Proverbs 31: A Woman’s Wisdom,  verse 17, “She girds herself with strength and makes her arms strong.”  To gird herself means to wrap her waist up tightly, to bind strength to herself.  This word for strength can be applied to a strength of force, security, majesty or praise, and is translated elsewhere in the Old Testament as boldness, loud, might and power.  Does this make you think of what we talked about in verse 10 about the “excellent” wife? Which can also mean FORCE or valor?  In this verse the woman purposefully binding strength and boldness to herself and making her arms strong. The last section of this verse here is personally inspiring, that she is making her arms strong.  This is literally translated “she makes her strength ALERT.”  Go look up “alertness” in Websters 1828 and read through it’s definitions.  The reference to her arms is a figurative way of talking about her entire strength, not just the power of her arms, and the “strengthening” here is literally “a state of being alert”.  This woman has not only put on strength, she has conditioned it and prepared it to be ready for whatever is to come.  Is this not a wise preparation?  

I’d like to tell you about another remarkable woman who has an inspiring story of alert strength, her nickname was Molly Pitcher.  While other wives stayed home to care for their families during the Revolutionary War, Molly went on to the battle field with her husband to serve by his side.  She said if he is able to stand and fight then I can too, and she did.  Her husband was a cannoneer and while he manned his post at the cannon against the trained British forces she carried buckets of water to the wounded and fainting men so that they could stay alive and fight.  When her husband was wounded, his men wanted to retreat, but Molly took his place at the cannon, ordered them to stand firm, and taking her husbands ramming rod she began loading and firing the cannon herself, facing the onslaught of the British.  When the battle was over and British were in retreat, Molly was found by her husbands side nursing his wounds. A general of Washington’s summoned Molly to General George Washington’s tent and as he shook her had he said that liberty truly could be won if every soldier in the American forces were to stand firm like Molly did.  She was later given an honorary commission as an officer and became Sergent Molly.  

This woman is not so different from you.  Somewhere in you is a woman who longs to stand firm, to bind herself with strength and be ready for all of the sorrow, struggles, adventures, and battles of life.  Proverbs 31 teaches us that we are meant to choose this strength for ourselves, WE are to gird ourselves with boldness and might, and for those of you who know Jesus Christ personally, you will know that it is only His strength that can truly help us stand by our husbands and stand by Him, ready to take his place as ambassadors and soldiers in the struggling world around us.  Our husbands are good at standing strong, they are usually the first to join the fight, but if they are wounded, have you prepared yourself to take their place?  If they go, will you go too?  Jesus says to us, “Take up your cross and follow me.”  

Finally, we are talking about a woman’s wisdom, the wisdom of being prepared, of making ourselves ALERT, and I’d like to reflect for a moment upon the person in whose image the woman was created.  Here are some passages about the wisdom of God.  Meditate on these tonight with me and realize that this is the God who made you and gave you His own image and likeness 😀

Isaiah 1:18
Psalm 19
Proverbs 3:19-20
Proverbs 21:30

When God gives us wisdom and what it’s for
1 Chron 22:12-
Daniel 2:23
Isaiah 33:6
Jeremiah 9:23

Do your own study on Wisdom in the Bible, maybe go back to Proverbs 1 🙂