Simeon Sarmiento - The Virtuous Woman - Bareilly, North India Convention - 1977

Proverbs 31:1-10, the words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him, "Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies."


The question!! This is a part of the prophecy Lemuel's mother taught him. She was interested in the welfare of her son. Prophecies are inspired of God. Who can find a virtuous woman? He was not speaking of a certain woman. The Bible speaks of the church of God in many different aspects. Here she is like the Bride of Christ.

Thankfulness is the taproot from which all virtue spring. Virtues are sterling qualities. Who can find a virtuous church? After verse 10, there are nice things said about this virtuous church. They help us to be virtuous members of this church.


Proverbs 31:11, "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her." The greatest quality is to be worthy of someone's trust. We can never say anything derogatory about His personality. Of the Phillipian church, Paul could say, "They obeyed not only in my presence but also in my absence." In this land, the servants of God are few as in that day. Here the servants value the mark of being trustworthy even after they are gone. Are we faithful in being Christ-reflectors? "He is the light of the world."


Proverbs 31:12, "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life." Not just when we start to walk in God's Way or not just for 10 or 20 years but for a lifetime.


Proverbs 31:18, "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good; her candle goeth not out by night." At the workers meeting in Pakistan, we heard something like this - one of the workers was thankful for the convictions he had in his heart. If we don't have convictions, we waver. We are convinced that the way we follow is the only way. Some people think our way is right but their way is right, also. This leads them to think they can do it their own way. They are not fully convinced. We know our merchandise is good. It is not better over the fence.

Do you know why her lamp didn't go out by night? Because she had oil in her lamp and in her vessel. In those days, the lamps were very small and the oil had to be replenished often. The lamps in the temple were never to go out. The oil had to be filled each day. Our lights should never go out, either. A light is appreciated more when we are in the midst of darkness.


Proverbs 31:26, "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." She opened her mouth with wisdom and kindness. She never said light things or words like swords that cut the heart, but words that heal with wisdom and kindness.


Proverbs 31:27, "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness." She doesn't eat the bread of idleness. This is a good quality - seeing parents trying to support their families but much nicer to see it in the church. How many times do we read our Bible during the week? This bread of idleness is dwelling on things or speaking of things that someone else has said for us. We don't bother to go down on our knees to get fresh bread each day.


Proverbs 12:27, "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting." This slothful man went half the way but he didn't go all the way. He may have hunted all night but when he shot his deer, he didn't feel like roasting it. It would only decay and wouldn't feed anyone. That is like what we hear here if it is never put into practice.


Proverbs 21:25, "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour." Good desires don't necessarily mean goods acquired unless we put in the labour required.


Proverbs 12:24, "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule but the slothful shall be under tribute." She feeds her church with the bread of diligence. Diligence in prayer will help us bear rule over our spirits. Diligence in meditation will help us bear rule over our thoughts. Diligence in walking will help us choose the path we will walk in. We could be under tribute our our flesh and just feed on the things that feed our flesh. We could be under tribute to the devil and feed on deceit, or tribute to the world which will feed us on trash, on garbage.


Proverbs 31:23, "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land." Her husband is known when he is among the elders of the land because she was full of good works, love, kindness and wisdom. People would ask, "Who is that lady who speaks wisely?" They would say, "Oh, that is the wife of Mr. So and So." That is the way her husband will be known. Is our Bridegroom known by the words we speak and the way we walk?


Perhaps this year God wants us to aim at being more trustworthy, or more diligent or to have more oil. We must always aim higher than we are able to do because we invariably fall short