Proverbs 31: Week 29 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week twenty-nine of our Proverbs 31 journey. This week we're studying what it means to look well to the ways of the household. 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 trained to be hardworking with Proverbs 31:13 and 19 as our instructors.
  • In May, we saw what it takes to be resourceful by examining Proverbs 31:14 and 21. 
  • In June, we are developed our caring muscle by exercising Proverbs 31:15 and 22.
  • In July, we'll practice being savvy with help from Proverbs 31:16 and 27.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your July 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 wheat field with a blue sky overhead makes the background for Proverbs 31:27.



Contents:
*Literal Meaning an at-face-value interpretation of Proverbs 31:27.
What is Weird? Researching something unusual about Proverbs 31:27.
About Looks from various resources.
About Ways from various resources.
Other Versions of Proverbs 31:27 and writing your own.
Commentaries of Proverbs 31:27
*As Christ's Bride relate this verse to The Church.

*Literal Meaning

 An at-face-value interpretation of Proverbs 31:27.

A woman watches over the activity in her domain attentively. She fuels herself with productivity.

What is Weird?

Researching something unusual about Proverbs 31:27.

What does it mean to eat bread of idleness?

  • According to The Free Dictionary it means: "food that one has not personally earned", and it originated in the Bible. (2 Thessalonians 3:10 ... if any would not work, neither should he eat.)
  • Bible Hub commentaries suggest it means:
    • She applies what she's learned from studying scripture. - Pulpit (Matthew 4:4 ... Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.)
    • She labors for the meat which endures to everlasting life. - Gill (John 6:27...which the son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.)
  • *Conclusions: One who eats the bread of idleness, practically lives off the work of others and does not carry his own weight. Spiritually, seeks nourishment from hollow sources.


About Looks

From various resources.
  • Hebrew from Open Bible
    • Tsaphah: to look out or about, spy, keep watch (*gather intel; she knows things)
    • Other uses: watchman, watching, destined
  • Definitions from Meriam Webster
    • to make sure something is done
    • to ascertain by the use of one's eyes
    • to have in mind an end (*looking to Jesus)
  • "Stay Awake to Spiritual Danger" by Jon Bloom
    • "A lack of watchfulness is perilous to our souls."
    • Be on your guard: Do you really know what hunts you? Do you know where he is in relation to you? To your family? To your Christian brothers and sisters?
    • We are called to protect one another and part of that involves remaining steadfastly watchful in prayer. 
    • Stand firm, be strong: draw a line in the sand by taking up the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20)
    • Do everything in love: The greatest power at work between God & man and man & man is love (I Corinthians 13:13) and the most destructive power against the domain of darkness because of Jesus' death. We should stir up one another to love and good works because (Hebrews 10:24):
      • The gospel is best communicated by love.
      • Relationships are healed by love.
      • A lack of love indicates the devil's presence. 
    • Conclusions: A woman watches over her house spiritually by 1) understanding the enemy, 2) staying fervent in prayer, 3) knowing what she believes, why she believes it, and setting firm boundaries to uphold them, and 4) loving everyone always.
  • Scripture from Daily Verses
    • Matthew 26:41 MEV: Watch and pray that you enter not into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
    • Psalm 121:7-8 NIV: The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more.
    • Romans 16:17 NIV: I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 
    • I Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV: Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.
    • I Peter 5:8 NIV: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
*Conclusions: Watch over your household practically by knowing what's going on in your home. Be alert, gather intel, and make sure that what needs to be done, gets done. Spiritually stay on guard and engage in fervent and persistent spiritual warfare.

About Ways

From various resources.
  • Hebrew from Bible Hub
    • halikah: a going, way, traveling company
    • Other uses: procession, travelers, march (*Watches the ways people leave from and walk around her household.)
  • Definitions from Meriam-Webster
    • A thoroughfare for travel or transportation from place to place (*Home is a launching pad.)
    • An opening or passage (*To witness beyond the home.)
    • The course traveled from one place to another (*How do people act or get to where they are going? Is it aligned with God's ways?)
    • Characteristic, regular, or habitual manner or model of being, behaving, or happening
    • Ability to get along well or perform well (*manners, kindness, compassion, respect)
    • Movement or progress along a course (*to Godliness)
    • Ways: the guiding surfaces on the bed of a machine along which a table or carriage moves. (*Train them up in the way they should go.)
  • "10 Ways to Build a Christian Household" by Christian Poole from Thinking West
    • Make traditions that reflect core values.
    • Go to church and prioritize it.
    • Pray together at mealtime, bedtime, or before walking out the door.
    • Be the example of a Godly marriage including effective management of disagreements.
    • Decorate like a Christian to serve as a reminder to put God first in all things.
    • Read about your shared faith together. From the Bible but also from other faith-based books and let the books guide discussions.
    • Filter external influences. Guard your home against beliefs that are contrary to your faith.
    • Make Christian family friends.
    • Confront the issues. Talk candidly about right and wrong, why you believe what you believe, and your expectations as parents.
    • Have great conversations about anything and everything. 
  • Scripture from Daily Verses
    • Proverbs 21:2 KJV: Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.
    • Lamentations 3:40 KJV: Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord.
    • Psalm 25:4 GNV: Show me thy ways, O Lord, and teach me thy paths.
    • Proverbs 4:26 KJV: Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
    • Psalm 128:1 KJV: Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways.
    • Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
    • Acts 3:26 MEV: God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to you first, to bless you in turning every one of you from your iniquities.
  • Conclusions: Practically, watch over the actions and interactions of people within your household and prepare them for righteous actions and interactions beyond the household. Spiritually, Jesus turned us from our wicked ways and guides us in righteousness through obedience to His Father.

