“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates! Give her credit for what she has accomplished, and let her works praise her in the city gates” (PV 31:30, 31)
The godly woman shall be praised by her husband, children and other people. This is the Promise of God! We all desire to be acknowledged, recognized and praised. But there is a danger! There are two types of ‘praise’: flattery and true recognition. Flattery is to be rejected and true recognition for the glory of God should be welcomed.
1/ Flattery is insincere praise. It is sinful, deceptive and manipulative. It is to be rejected. When someone flatters you, he wants to get access to your emotions, to bring you into bondage. You should be watchful with people that flatter you. Avoid these ‘friends. Flattery is a spiritual poisonous bribe! Once you believe it, you become blind to the Spiritual realm and your words will become twisted (Deut 16:19). To be ‘twisted’ it means to become corrupt, to turn into another direction. Bribe will change the meaning of the words you speak or hear. People will always misinterpret what you say. That is the effect of taking or giving bribes and of wicked flattery. I forbid it! (Read Deut 16:19; PV 29:5; Rom 16:17, 18)
2/True praise, acknowledgment and recognition is promised to the godly woman. This holy praise is peculiar. It is done based on the godly woman’s labors and achievements. As you can see, this praise is not instant. It comes late, when you are older, after a lifetime of doing good to others, to the glory of God. Let me be more practical. Do you want to hear good words of praise coming from your husband, children and many other people? Do you want to hear that your business, the work of your hands, has been blessed by God? Do you want to hear people saying that you have used part of your profit to bless them? That you have used the money you made to do good not only to your children, but to many others? There are some conditions… You need to work hard. You also need to remain humble, faithful and patient to the end. Then you shall taste of this special praise given ‘at the city gates.’ Gates speak of entrance into a place. It means that this praise of your labor is given not only on earth, but on the day of the judgment of the saints, when labors shall be rewarded by God. The judgment of labors is the gate to reward and glory in heaven! This great praise based on works comes because you fear the Lord! (Read Ex 20:20; PV 9:10; PV 10:27; PV 14:26, 27)
What does it mean to fear God? To fear the Lord is to take Him seriously. To fear God is godly wisdom. We revere His power and His glory! We respect His wrath! We recognize that He is God and we are not! By the fear of God, you become wise, bold, strong, generous and compassionate. You hate and run away from sin. You run towards God! You live in the presence of God! The good fear of God destroys the bad fear of untimely death. You will live long and well. If you fear God, you and your children will be safe and blessed in life. You will not fear the future. You will rejoice every day in what God has done and is He is doing in your life and your family!
Do you want people to call you a woman of God and to praise your achievements? I know that you desire that praise! I do, too! May it come to us! May this wonderful promised praise manifested at the city gates be our portion! In Jesus’ name! Amen!
(This message was preached at the Women’s Fellowship in our church. In the picture a sister worshipping God during the service)