ONLINE Sunday Service (M913) | Mount Zion Church | 3 May 2020 | FAITH FOR THE FUTURE | Proverbs 31:21-25
The Bible gave us lots of promises about our future so that we can have faith for the future! We cannot build our faith from the news around us, instead it may bring us down and worry. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God Rm.10:17. Let’s prepare our ears for the word of God and let’s start building our faith stronger to face our future!
Today we are going to learn about faith for the future from Proverbs 31 which is the last part of Proverbs. Simply we can say that this passage is the conclusion of Proverbs. We can see heavenly wisdom through a virtuous wife explained there. This passage is not written only for the wife but more for the believers since the church is the bride of Christ Eph.5:23-24. This passage is also interesting because it was written as an alphabetic acrostic in Hebrew. Since there are 22 letters in Hebrew that’s why we can find 22 verses which start from the first letter (aleph) until the last letter (tau). We are not going to have a look for all 22 verses, we will only learn about the word of wisdom regarding faith for the future.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. 22 She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies sashes for the merchants. 25 Strength and honour are her clothing; She shall rejoice in time to come. Proverbs 31:21-25 NKJV
1: DO NOT BE AFRAID
Heavenly wisdom will make us not to be afraid with anything that will happen in the future. Back to those days, snow was something unpredictable, even people may meet lion in a snowy day 2Sam.23:20. Snow is something dangerous, but she was not afraid at all! If we open our heart to God’s Word that we can find inside the Bible, we will not afraid for our future as well! Jesus holds our future, He said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid Jn.14:27.” We may face uncertainty in our life, but the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus Phil.4:7. Even in the worst situation of Israel God still said: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope Jer.29:11.”
That virtuous wife was not afraid because she was clothed with scarlet! The snow could come at anytime, we must have that scarlet on! Scarlet means brilliant red colour. Scarlet was normally used as a gift from the king, it was very precious. Daniel received scarlet from the King as he was able to interpret the writing on the wall Dan.5:29 KJV. Rahab also received the line of scarlet cord as a token of promised salvation Jos.2:18, 21. Scarlet is the symbol of precious blood of Jesus that was shed upon the cross, it’s about salvation in Jesus Christ! The only reason for us not to be afraid is because of Jesus! We are not supposed to be afraid for what Jesus told us not to be afraid, but we must be afraid for what Jesus said that we must be afraid! Jesus said: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell Mat.10:28.”
The faith of this virtuous wife also made a positive influence for her household. Her faith blessed the people in her household so that all of them were not afraid because all of them were clothed with scarlet! The promise of salvation is just too big for only 1 people in the house. Paul said: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household Ac.16:31.” The promise of salvation that the 2 spies gave to Rahab was also extended to include her father, her mother, her brothers, also all her relatives! They were brought into her own home Jos.6:23. The faith of Jonathan also influenced his armour-bearer and the soldier of Israel, even the battle extended to Beth-Aven 1Sam.14:6-7, 20-23. A strong faith will definitely bring a positive influence. Let’s start that faith from us! One person in the house with a strong faith is enough to bring all the household to have the same faith.
2: BE PREPARED
This virtuous wife was very productive and industrious. Wisdom is not lazy Pro.6:6. She made lots of things and covered herself with tapestry. Oxford Dictionary told us that tapestry is a piece of thick textile fabric with pictures or designs formed by weaving coloured weft threads. It reminds us to the covering which we can find in the Tabernacle. There was no covering in the court of the Tabernacle, but the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place inside the tent were covered very strong! It consisted from 4 layers of fabric and they were very strong, it protected the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place from weathers in the extreme condition of wilderness Ex.26:1-14! When someone believes in Jesus, he enters the first gate and start to live in the protection of God, and the Tabernacle explains that protection as the fence. We must push ourselves to move forward and enter the second gate so that we can get more protection, not only a simple fence but also stronger fence from timber that stands strong above a silver, and also very strong roof!
As we now live in the wilderness of this world with extreme condition that keep changing from day to day, we definitely need to keep walking from the court of the Tabernacle and enter the Holy Place. We are not supposed to stay in the courtyard forever! We absolutely need that strong roof, that mighty covering from God! Just like the virtuous wife made the covering for herself and her household, we also must make God as our covering, as our fortress Ps.144:2. David experienced more of God because he committed to keep walking with God, he was a man after God’s own heart, who love to do all His will Ac.13:22. As the bride of Christ, making tapestry for ourselves simply means that we must make our way to the Holy Place and stay there!
This virtuous wife was so dynamic, and the believers also must be dynamic because the power of Holy Spirit is also very dynamic Ac.1:8 (Greek: dunamis). Holy Spirit will help believers to get prepared as we will face more challenges at the end times. Holy Spirit will teach us to walk in God’s word which is the best preparation to overcome any challenges ahead! Back to the days of Joseph when the world suffered for so long famine, the Spirit of God was upon Joseph so that he was able to bring Egypt made very well preparation to face that big problem Gen.41:38. The book of Revelations also mentioned that the big shock of financial crisis will happen at the end times when the third seal is opened, but those who have the oil and the wine will not suffer any harm Rev.6:6, and that is about the joy and anointing from the Holy Spirit. Let’s get prepared, not with the panic buying, but with the wisdom and walk in the Spirit!
This virtuous wife was very well equipped with spiritual armour so that she was able to rejoice in time to come! She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. This is the result of wisdom! No one knows what exactly we will have for our future. But Holy Spirit will enable us to be rejoice in time to come, to be rejoice for what we can’t see now, and this is faith! Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Heb.11:1. A strong faith is the reason for us to rejoice for our future. Holy Spirit will strengthen our faith so that we will have so many reasons to rejoice.
People may think that their money is the reason to rejoice but these days people could learn that money is not everything. Money can’t buy everything. Jesus gave the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12. That rich fool said, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided Luk.12:19-20?” Psalmist told us that we must love God’s commandments more than fine gold Psa.119:127. The strong reasons to be rejoice are not coming from our money, instead it must come from God’s word.
We rejoice because we believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us Phil.4:13. We rejoice because we believe God is faithful, who will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able. We rejoice because we believe that God will make the way of escape, that we may be able to bear it 1Cor.10:13. We rejoice because we believe that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose Rom.8:28. We rejoice because we believe that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us Rom.8:18. We rejoice because we believe that our heavenly Father knows what we need and He will add that to us Mat.6:33. We rejoice because we believe that the angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them Ps.34:7. We rejoice because we believe that our God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus Phil.4:19. And there are more reasons for us to rejoice. Let’s pray so that Holy Spirit will reveal more reasons for us to be rejoice in time to come.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
Let’s have faith for the future! Our courage to face the future must be build upon His Words alone. Psalmist wrote: Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments Ps.112:1. Let’s be delight in God’s word! Because the result is very powerful for our future: Surely, he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies Psa.112:6-8.
This is what we can do to build our faith stronger so that we can have strong faith for the future:
We must prepare food for our spirit. Do not let our spirit starving. News and television will not satisfy your spirit. Only God’s Word can satisfy our spirit. Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God Mat.4:4.” Rather than just killing the time with something else, this is a good time for us to start building our family altar or encourage each family member to spend time in God’s Word. We must build our faith, let’s prepare the best thing for our future. AMEN.