Sunday, February 9, 2014

Proverbs 31 Woman: Verse 19

"She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff."  Proverbs 31: 19

To quote a famous scene from an 80's movie, "I'm baaaack!"  We have had snow storms, sicknesses, crisis,  and other misfortunes, that have taken much of my time the past couple of months, but now I'm ready to move on and start posting again!!!  I could tell you it won't happen again, but I would just be lying.  So, let's get back to our Proverbs 31 study.  

When I read the verse above, I was befuddled.  But, the more I studied, the more it made sense to me.  As I have said before, much of this chapter in Proverbs deals with working and how this lady kept busy and used her time wisely. (Side note: I believe that most of this chapter has a lot to do with women being "keepers of the home," but, not in the traditional sense that we sometimes see it.  In Titus 2:3-5, Paul tells the older women to teach the younger women certain aspects of being good wives.  One of these aspects is to be a "keeper at home."  However, without going into a study that I hope to do in the future, the word "keeper" in the Greek meant "guardian or watcher." While her husband was off to war or military service, the lady of the house was to keep affairs in order and watch over the children.  It was a very important position that has been diminished in today's society.) Now, back to the study.

Prior to the spinning wheel or machine being invented, a spindle had tapered ends and was used to spin wool and other fibers. The distaff was the rod the thread was wound around.  Basically, the distaff had to be held in the arm or stuck in the ground while the weaver had to turn the spindle by rolling it across her thigh.  It was a very tedious chore and took great energy on the part of the person doing the spinning.  Can you imagine the time it took to spin just so you could provide for your family?  My family would probably still be wearing fig leaves if it was left up to me to make their clothing!!!

This wonderful, albeit tired, lady basically did two things at once!! (Gee, none of us ever feel that way, do we?!!)  She did not waste her time with idleness or nonsense (gossip, backbiting, etc.), but used her time wisely.  It was not just a hobby with her, either, but a necessity.  I wonder how many times we have neglected the "necessary" things for the "unnecessary?" 

I know that the Proverbs 31 lady seems to have never rested, but I believe she knew the importance of keeping busy and not having idle hands.  One of the best ways we can get distracted and allow negative thoughts to creep in is to get lazy.  We start imagining things that are not true about others, about ourselves, about situations.  It becomes a playground for the unproductive. 

Let's heed the example of this godly woman and use our time wisely.  Remember this, "Idle hands are the devil's tools."  Don't let your hands (or mouth, or body, etc.) be used for the negative, but for the positive.  We can accomplish so much more. 

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