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Prudence: wisdom, foresight, and practical judgment.
It’s important to study this virtue first because wisdom and foresight dictate the steps that we take or the ones that we don’t.
We can study the Bible until we know it backwards and forwards, but if we don’t have prudence we won’t use the Word wisely.
The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit. – Proverbs 14:8
A good example of prudence is found in the story of Esther. She knew what needed to be done for her people, but instead of rushing in, she stepped forward wisely. She petitioned her people to fast and to pray before approaching the king.
This week we also studied a portion from Ruth, where Boaz refers to her as a “virtuous woman.”
And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. – Ruth 3:11
Ruth counted the cost when she left everything behind to follow Naomi, and stepped forward wisely to win the heart of Boaz, her kinsman redeemer. She’s truly an example of wisdom, and prudence, and strength.
The Bible instructs us to be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. It also instructs us to think ahead, and to count the cost before stepping in:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build, and was not able to finish.”
Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. – Luke 14:28-32
The winds of doctrine are strong, and unfortunately some people are tossed back and forth, never really grasping what their faith means to them and what the Word of God has to say.
I urge you to prayerfully ask God for wisdom. Ask Him to shine light on His Word and to open up your mind to a deeper understanding of His will for Your life.
You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife
Esther is Courageous and Wise – Esther 4:6-5:8
Esther teaches me to be courageous and to step forward wisely. Her situation wasn’t merely a difficult one, it was punishable by death, but she followed God’s will and exercised virtue, which let to the delivery of the Jews from pending death.
First and foremost, she takes time to fast, and although it’s not said, one assumes she prayed. She asked her people to fast likewise.
Wisdom should always be exercised in difficult situations. It goes hand in hand with every virtue. And so it’s important to be in prayer and to study God’s word so that we’re acting on His wisdom, and His alone.
Ruth and Boaz – Ruth 3
The story of kinsman redemption found in the book of Ruth is symbolic to our relationship with Christ, and God’s redeeming love. It’s exciting to see just how much symbolism is used in this chapter. Wow!
Note: I’m going into a little more depth today because I’ve previously written a Bible study on Ruth, and so I have a lot of notes I’m gleaning from. I pray I don’t bore you with my excitement of the scripture. wink emoticon
In verse three Naomi instructs Ruth to wash herself, anoint herself, and put on her raiment. These are the three things that we as Christians put on in a sense, as we prepare and wait for the return of our Lord.
Washing with water by the word is a continual process of purification. As we follow God’s commandments we’re set apart from the world and conformed to His will. It’s virtue built upon faith as we allow God to change us and keep us from sin.
Anoint means to smear, rub or smooth on. In Biblical times, Shepherds would anoint sheep with oil on the head and around the ears to protect the area from the infestation of insects (www.gotquestions.org/anointed.html). In the New Testament it is synonymous with the Holy Spirit upon God’s people. Anointing one with oil is a symbol of consecration. By the anointing of the Holy Spirit we are set apart from the world and purified.
Our raiment as believers is our robe of righteousness that covers our sin. It is the perfect conduct of Christ covering our imperfect sinful lives. It is given to us by the grace and forgiveness of God.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10
* Kinsmen Redemption *
If anyone is wondering what exactly a “Kinsman Redeemer” is, this is my basic understanding of it. The law of Kinsman Redemption dictates that if a relative is sold as a servant to a stranger, the next of kin has a right to buy him back.
“And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger’s family: After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: Either his uncle, or his uncle’s son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself.” – Leviticus 25:47-49
And so Naomi’s daughter-in-law would be offered to the next of kin.
Boaz acknowledges his right of kinship, but points out that there is another man who is closer in relation to Naomi’s family. According to the law, this other relative would have to forego his right to the marriage first, and only then Boaz would be free to marry Ruth.
If you read further into the book of Ruth, you see how Boaz went to the relative saying, “What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy [redeem] it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance.”
And so by gaining permission to purchase the land, Boaz also purchased the right to marry Ruth.
Again we find symbolism to our salvation, which has been purchased by the blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ also known as our “redeemer.”
The Proverbs 31 Woman – Proverbs 31
What I found most interesting about the Proverbs 31 woman was how she prioritized her life. She was always thinking of others. She was working for others, she was waking up before the others, and she was clothing others.
She was a wise and practical thinker. Verse 26 reads “ She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.” This leads me to believe that like Esther, she reasoned things out before she spoke or made important decisions.
This focus on prudence has taught me to prayerfully and carefully consider my steps. Human nature tells me to rush into things, but God’s Word reminds me to seek after wisdom, to slow down, and to follow His will.
Most importantly, this woman respected and honored her Lord. When we truly center our lives around the will of our Lord, we find hope for tomorrow regardless of what today brings.