hardworking with Proverbs 31:13 and 19 as our instructors.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your April 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 *.)




Contents:
*Look at Roles based on Proverbs 31:19.
*Godly Wisdom of Proverbs 31:19.
*Application of Proverbs 31:19 in our past, present, and future hopes.
"Put Your Hand in the Hand" and worship with Selah.
"Just Be Held" as you sing with Casting Crowns.
*Connections of Proverbs 31:13 and 19.
*Altered Definition of hardworking based on Proverbs 31:13 and 19.

*Look at Roles

Based on Proverbs 31:19.

  • Respects her husband by leveraging her power to calm chaos and holds back selfish desires 
  • In submission to her husband's leading.
Because a Keeper
  • Loves his wife by continuously working to hold back his selfish desires and
  • Leads her towards God's peace and provision by trusting God to calm the chaos.

*Godly Wisdom

Of Proverbs 31:19.
  • He is in control. We can trust Him.
  • He personally lays His hand to the chaos and holds back destruction through the work of His son.
  • We can work with Him willingly to discern chaos from peace and death from life. It can become a habit.

*Application

Of Proverbs 31:19 in our past, present, and future hopes.
  • In the past, I was UNIMPRESSED by this verse. "Duh, of course she was a good worker. We get it!"
  • Now, I'm INSPIRED by this verse because I don't see it being about her work but about God's work. Now, I'm learning to ask, "Am I being faithful in the day by making it a habit to commit to working alongside Him? Am I placing my hand in His so He can calm chaos and hold back destruction?" I am learning that it is what I feed the spindle that determines what I'm clothed in. If I feed it Biblical truths, I'll know peace. If I feed it worldly lusts, I'll know chaos. I don't need the fig leaves; I have robes of righteousness.
  • In the future, I hope to GUARD MY PEACE by surrendering my chaos and my desires to Him and trust Him to do His work.

"Put Your Hand in the Hand"

And worship with Selah.

*From this song, I'm reminded that:
  1. Jesus calms the chaos. ("Stilled the water," & "Calmed the sea")
  2. Nobody is perfect. When you walk with Him, hand in hand, you'll have more sympathy for others as you humbly acknowledge you also miss the mark. (For the buyers and the sellers were no different fellas than what I profess to be.)
  3. My job is not my true work. While He was known as a carpenter, His true work was going about His Father's business. (Luke 2:49)
  4. Others watch me. I, then, need to make a habit of putting my hand in His and working together to lead others to the Father. ("My momma taught me how to pray before the age of seven" & "But [Daddy] showed me enough of what it takes to get me through")

"Just Be Held"

As you sing with Casting Crowns.

*To me, this song depicts our walk through trying times.
  1. We feel like we can't lose it and we have to stay strong. ("Hold it altogether everybody needs you strong")
  2. So, we grasp the "distaff" to control the chaos. ("Chained by your control")
  3. We cannot see God's love because chaos is our focus. ("If your eyes are on the storm you'll wonder if I love you still," "When you're on your knees and answers seem so far away.")
  4. We let go by remembering Jesus already completed the work on the cross. ("But if your eyes are on the cross, you'll know I always have and I always will," "Lift your hands, lift your eyes. In the storm is where you'll find me")
  5. We release the distaff. ("You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held," "Come to Me, find your rest")
  6. God lays His hands to the chaos ("Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place. I'm on the throne," "I'll hold your heart")
  7. And supplies every good thing His hands hold. ("And not a tear is wasted") 
  8. In time, He weaves beauty from the ashes. ("I'm painting beauty with the ashes")
  9. And He works faithfully to complete what He's started in you. ("Your life is in My hands," "In the arms of the God who won't let go")
This is His work; let's let Him do it.

*Connections

Of Proverbs 31:13 and 19.
  • Proverbs 31:13 She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
  • Proverbs 31:19 She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff.
Notes:
  • She/She: Both feminine / domestic sphere/ creation /nurturing
  • Seek & work / lay & hold: active vs. passive
  • Wool & flax / spindle & distaff: resources vs. tools
  • Willingly: stated vs. implied; choice, not forced
  • Hands/hands: In our power. In His power.
Conclusions:
  • We must actively work at seeking God so we can effectively lay our future in His hands and hold onto His hope.
  • We willingly seek His provision and let Him work. Trust His effectiveness.
  • We choose to seek Him and He happily works things together for our good as He began doing in our mother's wombs even before the world began
  • By opening our hands to His, we accept His help, His provision, His wisdom, His best for us while acknowledging it may not be what we think is best.
  • As we seek Him, and surrender control to Him, then we learn to willingly work hand-in-hand with Him.

Altered Definition

Of hardworking based on Proverbs 31:13 and 19.

An eager urge to seek God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength while you habitually surrender control and willingly trust in provision from God.

Final Thoughts

How did I ever think this verse was about me? I think it's easier to read this verse at surface level and think, "If I just keep working, do enough, try hard enough, produce enough, then I'll be enough." But, the truth is, we in and of ourselves aren't enough. We need Jesus.

Let's reframe our lives, our minds, our habits, our work around Jesus. Keep doing what you're doing all the while acknowledging He's with you and in control. Take your hands off the spindle, release the distaff, and picture God's hands taking your place. It's time we trust Him.


Growing with You,

Ready for week eighteen?

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