Other Versions

Of Proverbs 31:27 and writing your own.
  • She looketh well vigilant over (CEB); takes good care (CEV); keeps a close eye (GW); discretely (ISV); keeps (MSG); directs (VOICE)
  • to the ways the activities (CEB); paths (DRA); on conduct (GW); needs (GNT); activities
  • of her household, family (CEV)
  • and eateth not does not indulge (VOICE)
  • the bread of idleness. gossip, discontent, self-pity (AMPC); the food of laziness (CEB); bread she did not work for (EHV); always busy (GNT); them busy (MSG)
Wolfe Stew Versions
  • (She = Wisdom): Wisdom is aware of all that happens and should happen. By fueling herself with truth, life, and grace, Wisdom never loses focus or feels overburdened.
  • (She = Godly wife): A wife directs the activities of her household and maintains awareness of what is happening under her roof. She fuels her body, mind, and spirit with nourishment (physical, emotional, spiritual) that keeps her alert, active, and on-task instead of sluggish, off-guard, and distracted.
  • Personally: Draw your line in the sand based on truth, life, and grace. Guard yourself against alluring temptations that smell of deceit, destruction, and division.
  • Relationally: Pay attention to each other. Nourish your relationship with honesty, affection, and forgiveness. Refuse inclinations toward deception, annoyance, and bitterness.
  • Spiritually: God is the bread of life. Find fulfillment in Him and Him alone. Keep your temple maintained and lit. Watch in anticipation of His return.

Commentaries

Of Proverbs 31:27 from Bible Hub

  • She looketh well to the ways of her household
    • Ongoing: considers the feeding, clothing, cleanliness, relationship-building, mannerisms, maintenance, order, obedience to husband, and devotion to God of her household (Gill)
    • As Needed: cares for the sick and weak, comforts the feeble-minded, does not tolerate evil, admonishes according to the offence, casts out the obstinate and incorruptible (Gill)
    • Motivation: "If you are a part of my household, you will obey Christ's (my husband's) laws." (Gill)
    • Accountability: "...accurately examines all the thoughts of her conscience..." (Pulpit)
    • Comparison: As God from His watchtower observes minute details of earth's busy hive, so does she in her exalted position as mistress of the house, with diligence. (Romans 12:8 ERV: ... Whoever has the gift of leading should work hard at it.) (Cambridge)
  • and eateth not the bread of idleness.
    • Focus: Does not go to other people's houses or engage in idle discourse regarding other's concerns but focuses on her own house which is her proper business (Benson & Poole)
    • Nourishment: The Gospel (John 6:27 CEV: Don't work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so.) and Christ, the true bread, which when eaten leads to eternal life. Nourishment Christ offers is still labored after by reading, hearing, praying, and attending to ordinances. (Gill)
    • Model: What she learns through scripture, she exhibits in her own works. (Pulpit)
*Conclusions: Practically, a godly wife's focus is on guiding daily, infrequent, and urgent household choices according to God's laws and sustains herself on the bread of life, Jesus, by studying His word, staying in prayer, examining her thoughts, and modeling what she learns. Spiritually, God is constantly watching over everything we do, guides us back to Him, and offers eternal life.

*As Christ's Bride

Relate this verse to The Church.
 
Jesus:
  • Leads us by observing what we do, directing our paths through life, providing for our daily needs, intervening as necessary, and connecting us with others. (*I'm reminded of "Breathe" by Michael W. Smith. Because of His holy presence living in me and His word spoken to me, I am confident and content.)
  • Loves us by working for our good continuously, sustaining us with life-bringing nourishment for our physical bodies, our emotional minds, our relational nature, and our spiritual souls.
In response we, the church:
  • Submit to Him by obediently acting according to His expectations, following His guidance, finding contentment in His provision, accepting His correction, and welcoming connection with others.
  • Respect Him by confidently supporting His labor with our own hands, and by JOYfully pointing others to the life-giving effects of His nourishment in our physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual lives. 

Final Thoughts

This verse is a warning we hear often in scripture: stay alert (I Peter 5:8), don't let your candle go out (Matthew 5:15), man the watchtower (Isaiah 21:8), go to the ant (Proverbs 6:6-8), don't sleep (Matthew 25:1-12). Awareness prepares us for potential danger, yet even the most alert supervisor cannot see everything. So, how do we respond to this warning? How do we keep our eyes open to spiritual danger? We, in our own strength, cannot. We need to submit to Jesus' authority. Post Him as the lookout to your watchtower; let Him sustain you.

Jesus, when I try to take control out of Your hands, remind me that I was not made for that purpose. You, the bread of life, have power over darkness and never sleep. I submit to Your design. 

Growing with You,

Ready for Week 30?

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