Proverbs 31: Week Forty-Five | The Wolfe Notes

Welcome to week forty-five of our Proverbs 31 journey. This week we research law and kindness, then consider applications. 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.
  • In September, we found what being necessary looks like from Proverbs 31:20 and 24.
  • In October, we exercised strength in Jesus from Proverbs 31:17 and 25.
  • In November, we are rehearsing being well-spoken by looking to Proverbs 31:26 and 28.
If you're ready to travel with us, welcome! Grab your November 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 honey dipper held above a jar of honey with text overlay connecting good advice to that which leads to Jesus.



Contents:
About Law from various sources.
About Kindness from various sources.
Other Versions of Proverbs 31:26 and writing our own.
Commentaries of Proverbs 31:26.
*As Christ's Bride applying Proverbs 31:26.
*A Look at Roles in the light of Proverbs 31:26.
*Godly Wisdom What Proverbs 31:26 reveals about God's character.

About Law

From various sources.

Hebrew from Bible Hub
  • Torah: direction, instruction, law
  • Other uses: custom, ruling, teachings
  • In Proverbs 31:26: kind instruction of a wise wife.
Definition from Merriam-Webster
  1. a binding custom or practice of a community: a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by an authority (*If kindness is a law, who enforces it? Who determines what is kind?)
  2. the whole body of such customs, practices or rules
  3. a rule or order that is considered advisable or obligatory to observe 
  4. the revelation of the will of God set forth in the Old Testament (*God's law is of kindness)
  5. a statement of an order or relation of phenomena that so far as is known is invariable under the given conditions (*Only God knows what is truly kind.)
Article: "What should Christians learn from the Mosaic Law?" from Got Questions
  1. Reveals that the law of the Lord is perfect because it is given by a perfect God.
    1. Reveals God's standards for his people living in a fallen world.
    2. God's desire is for His holiness (seen in the law) to be reflected in His people.
  2. Defines sin and exposes its heinous nature.
  3. Confirms our need to be separate from sin
    1. Then through how they worshiped, farmed, dieted, dressed, and groomed their beards.
    2. Now we are set apart morally, ethically, and spiritually. We are in the world, but not of it.
Scripture from Open Bible
  1. Romans 7:12 KJV: Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
  2. I John 3:4 JUB: Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
  3. Acts 5:29 KJV: Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
  4. Luke 16:17 NASB: It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of a letter of the Law to fail.
  5. John 1:17 KJV: for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
*Conclusions: The law connotates seriousness, even more so when it is God's law, and the consequences are eternal. Christ Himself said He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. Matthew 5:17. Jesus fulfills the law. His sacrifice is the necessary condition required for our righteousness. This law is one that should ever be on our lips. 

About Kindness

From various sources

Hebrew from Bible Hub
  • checed: favour, goodness, kindness
  • In Proverbs 31:26: instruction in kindness, kindly instruction
Definition from Merriam-Webster
  1. the quality or state of being kind (sympathetic or helpful: forbearing - GENTLE)
  2. a kind deed: FAVOR
  3. affection
"Be Kind to One Another" by John Piper at Desiring God
  • The extent of our kindness should be to replace all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor (noisy demands), slander, and every form of malice (intent to hurt others). (Ephesians 4:31).
  • The depth of our kindness should be from an internal change of heart making us tenderhearted so we can easily feel compassion for others.
  • The pattern of our kindness should be that we forgive like God and love like Jesus.
    • Qualities of God's Forgiveness:
      • Sin is serious. See it, name it, then cover it.
      • Reckons a real settling of accounts, whether in hell or on the cross.
      • It is costly.
      • It is real.
    • Qualities of Jesus' Love
      • Undeserved
      • Holy (*In love, this should be our aim to lead the other to holiness, not to seek their approval or make them happy with things of this world.)
      • Sacrificial and self-denying
  • The instrument of our kindness is not our own power but is supernatural through faith.
  • The source of our kindness is belief that Christ died, God forgave, and we are loved.
Scripture from Open Bible
  1. Luke 6:35 ESV: But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 
  2. I Corinthians 13:4-5 ESV: Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
  3. Galatians 5:22 ESV: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness (meekness KJV), self-control.
  4. Romans 11:22 ESV: Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. (*Note cross-reference)
  5. Micah 6:8 ESV: He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
  6. Romans 2:4 ESV: Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?
  7. Proverbs 21:21 ESV: Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.
*Conclusions: Not "That person is kind, I can get her to do anything for me." but "That person is kind, she actually cares for me, willingly helps me, and guides me to what matters most - a life with Jesus."

Other Versions

Of Proverbs 31:26 and writing our own.

