Vol. 11 No. 5 May 2009
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10). Many young women are taught about the virtuous woman. The virtuous woman described in Chapter Thirty-One of Proverbs is a marvelous woman. She is described as a hard worker, a supporter of her husband, a provider of needed items for her family, a helper of the poor and a person of wisdom. The Hebrew word translated “virtuous” in the above verse is always translated this way when referring to a woman, but when it is used to reference a man, it is translated “strong,” “valiant,” “worthy,” “valor” and “mighty.”
It is easy to see that the virtuous woman is also strong, valiant, worthy and a mighty person of valor. It is interesting that this last chapter of Proverbs is said by the King to have been taught to him by his mother. It is likely that the King is Solomon and the mother is Bathsheba. Bathsheba would have done her best to tell Solomon to find a proper woman to marry. She would have wanted her son to find a woman who would be the best helpmeet. Such a woman not only excels, but helps her husband excel as well. Such a woman guides her children into excellence.
Of course, the excellence that is most important is spiritual excellence. The virtuous woman will be well versed in Scripture. She will aid her husband in his spirituality. She will teach her children proper spirituality.
Study your Bible. If you are a girl, make your goal to become a virtuous woman. If you are a boy, make your goal to marry a virtuous woman. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
The historian Suetonius referred to frequent famines between the years A.D. 45 and A.D. 48. Famines are times when there is either too little rain for crops to grow or too much rain that does not allow the crops to be planted. The Jewish writer Josephus tells that the queen-mother of Adiabene sent much grain and figs to Judea to help the poor. Her son sent money to the Jewish authorities in Jerusalem to help the poor. It is likely that the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem would have been excluded from those gifts. The Jewish leaders hated Christians and considered them as infidels. Thus, Christians likely suffered the most from the famines and had a very difficult time regaining any prosperity in the following years.
Paul wrote to Gentile Christians telling them about the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem. Those in Jerusalem were poor and hungry. Paul told the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 9 that each person should be a cheerful giver. He told the Romans in Romans16:25-26 that the Christians in Achaia and Macedonia had happily shared in giving to the collection for those in Jerusalem. Paul told them that they had been made partakers of the Jew’s spiritual things, and that they should feel duty bound to give physical things to needy Jewish Christians.
Paul was using the situation to teach the Gentile and Jewish Christians proper love for brethren. Many of the Jews still looked down upon Gentiles. It was hard for them to accept that God now accepted Gentiles. Gentiles at times had racist and prejudiced thinking toward the Jews. By reminding them of their spiritual brotherhood, and encouraging them to share in physical things by free-will offerings toward the needy, Paul intended to bring all Christians closer together.
There are still some people today who have racist or prejudiced thoughts. There are still people today who live in poverty. Christians should help each other. Just as those in the first century learned proper love, we today need to learn it as well.
Study your Bible. Encourage those around you to help Christians in need—no matter who they are or where they live. We are to help all people, but especially those who are Christians. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.