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“Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” Proverbs 31:10

Most of us have read or heard this scripture read and, in our minds, have said that it is impossible for a woman to reach the high ideal that is portrayed. The writer of Proverbs said her value was above rubies.

I found the following interesting information about rubies in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“The quality of a ruby is determined by its color, cut, and clarity, which, along with carat weight, affect its value. The brightest and most valuable shade of red called blood-red or pigeon blood, commands a large premium over other rubies of similar quality. After color follows clarity: similar to diamonds, a clear stone will command a premium. Improving the quality of gemstones by treating them is common practice. Improvements used include color alteration, improving transparency by dissolving rutile inclusions, healing of fractures (cracks) or even completely filling them. The most common treatment is the application of heat. Another treatment, which has become more frequent in recent years, is lead glass filling. Filling the fractures inside the ruby with lead glass (or a similar material) dramatically improves the transparency of the stone, making previously unsuitable rubies fit for applications in jewelry.”

We had a teacher in Bible College who often told us we were like diamonds in the rough, put into a bag and shaken so that we might be polished and made ready to fulfill our purpose in life. As women, we desire to be the very best that the Lord would have us be. When we first come to Him, we are full of faults and imperfections, but as we yield to His guidance and direction, His Holy Spirit works on us to make us perfect in His sight. The circumstances He allows serve to polish us and fill replace the weak places with His strength.

I believe if we look closely at these verses in Proverbs, we can break them down into our everyday living and realize that we can become the ideal woman that is picture here. Over the next few days, let’s consider some of the attributes that she possessed and compare them with what God is doing in our lives.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Holy Spirit that is working in our lives, making us what you would have us be. Show us today where we fall short of your perfect plan and give us the grace and wisdom to become what you would have us be.

Devotion by Anne Johnston

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27, KJV.

I am enamored with the Genesis creation narrative and have always thought the conversations of origin and worldview to be fascinating. Most people during their lifetime will ask themselves, “Why am I here? What is my purpose? Who is my creator?”

I remember when I was a little girl asking my mom, “If God created me, who created God?” It is amazing that you an I are masterpieces designed by a God who has no creator; because he is the master creator. Without God everything would cease to exist.

Last year as I was teaching a Bible study about the creation of the world, I was asked by a disgruntled individual, “If humans are so important to God, then why did He wait to create them last?”

So, I ask you that same question. Why is humanity the last creation in the book of Genesis?

It is because God is a God of divine order.

Incandescent light

Genesis 1:1­­–2 begins with an explanation of the earth’s condition before God’s first creative acts declaring, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”

God then speaks into the impenetrable darkness and creates light, even before He creates the sun. This incandescent light brings structure to the world and reveals the character of God, who is light (cf: John 1:5).

There is an order of creation. God did not create man first, because He had to first create the things that would sustain man. Before he spoke every animal and insect into existence, he created the grass, herbs, and trees. Before He created the fish, sea creatures, and whales, He created water. And, before He created all things, He created light, which allows all things to grow and prosper.

You are God’s prized creation! You are God’s chosen.

God did not wait to create humanity last because they are the least of His creation; He created us last because He had a divine order of how to take care of us.

You may not understand the pattern of your life, but when you give your life to God, you can trust that He has a master plan and a divine order to take care of you! Continue to trust that He is speaking light into the darkness and keep believing that everything will work together for good to those who love God and called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for having a master plan, even in creation. Whenever I question my purpose, I pray that you would show me how loved I am by You. I may not understand every hill and valley, but I will submit myself to Your divine order and trust You.

 

Job 23:10, “But he knoweth the way that I take: When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

Think with me for a minute, what would the world (Christianity, the church, the Bible, your life) be like without the story of Job?

The book of Job is a celebrated story of an incredible man who did not forsake God in the highest and lowest parts of his life. Even though I may not go through the exact same things Job endured, I find comfort and strength in his reaction to the calamity the he and his wife suffered.

The Paradox of Suffering

Suffering is not always the repercussions of sin, mistakes, and bad decisions. The elaborate nature of suffering finds its way into the complexities of everyday life, causing me to question my purpose, God’s love toward me. When I suffer, I oftentimes feel like God is disciplining me for something I have done wrong.

The story of Job is encouraging to me because it reveals that suffering is not contingent on the motive of my actions or punishment for my sins.

Job was tried not because he was the worst of men but because he was the best of men.

Philippians 3:10, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.”

 Even our Savior suffered in this world, and He was the sinless, perfect, Lamb of God. Your suffering and pain gives you an opportunity to experience the love of God in a new way, because we fellowship with Him on a deeper level.

What does the story of Job teach me about sharing my story?

For me, Job’s story helps me to feel like I’m not alone in life’s struggles.

His blessings and hardships teach me that it is powerful when I share my experiences and testimonies other people. When we open up about our lives it lets other people know that they are not alone. And, isn’t that something we all long for? The feeling that we are not alone?