Phrase-by-Phase

  • She openeth her mouth her mouth speaks / her words / she conducts
  • with wisdom; wise / something worthwhile / sensible
  • and in her tongue on / everything she says / she always says / she gives / ever her concern
  • is the law of kindness mercy / love / kind instruction / teaching of kindness / a lesson of kindness / faithful instruction / teaches faithfully / loving instruction / teaches others to be kind / kindly advice / tender instruction / says it kindly / kindness is the rule / teaching with gracious love / gentle / grace / clemency / advice is thoughtful

Significantly Different Versions

  1. CEV: Her words are sensible, and her advice thoughtful.
  2. VOICE: She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern.
  3. GNT: She speaks with a gentle wisdom.
  4. TLB: When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says.
  5. MSG: When she speaks, she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.
  6. NLT: When she speaks, her word are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.
  7. ISV: She speaks wisely, teaching with gracious love.

Wolfe Stew Versions

  • Wisdom will only offer good advice; for Wisdom always leads to Jesus.
  • Christ's Bride has God's words ever ready on her lips; for her motive is to point others to Him: the ultimate kindness.
  • A Godly wife trusts God to give her the words to say because she knows that His words bring life.
  • Personally, make choices based on God's word, live your life based on what He says - not you, not others.
  • Relationally, season your words with salt. You don't have to say the first thing that comes to mind. Ask for time to process because your words matter.
  • Spiritually, believe that God will guide you wisely, that His words are truth, and His ways are good.
  • Intellectually, study God's word to gain wisdom and to familiarize yourself with His law, which is kindness.

Commentaries

Of Proverbs 31:26 from Bible Hub.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
  • Cares for their higher interests, guides with wisdom - Ellicot
  • Speaks discreetly and piously, as occasion offers - Benson
  • The Church talks of the wisdom of God and allows no foolish filthy or corrupt communication. - Gill
  • She delights to talk of the word of God. - Geneva
  • When she speaks, wisdom presses itself from her heart outward, breaking the silence. Denotes grace (Isaiah 40:6), love, the fulfilling of the law (Hosea 6:6 & I Kings 20:31). Love shown in kindness and gracefulness proceeding from a compassionate sympathy with the sufferings and wants of men. - Keil and Delitzsch

and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

  • Communicates graceful instruction to every household member for nothing escapes her observation - Keil and Delitzsch
  • Language animated and regulated by love; directs and instructs with gracious kindness and ready empathy. Septuagint: She places order on her tongue. - Pulpit
  • To win over rather than compel. Luke 4:22. - Cambridge
  • Her tongue is a book by which one might learn many good things. - Geneva
  • Law of love, grace, and mercy; the other law of Christ (Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.); speaking & acting kindly and tenderly exhorting others to do likewise; the Gospel, aka, the Grace of God, is spoken of widely by the church, often in their mouths and dwells on their tongues - speech seasoned with grace to minister grace. (Ephesians 4:17-32) - Gill
  • Speeches are not forward and provoking, but obliging and amiable, guided by wisdom & grace; law because it's constant and customary proceeding from an inward principle of true wisdom and holds others to the same standards - Poole
  • Kindness is the law that regulates her words - Ellicot
*Conclusions: Wisdom guides our tongues and choices. The Church speaks warmly and truthfully about Christ. A Godly wife lets wisdom speak for her, and Christ's law guides her.


*As Christ's Bride

Applying Proverbs 31:26.

As Christ's Bride, we:
  • Submit to His wisdom and laws.
  • Respect that His ways are higher than ours by turning to Him as our first thought instead of an afterthought. 
Because Jesus:
  • Leads us with wisdom and kindness.
  • Loves us even when we are foolish and thoughtless.


*A Look at Roles

In the light of Proverbs 31:26.

A Helper:
  • Submits to the wisdom and instruction of her husband.
  • Respects that God chose him to lead her. She shows it by seeking and adhering to his counsel which leads to Godliness.
Because A Keeper:
  • Leads his wife with Godly wisdom and the laws of kindness - love, grace, and mercy - which was demonstrated by Jesus.
  • Loves his wife unconditionally, patiently, and mercifully.

*Godly Wisdom

What Proverbs 31:26 reveals about God's character.
  1. God will give us words to speak.
  2. God's law is kindness because it leads us where we belong.
  3. God knows wisdom and kindness are what we need.

Final Thoughts

The words we speak have power. Training in Godliness guides our words. The more we train in Godliness, the more naturally Wisdom and kindness will flow from us. It starts in the heart. Let's pray this week for God to remove our hearts of stone and give us hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Hearts filled with compassion for others that thirst for His righteousness.

Growing with You,

Are you ready for Week 46?

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