Go ahead and grab some popcorn, this is a long one, but totally worth it, with special guest: Shama Mreme!!!!
Find someone worth your investment and invest whole-heartedly!!!!
Whilst writing this, Shama’s words continue to ring in my head, I check over my shoulder for him, “Shama, is that you?” Whew, no it’s not…. That was creepy!
Shama and King Lemuel’s mother both share similar inspiration in guiding people to be able to discern who or what is worth their investments. Shama speaking to youth everywhere, and this mother speaking affectionately to her son. That is the context of Proverbs 31 – a mom speaking affectionate wisdom to her son, the king.
The book of Proverbs often paints a picture of a personified idea of who wisdom is, as a beautiful woman. On commentary reads, “The good wife may be a final personification of Wisdom completing the portrait of the woman, Wisdom, as housebuilder in Proverbs 9:1-6.” In 1 Kings 3, Solomon is given a blessing by God and he got to choose where he wanted to invest said blessing – he could have chosen riches or women or power, but he chose wisdom. By investing his blessing in wisdom, Solomon had all the other things added to him. So, whether its Wisdom or a spouse, we all must be very careful where we invest our lives. As the Munford & Sons song says, “Where you invest your love is where you invest your life.”
Where you invest your love is where you invest your life.
We see that this chapter of Proverbs starts as an affectionate reproach from the mother to her son, in verses 1-9. She equates drunkenness with love for women who are not quite worth the investment – that investment being the life of the king. This comparison perhaps shows how when one experiences romantic love they become so infatuated that many even admit they are drunk in love. This is the idea the mother expresses – you can become drunk with love and that drunken state has ruined many kings in times past.
Romantic love demands a spot as god in our lives and once it gets that spot it blinds us from everything except our lover. When romantic love achieves this, when it becomes all we live for, it becomes our god, and in doing so, it becomes a demon. When one makes romantic love a god, then whoever you share it with is doomed to never live up to it. This love is fickle and ever changing, Lewis calls it the divine . There must be something more than just romantic love for a real relationship to be successful. It cannot be worth the investment if all it has to offer is another human who also worships the thing itself. Eros (romantic love) needs to have a master in order for it to be successful.
Eros (romantic love) needs to have a master in order for it to be successful.
After warning her son of the drunken qualities of romance, the mother proceeds to tell her son what to look for, and she does this in form of an acrostic poem – that is every new line starts with the next letter of the alphabet (see Biblical Poetry). She did this in order to help her son memorize what she perceived to be the most valuable part of her advice. This advice, as we will soon see, is essentially “Find someone worth your investment and invest whole heartedly (Shama Mreme).”
Find someone worth your investment and invest whole heartedly (Shama Mreme).
…. I wonder if Shama realised that he just invented his own modern proverb when he said that?
There are five main verses, in this chapter, that I am going to look at that shows who or what (in the case of Wisdom) we should invest in. These verses are 10, 17, 23, & 30.
Verse 10 shows that this woman (or man) that we look for, to invest in, is not merely virtuous but also strong, wise, and gracious. In fact, the word “excellent” in the original language denotes strength, wealth, dependability, and valour. Verse 17 further illuminates the idea of strength by showing her willingness to work hard. Whether it’s a future spouse we are looking for, or Wisdom itself, verse 17 shows that “she will go through with work that requires all the strength she has.” In other words, the future spouse who is worth the investment will work hard for you, and Wisdom embodies that attitude. We see in verse 23 that this future ideal spouse will help you advance and make you well known (she / he will represent you well).
Finally, verse 30 sums up where this spouse, where Wisdom, finds all these great traits – the fear of the Lord. She can be a trader, a business women, a teacher, or whatever but it all must be founded in this respect and passion for God. This cannot simply be another characteristic, this future spouse (or any true Wisdom) must be founded in the fear of the Lord. Matthew Henry describes the fear of the LORD as the crown of this spouse, the crown of Wisdom. Note: this is no title. Just because she is a Christian or is a pastor’s daughter, means nothing. If her heart is not founded in the Spirit of the reverent fear for the LORD, then she is not worth the investment. You must invest fully in the LORD, run the race of righteous living, and one day you will find someone investing with you that you can share in your investment, you will find someone running this race right beside you, or you will find Wisdom all around you; and, when you do find him / her, INVEST WHOLE-HEARTEDLY!!!!
You must invest fully in the LORD, run the race of righteous living, and one day you will find someone investing with you that you can share in your investment, you will find someone running this race right beside you, or you will find Wisdom all around you; and, when you do find him / her, INVEST WHOLE-HEARTEDLY!!!!
Beauty is vain and fleeting. Charm only promises happiness, which is only a great lie. But, the fear of the LORD is eternal. When you ask yourself is he / she worth the investment, remember Shama’s question, “What do like about her?” And if the answer isn’t just YES because you like so much, and if all you like about them is not founded in the fear of the LORD, then it is futile. Remember, an excellent partner brings excellent wisdom, and excellent wisdom brings an excellent partner.
Remember, an excellent partner brings excellent wisdom, and excellent wisdom brings an excellent partner.
This is why we must, like King Solomon, seek Wisdom first for then we will make worth while investments. And with wisdom our goal is to find someone worth investing in and to invest whole-heartedly. Ultimately, where we invest our love really is where we invest our lives, and our lives are really only as valuable as our returns on these investments. It is important, then, to make a plan of investment whilst sober, so that if we ever get to the point of drunkenness in Eros, then we have something to reflect on before it blinds us.
The point is to find Wisdom and find someone worth your investment, then invest whole-heartedly.
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References / Reading List:
 Barton, John. The Oxford Bible Commentary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2001. Print.
 Lewis, C. S. The Four Loves. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1960. Print.
 Henry, Matthew, and Leslie F. Church. Commentary on the Whole Bible: Genesis to Revelation. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Pub. House, 1961. Print.
 Longman, Tremper. The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. Rev. ed. Vol. 6. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2006. Print.
 “Dr. Constable’s Expository (Bible Study) Notes.” Dr. Constable’s Bible Study Notes and Commentary. Web. 27 Oct. 2015.