Proverbs 31: Week Thirty-Seven | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week thirty-seven of our Proverbs 31 journey. 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 witnessed exemplary behavior outlined in Proverbs 31:18 and 31:31.
  • In September, we will find what being necessary looks like from Proverbs 31:20 and 24.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your September 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 *.)

An adult holds a baby's hand. Grayscale. Text overlay asks: Have I resigned myself to living in desolation even though I was made to be royal.

*Look at Roles based on Proverbs 31:20.
*Godly Wisdom gleaned from Proverbs 31:20.
*Application in the past, present, and hopes for the future.
Cross References of Proverbs 31:20.
*Top 3 revelations from Proverbs 31:20.   
Proverbs 31:24 noting key words and phrases.
*Literal Meaning, of Proverbs 31:24.

*Look at Roles

Based on Proverbs 31:20.

A Helper can
  • Submit to her husband because she knows she can trust him to supply her needs and elevate her standard of living with his sights set on heaven.
  • Respect her husband's provision and care by not abusing or overlooking it and expressing appreciation for it. Then, by mimicking it in her actions to others.
Because a Keeper:
  • Leads his wife by modeling servant behavior in seeking to uplift others toward Jesus and willingly helping those in need.
  • Loves his wife by sacrificing his will for her good.

*Godly Wisdom

Gleaned from Proverbs 31:20.
  • God is compassionate.
  • He knows our needs and works to elevate our state of being.
  • He longs for us to live in His abundance.
  • He invites us.
"And in times when we have plenty / in times when we have not / He is our provider and His mercy never stops...Like a shepherd He leads us / Like a father He feeds us / He is the great I AM." "Like a Shepherd" by Dan Moen


In the past, present, and hopes for the future.

  • In the past, I REASSURED myself: "I do try to help a person in need. Of course, I do. Who wouldn't?"
  • Presently, I REALIZE everyone is poor and needy in one way or another. We all live in a lesser condition than we were meant to live in, and we all desperately need Jesus.
  • In the future, I hope to be walking HAND-IN-HAND with The One who stretches out His hand to reach forth to His people. And I hope I'm surrounded by a large mass of them. Because, as Cain croons: "People need people, need people, need people." We were made to be in relationship.

Cross References

Of Proverbs 31:20.

Proverbs 1:24 KJV: Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded.
  • Initial Interpretation: God beckons to us, reaches for us - longs to call us to a higher life - and we refuse, ignoring Him mercilessly.
  • Other Versions:
    • NLT: "I called you so often, but you wouldn't come. I reached out to you, but you paid no attention."
    • ABPE: For I have cried, and you have not believed, and I have lifted my voice and you have not listened.
    • CEV: You completely ignored me and refused to listen;
    • GNT: I have been calling you, inviting you to come, but you would not listen. You paid no attention to me.
  • Cross References:
    • Romans 10:21 ESV: But of Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people."
    • 2 Chronicles 36:16 KJV: But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, till there was no remedy.
    • Isaiah 66:4 ESV: I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight. In contrast: Psalm 17:6 ESV: I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words. ("Came to the Rescue" by Hillsong)
  • Commentaries: Wisdom undergoes a tone change from mercy to judgement in this verse (Ellicot)
  • Hebrew: No one hearkened (listened closely to) my offer (the power - hand - I inclined to them).
  • Connections: Wisdom is desperate to show you the truth. Listen! She offers what you do not have and is quick to help you when you are without hope.
Job 31:16 ESV: If I have withheld anything that the poor desired, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail.
  • Initial Interpretation: A righteous man goes out of his way to assist the poor (give the poor what they want) and help the helpless.
  • Other versions: 
    • LSB: "If I have held back the poor..." (*not motivated them)
    • CSB: "...or let the widow's eyes go blind," (*kept her from seeing truth)
    • GW: "If I have refused the requests of the poor or made a widow's eyes stop [looking for help],
    • GNT: I have never refused to help the poor; never have I let widows live in despair.
  • Cross References: 
    • James 1:27 NASB: Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
    • Job 5:16 KJV: So the poor hath hope, and iniquity stoppeth her mouth.
    • Psalm 119:82 LSB: My eyes fail with longing for Your word, Saying, "When will You comfort me?"
  • Commentaries: He behaves like a father to the orphan and a child to the widow (Keil and Delitzsch)
  • Hebrew: If I kept valuable things from the weak or dried the fountain in a desolate place (blinded the eye of the widow).
  • *Connection: It is a righteous person's job to give value to those who don't see their own and show hope to those who are hopeless.

*Top 3

Revelations from Proverbs 31:20.
  1. Compassion matters. We must be aware of and support those around us. God entrusts His sheep to us. Therefore, we are responsible for elevating the poor and assisting the needy - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, etc.
  2. Sometimes, I'm the one who is poor and needy. When it is me, my task is to accept the gifts and assistance of others.
  3. Look to Jesus. When we forget how to be open to the poor and fail to search for those in need, or when we just don't want to do it, consider the One who relentlessly pursues you to bring you back home where you're abundantly provided for; the One who selflessly works within you to clothe you in His righteousness so that you can experience a way of living that is beyond what you deserve; and the One who answers whenever you call no matter how you treat Him or what you give Him in return.

Proverbs 31:24

Noting key words and phrases.
She maketh fine linen, / and selleth it; / and delivereth girdles / unto the merchant.

Key Words:  makes, fine linen, sells, delivers, girdles, merchant

*Literal Meaning 

 Of Proverbs 31:24.
  • At Face Value: A woman creates high-quality material, exchanges it for something of value, and brings products crafted from it to others to sell.
  • My Initial Interpretation: She lets everyone know, and communicates well, of Christ's righteousness. She provides strength through encouragement to others who also work to spread the gospel.

Final Thoughts

He's reaching out to me. He offers His hand to lift me up and runs to my aid when I need Him. Do I recognize it? Do I appreciate it? Am I accepting His invitation and assistance? Or am I resigning myself to living in desolation even though I was made to be royal?

Growing with You,

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