Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Valiant Warrior; Proverbs 31 Prologue

Do not give women your strength and the way to destroy a king
Proverbs 31:3 (advice from Solomon’s mother).

The Proverbs 31 Woman She has been preached in pulpit after pulpit, I have come to dread Mother's Day because of her. As a matter of fact, I would rather be just about anywhere but church on Mother's Day. Her unattainable standard, loved by every man who has proclaimed her perfection, has given me a dread of this chapter of Scripture. Then I heard Frank Seekings talk about her in a way that touched the core of my soul. I see her with new eyes, Hebraic eyes. I have began loving who she is. Now I like the woman I can be when walking in her shadow.

Solomon’s mother isn't trying to warn him to stay away from women. She is rebuking him, telling him the consequences of loving more than one woman for one life. By loving many women he will lose the virtue (inner-moral character) that keeps him on the path of life (The Way) and allows him to be a righteous king because of his commitment to his virtuous warrior-wife.

  1. Hebrew letter of the week (none for the introduction)
  2. Hebrew word study: "EZER" "to protect"
  3. No review lesson for this introduction
  4. The Valiant Warrior 
  5. What kind of woman will you choose to be?
Each week in this study I will follow a pattern. (1) Proverbs 31 is an acrostic which means that the study follows an alphabetic pattern. Each instruction begins with a Hebrew letter so we will start by learning about those letters. Hebrew letters do not just represent sounds in words, they also communicate a mental image known as a picto-graph. (2) Next will be a word study. The letter of the week is used in the word of the week which will add depth to our understanding of each verse. (3) Finally we will begin the lesson with a short review of what we have already learned, followed by (4) the current lesson and end with (5) a conclusion. I will post these at the start of each lesson

Our introduction does not have a letter to study but we do have a word of the week. 
First lets look at the word Bathsheba uses. When she says "women" it is plural. She is telling her son that more then one woman will have consequences in his life

The Way has become one of my favorite concepts. I use it often in this study. Those who followed Y'shua-Jesus in the first century of the common era were "followers of The WayThe Way is your path of life. Either you are on the popular "Broadway" which most people follow, or you are on the steep and narrow Way which very few choose. This is The Way of eternal life. It is The Way of following Jesus. The broad way is the popular path of life but it is the way of death, a destructive path that leads to eternal damnation.    

The word "strength" is Chayil is a Hebrew word that should be translated as virtue or excellence. Virtue is moral excellence, and is always a factor in a righteous life. This righteousness has the Word of God as its foundation.             

Here are some examples of men who gave their strength, their Chayil to many women.

Samson from the book of judges is known to have loved many women. The wife he chose was a pagan who did not love or honor YHVH, the LORD, she betrayed Samson and as a result he murdered 30 men. (Judges 14:12-19). Even though they did not divorce, she married another man, throwing Samson into a rage. In his anger he burnt the food supply of the Palestinians (Philistines of Gaza) by tying the tails of foxes together and attaching burning torches to them in grain fields. In retaliation the Palestinians killed the cheating Mrs. Samson and her father who supported her being with another man. Samson got into more trouble with another prostitute, before he met the infamous Delia, who humiliated him by joining a plot to take away his chayil-strength and enslave him. This is not something we expect from a man of God’s people. It was not the haircut that brought down Samson. He gave his virtue-chayil to women (plural)

David gave many women his chayil - virtue and he suffered in a wild, unhappy home with many woman and his fighting children.

Solomon also gave his chayil-strength to many women, causing the wisest man ever to become a fool (the fool says in his heart, “there is no God”. Psalm 14:1)

Women can also give up their Chayil 
  • What kind of a woman is she who loves one man; a man who has only one woman for one life?
  •  What are her characteristics? Can we learn anything useful from the women of Scripture and from Solomon’s mother?
  • We cannot control men or anyone else, we can only control ourselves.
  • There is another question…. Should we even worry about being this kind of woman? Is it important to God that we are Chayil - a Valiant Warrior?
  • Is it important to learn to be this woman even though you are only in JrHi? If it is important then I expect to see this truth with the very first woman, Eve.

'EZER from the Hebrew root meaning, surround, protect, aid. Sadly translated help meet in English

'EZER; A person that gives help in difficult times providing relief and aid.

