June 7, 2021
The book of Proverbs is mostly of Solomon’s teaching of wisdom that will keep you safe from harm, from death, it gives insight to ways to have a prosperous and good quality of life. He teaches what is right and wrong, what is just and unjust, what is good and evil in God’s eyes.
In Proverbs 3:27, Solomon wrote:
Proverbs 3: 27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Solomon said wisdom recognizes when someone deserves something good for their good actions or character and those who recognizes it should not withhold giving them what is good.
Recognizing what the Lord sees as someone deserving good, we need to look for examples in the Bible.
You will find those who God saw as deserving were those who have a servant’s heart and the willingness to sacrifice themselves for what was good.
There are 4 women of the OT that we can learn from who God saw as deserving.
The first is Sarah who gave herself in obedience to follow her husband Abraham, trusting his faith in God. She is the one that Peter speaks of her Godly character as an example to follow.
1 Peter 3: Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.
Sarah’s inner beauty pleased God because she put her hope in him and submitted herself to be do his will for her husband. For this Sarah received God’s goodness and became the mother of the Jewish nation.
The 2nd is Ruth. Ruth the widow gave up her own Moabite family to follow her widowed Jewish mother-in-law, Naomi back to Jerusalem to care for her in a foreign country. We find Ruth’s good heart in her words to Naomi.
Ruth 1: 16 But Ruth replied, "Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go, I will go, and where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me."
Ruth’s good character was seen by others.
Ruth 2: 6 The foreman replied, "She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, 'Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.' She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter."
Ruth 2: 11 Boaz replied, "I've been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband-how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
Ruth’s good character and actions was rewarded by the Lord. She became the wife of Boaz, the mother of Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The next person is Abigail the wife of Nabal who showed contempt towards David after David had protected Nabal’s flock and his shepherds from harm while in the field. Nabel’s contempt made David angry, and he promised to destroy every male in his household.
After Abigail, Nabal’s wife learned of this she quickly responded to save her family.
1 Samuel 25: 18 Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19Then she told her servants, "Go on ahead; I'll follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them.
1 Samuel 25: 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: "My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 25 May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name-his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent.
Abigail put the salvation of her household more important than the foolishness of her husband. After Abigail appealed to David he relented and accepted her offer of forgiveness.
1 Samuel 25: 35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request."
After Nabal died suddenly, Abigail the widow received God’s goodness when she was asked by David to become his wife, which she did and had a son by him name Kileab.
The next woman is Esther. Esther willing risked her life to save the Jewish nation from destruction by presenting herself before the King, which meant death if he did not accept her presences. We see Esther’s character from the words she spoke.
Esther 4: 16 "Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish."
The Lord showed his goodness to Esther for her willingness to sacrifice herself to save God’s chosen people. Esther was accepted by the King, and he showed much favor to Esther, and she was able to reveal to him Haman’s evil plot to destroy the Jews and she was able to stop his plan and saved the Jews from annihilation.
These Godly character and acts, God sees as deserving of his goodness and what he wants to see in us. To be obedient, virtuous, loving, and sacrificial, not doing it for a reward, but totally out of a sincere heart.
Jesus wants us to have the wisdom to recognize these deserving qualities in other believers and to give them what is good the way God did.
God’s goodness was more than earthly riches, fame, or accolades. He gave these women hope for their family’s future.
This same goodness we can give to those we see as deserving because of their love for God by acknowledging their faithfulness in loving God and your steadfastness to be united with them in that same love and hope we have in Jesus and his eternal future he has for us.
Be safe in Jesus,