Planning and Preparation

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“She is not afraid of snow for her household,

For all her household are clothed in scarlet.”

Proverbs 31:21

Planning and preparation.  Living in Michigan, the snow is going to come along with winter and cold temperatures.  Fall is a beautiful time as the leaves change and the temperatures are just right for a sweatshirt without the encumbrances of a winter coat.  As much as I want the fall season to linger, the cold temperatures of winter come upon us at times without warning, and usually earlier than I would like.

Planning and preparation.  This verse is rather straightforward in its meaning and interpretation; however, the scarlet seems to have a few different meanings.

  1. The word scarlet has also been interpreted double garments meaning that the clothing this wise lady prepares for her family will keep them warm when the cold temperatures come. It took planning on her part to acquire the material and measure family members, given she had to make the clothes.  She could not wait until the first frost to decide she needed to get started on making clothes that were suitable.  She had to plan in advance knowing that it may be warm today, but the cold weather is coming.  When our daughters were small, I was able to buy the clothes they would need a year in advance.  I always went at the end of the season, and bought what they would need for the year to come.  Not only was I able to be prepared, but I was also able to buy nice clothing on a tight budget.
  2. The word scarlet is used often in the Old Testament to signify a costly piece of cloth. In order to make the scarlet color an insect, coccus ilicis, was used which was found on the leaves of the oaks in Spain and other countries east of the Mediterranean.  The cloth was given its scarlet color by dipping it in a liquid made from the bodies of these insects.  Exodus 28:5 says, “And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.”  Scarlet along with other fine materials was used in the making of the tabernacle as instructed by God.  This was such fine cloth that it is equated with gold.  It was obviously a costly cloth, but this woman made sure that she provided well for her family.  We know from previous verses that she was wise in the way of business, so she used her business savvy to acquire what was needed to provide for the needs of her family.
  3. This verse can also be looked at figuratively. The snow is compared to the difficulties that come upon us in life, and the scarlet is compared to the blood of Christ that takes away our sin.  As a woman of wisdom, she teaches her children there will be difficulties and challenges that will come into our lives (snow), but as we cling to Christ and His finished work on the cross (scarlet), we can be prepared for the difficult journey of life.  The cross provides hope.  When we lean on God during the course of our lives, He will provide direction through the snow that comes.

Planning and preparation.  Whether we look at this verse literally or figuratively, we can see that this wise woman prepares and plans for the days to come.  She lives life purposefully, planning for the literal and figurative storms of life.

Questions:

  1. How well do you plan?
  1. Read Proverbs 14:1. How does this verse tie into Proverbs 31:21?
  1. Read James 1:2-4. How does this verse tie in with the figurative meaning of this verse?
  1. Read Daniel 6. What came about in the life of Darius as a result of Daniel’s faith in God and his testimony?
  1. Read Genesis 50:15-21. How did Joseph view the trials in his life?
  1. As a woman and/or Moms we are examples, like Joseph and Daniel, to those around us. When the snow of life comes how well do you handle these things?  Are you an example or do you run and hide?
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