After God created Adam, He put him into the garden to work it and keep it. To keep is to guard and protect Concerning Adam, God said….                      
 … "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;  but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

 Then YHVH God said,
 "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him."
 Out of the ground YHVH God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name.  The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.         Gen 2:16-21 nasu

Question:  Why isn’t a horse good enough as a farm helper?
                Why isn’t a dog or a wolf a good guard help?

Of all the animals, surly there were many who would be loyal companions (like cats) who could be trained to do farm work and to guard the garden and be a companion to Adam. Even today we train animals to do these things. Why were none of them suitable for Adam?

The animals were part of the creation that Adam was to guard and protect. Even though they can be trained to do amazing tricks and submit to work, an animal cannot be a co-warrior, an equal. They will ALWAYS be subordinate (under in a dependent way) to men. In all of creation there was no animal who was a co-warrior who could stand as an equal to Adam.

What is ‘EZER
In the  following passages, the word 'ezer, often translated "help" is highlighted 
Exodus 18:4 The other (son of Moses) was named Eli-ezer (meaning “God-Eli, is my ‘ezer -help) , for he said, " The God of my father was my help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh."
Moses honored YHVH's direction in his life when he named his second son Eliezer. Moses, who was given as crocodile bait by his father (Eli) when he was an infant, with only his sister there to witness his fate. As a man Moses knew something about YHVH that his father never understood. The Almighty is 'ezer.
Psalm 20:1-2
May YHVH answer you in the day of trouble!
May the name of the God of Jacob set you securely on high!
May He send you help from the sanctuary
And support you from Zion!
The God of Ya'aqob (yah-ak-obe) or Jacob in English translations, In Psalm 20:2 the word 'ezer has the letter kaf (sofit) as a suffix. As a suffix the Hebrew letter kaf adds the idea of YHVH's presence or the King's presence (Y'shua-Jesus) to the word. David seems to be remembering that when Ya'aqob-Jacob was far away from home, the Almighty was still with him and protected or helped him.
Psalm 70:5
But I am afflicted and needy;
Hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer;
O YHVH, do not delay.
In this Psalm, David says that the Almighty is his 'ezer-his help. Spacifically he says that the Almighty is his "deliverer" from the Hebrew word palat which means "way of escape" which is the exact idea that Paul used in 1 Corinthians 10:13 when he said that the Almighty will provide "a way of escape" when we are tempted.
Psalm 115:9-11
9 O Israel, trust inYHVH;
He is their help and their shield.
10 O house of Aaron, trust in YHVH;
He is their help and their shield.
11 You who fear YHVH, trust in YHVH;
He is their help and their shield.
It is the Almighty who is our 'ezer, our help or co-warrior. As our 'ezer he is our shield. Paul said that the shield of the Almighty is faith, from the word 'amen meaning, to stand firm. When we commit our Way to the Almighty, he is the one who protects us on the path of life.
Psalm 121:1-4
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from YHVH,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel        
Will neither slumber nor sleep.    
When the Almighty created Adam he gave him a job in the garden, "Keep it." I used to think that "keeping" a garden meant weeding, mowing, fertilizing and harvesting. The Hebrew word translated "keep" is shamar which is our English word "keep" but not in the modern usage. Today we would say "guard, keep an eye on, to protect" Adam's job was to guard Eden. Eve (or Chavah in Hebrew) was given the job of 'ezer to Adam. She was to be his co-warrior. She is not a "help-meet" unless that is how you think of the Almighty in your life. If you do think of him that way, then you have a problem to solve. That problem is to remove yourself from the center of your heart and put the Almighty there.

Hosea 13:9 It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help.
If God is our help, then why did Adam need Chavah-Eve?

She was not to just help Adam, but to represent the 'ezer the help that God is. That is how she helps Adam. Are you ready to be that kind of woman? A woman who knows the Almighty so well, that she can stand and wield the sword of the Spirit(Ephesians 6:17, the Word), when Adam needs help.

Later in this study we will learn more about the sword of the Spirit (and of Chavah-Eve). Here is a hint about that sword. It is not a steal blade, in fact it is not even of this world…. But we will save that study for another day. Today I only have one question.

What kind of Woman are you planning to be?

Introduction to a series of Junior-High Ladies Devotions
Mrs. Hagerty, September 8, 2014
Updated November 12, 2015 MsH

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