Proverbs 31: Week 31 | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week thirty-one of our Proverbs 31 journey. This week our notes include reflections on being savvy and thoughts on merchandise and light. 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 developed our caring muscle by exercising Proverbs 31:15 and 22.
  • In July, we practiced being savvy with help from Proverbs 31:16 and 27.
  • In August, we witness exemplary behavior outlined in Proverbs 31:18 and 31:31.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your August 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 lamp from Biblical times rests in the background with Proverbs 31:18 quoted in the foreground.

*Altered Definition of savvy after examining both verses.
*I am Savvy because...
Define Exemplary and explain how you relate to it personally.
Proverbs 31:18 Noting key words and phrases.
*Literal Meaning A face value interpretation of Proverbs 31:18.
*What is Weird? Investigating an unusual detail of Proverbs 31:18.
*About Lamps from various sources.

*Altered Definition

Of savvy after examining both verses.

Carefully thinking through details (weighing out options) and gathering information for use in decision making. Then, afterward, diligently working to grow the investment (foster the commitment.)

*I am Savvy 


  • Personally: I prioritize activities; stay committed to decisions made; reassess commitments as necessary; try to not take on too many responsibilities; and work diligently to nurture my investments.
  • Relationally: I consider how deep of a relationship I'm willing to form; prioritize certain relationships over others - taking immediate need into consideration; try not to let emotions lead, but look at facts or observed details and act on those; stay committed so long as it is clear God is keeping this person in my life; work diligently to guide the person in love toward Godliness.
  • Spiritually: I diligently work to grow my investment in God because I committed to Him. I ponder the details of His story as it unfolds; I gather information about how He works and who He is; I weigh decisions according to His will; I share, process, and debate my findings with others; I talk with Him, seek His guidance, welcome His love, and obey His word.
*Disclaimer: I am not always savvy. These self-reflections describe behaviors I have at one time exhibited and serve to remind me that if I have done them before, I can do them again.

Define Exemplary

And explain how you relate to it personally.

  1. deserving imitation: COMMENDABLE
  2. serving as a pattern or example
*Connections: I don't think anyone would see me as deserving imitation. I am not powerful, successful, carefree, or popular - traits I imagine most people desire. But I hope I serve as a model for what God desires. I hope that there are parts of me - actions, interactions, and mindsets - that point to Jesus. After all, Jesus is the only one worth imitating.

Proverbs 31:18

Noting key words and phrases.
She perceiveth / that her merchandise / is good: / her candle / goeth not out / at night.
Key Words: perceives, merchandise, good, candle, goeth, night

*Literal Meaning

 A face value interpretation of Proverbs 31:18.

Because she knows that what she produces is good, she keeps working - even when others stop.

What is Weird?

Investigate an unusual detail of Proverbs 31:18

Why is the word merchandise used? Does that imply that she sells her wares?
  • Other Versions: dealings, gain, profit, working, buy or sell, traffic, and value
    • VALUE: Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies. Proverbs 31:10 (*She knows her worth.)
    • GAIN: The heart of her husband shall safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. Proverbs 31:11 (*Her husband also knows her worth.)
  • Hebrew: commerce/gain. Other occurrences:
    • Proverbs 3:14: For the merchandise of [wisdom] is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. (*The only merchandise that is truly good, is that which is wrought by wisdom.)
    • Isaiah 23:18: And [Tyre's] merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the LORD: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing.
      • Tyre was the source of the purple dye Wisdom is clothed in. (Proverbs 31:22)
      • To eat sufficiently (Proverbs 31:15 ... giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens)
      • And for durable clothing (Proverbs 31:21 ...all her household are clothed in scarlet.)
  • Defined: commodities or goods bought and sold (*You were bought for a price. I Corinthians 6:20)
  • Conclusions: Through Wisdom's labor, we are covered, clothed, and nourished then set apart for the Lord. We are Wisdom's merchandise, and we were bought for a good price.

About Lamps

 From various sources.
Hebrew from Bible Hub
  • ner: a lamp
  • In Proverbs 31:18, as used in household work
Definition from Meriam Webster
  1. any of various devices for producing light (lamp unto my feet and Light of the World)
  2. a celestial body (God)
  3. a source of intellectual or spiritual illumination (the Bible)
"The Eye is the Lamp of the Body" by John Piper at Desiring God
  • Matthew 6:22 NIV: The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. (*What you pay attention to matters. She keeps her mind in the light, though she is in darkness.)
  • Interpretation:
    • How you see reality determines whether or not you are in the dark.
    • To stay in the light, lay treasures up in heaven by serving God (Matthew 6:19 & 24)
  • Evidence:
    • Matthew 20:15 NIV: "Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?"
    • Matthew 6:23 NKJV: But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
  • Conclusion:
    • The bad eye cannot see mercy as beautiful and more precious than money.
    • The good eye sees God's ways as the ultimate treasure in life.
Scripture from Open Bible
  • Psalm 119:105 KJV: Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (*By staying in God's word, we train our good eye to stay in the light.)
  • Matthew 25:1-13 NIV: (summary) The kingdom of heaven is like ten virgins - five wise, five foolish - all waiting for their bridegroom. The five wise kept oil in their lamps and a backup supply while the foolish had no extra oil. When the bridegroom came, the wise were prepared and were welcomed into the wedding banquet, but the foolish were not recognized by the bridegroom. (*Stay alert; be prepared.)
  • Matthew 5:14-16 NLT: "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house." (*Be a light.)
*Conclusions: A lamp allows us to focus on the light. Jesus is the light of the world, and the Bible directs our focus to Him. Wisdom's focus on Jesus does not fade even when surrounded by darkness, tried by waiting, or tempted by hiding.

Final Thoughts

By staying in God's word, we train our eyes to take in His goodness. Whenever darkness tries to intervene, let us remember our value, look to our source of never-ending light, and seek to spread it to others.

Growing with You,

Ready for week 32?

Sample these related posts:

Interested in more faith-related blogs? Then you're looking for Faith Food. At Faith Food, you'll find links to all our faith-related blogs and a short description of each.


Popular posts from this blog

Proverbs 31: Week 14 | The Wolfe Notes

L is for Leafbug | ABC Nature Walk

B is for Bee | ABC Nature Walk