Have you ever browsed the internet looking for a specific item you really wanted but had difficulty finding? I sure have! It seems like the items that are hard to find are often rather expensive when you do find them. The reason for that is apparent: since they are rare, the seller can charge more for them. When a certain item is everywhere on the market, there is more competition to drive the price down. If one seller sets the item at a low price, the other sellers will probably need to drop their prices if they want to make any sales.
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
A virtuous woman is compared to a ruby, a valuable jewel. Women who are virtuous are not easy to find, which is part of the reason why they are so valuable.
The two main things that Proverbs compares to rubies are wisdom and a virtuous woman. This seems to point to the idea that part of being a virtuous woman is being wise. We see this idea verified in verse 26 of Proverbs: “She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”
We also see in Proverbs 20 a comparison of wise lips with rubies and other jewels.
“There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.” Proverbs 20:15
So why is a virtuous woman worth far more than rubies? Not only is she valuable because she is rare, but also because she has wisdom, which the Bible tells us several times is worth more than rubies.
For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.” Proverbs 3:13-15
Wow! These are amazing verses! There are so many things that we are prone to wish for. It may be material things such as new craft supplies or a new dress. Or, it could be something else like a friendship or a new skill that we would like to learn. Even good things like this, the Bible says, are not to be compared with wisdom. In other words, if you take these things and look at them compared to wisdom, they are not even worth looking at. God values wisdom, and we should too!
This brings up the question, how do we get this wisdom that is so valuable and can help us in our journey to become virtuous women? Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” If we want to become wise, the first step is respecting and honoring God and giving Him our reverence.
The first step to getting wisdom is to fear the Lord, but there is also another step that is discussed in the book of James.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” James 1:5-7
This tells us one simple way to get wisdom: ask! Isn’t that amazing? Wisdom is so valuable, not worthy to be compared to precious jewels or anything else we could wish for, and yet it is ours for the asking. There is also a way that we are to ask. We must ask in faith, believing that God will give us this precious gift as He has promised to do.
This is how we get wisdom, but where do we get wisdom from, and what is it like? James tells us this as well.
“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” James 3:17
True wisdom comes from above, from God. This wisdom is pure and gentle and brings forth good fruits in our lives. This is what we see in the Proverbs 31 passage. There is a long list of the good fruits that the Proverbs 31 woman bears as she serves the Lord, her family, and those around her. This verse gives us insight into where her good fruits come from. They come from seeking the Lord and His wisdom. This must come before our works. He wants us to ask for wisdom and seek His strength to enable us to be virtuous.
So, what does virtuous mean? When I studied the meaning of the Hebrew word where we get the word virtuous, I was quite surprised by what I found. Virtuous sounds like something very soft and cushy, but what does the word really imply?
Virtuous is actually related to strength. The word that is translated as virtuous in this verse is also translated in the Bible as words such as army, valour, and strength. This tells us that being virtuous is not always easy. It is something that requires inner strength, the strength that only God can give. Just as our wisdom can only come from God, so our strength to stand strong and do what is right must also come from Him.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Let’s start piecing together what we know so far about a virtuous woman. A virtuous woman fears and honors the Lord, asks Him for wisdom, and receives wisdom from Him. Because of her wisdom that is more precious than rubies, she herself is also considered to be worth far more than rubies. She looks to the Lord to strengthen her to do right, which is how she is able to be spiritually strong and have the moral courage that it takes to do right even in difficult situations. As the Lord gives her His wisdom, she is able to bear fruit in her day to day life as she faithfully serves where He has placed her with the strength that He has given her.
I hope that you have enjoyed studying God’s Word with me today, and that you have learned something that will help you in your walk with Him.
Before you go, I have a free printable for you if you haven’t already gotten it. My Proverbs 31 printable artwork is still available. It looks similar to the one in the picture above, although that wasn’t quite the finished product. Just sign up to the blog below, go to your email to confirm it, and you will receive the password to the Freebies, where you can get your art and a few other free printables!
Oh, and one other reason you might want to join: this is just the first verse of our Proverbs 31 study!