THE VIRTUOUS WOMAN (PART TWENTY-THREE)

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But a woman who feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

Inner beauty comes from a right relationship with the Lord.  True beauty is impossible apart from the fear of the Lord.  When the Lord is enthroned within, His glory will shine without.  “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it” (Psalm 90:17).

A German proverb says, “Every woman would rather be beautiful than good.”  Glenn Conjurske has commented on this proverb as follows:

By nature, at any rate.  And it is certainly true that most of them sacrifice goodness and godliness in the pursuit of fashion, or whatever else they think may make them beautiful.  Yet she who chooses to pursue godliness instead of fashion sacrifices none of her beauty for it.  She may indeed gain some, for beauty in the heart puts beauty on the face [Wisdom Crieth Without–A Collection of Ancient Proverbs, p. 20].

Peter speaks of that inner beauty that ought to grace the life and conduct of every believing woman:

1 Peter 3:1-6

1: Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation (godly conduct) of the wives;
2: While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
3: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4: But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
5: For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
6: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.

The fear of the Lord is essential in the cultivation of inner beauty.  If the fear of the Lord is absent, then it is impossible to radiate the beauty of the LORD.

Fear can be a bad thing; fear can also be a good and healthy response.  If I meet a bear in the woods, I should have a healthy respect for the animal, knowing something of its power and potential ferocity.  This is a healthy fear that could save my life.  We are to fear and respect God in the right way, knowing that He is a loving, caring Heavenly Father who bids us cast all of our care upon Him and come boldly to His throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Fallen Adam feared God in the wrong way and hid from Him  (Genesis 3:10).  The right kind of fear of God causes us to draw near to Him.

The one who fears God believes that God is great and deserves his utmost respect and reverence.  He is afraid to do anything that would displease such an awesome God.  In Genesis 22 Abraham was faced with the seemingly unreasonable command of sacrificing his beloved son Isaac.  In verse 12 God gave this testimony of Abraham:  “for now I know that thou fearest God.”     Abraham feared God; that is, he believed that God was so great that to disobey Him was unthinkable!

Often, instead of fearing God we fear men!  The fear of man is a great snare (Proverbs 29:25).  We begin thinking like this:

  1. “What will they think of me?”
  2. “What will they say?”
  3. “Will they get angry?”
  4. “Will they be pleased?”
  5. “Maybe they will see me!”
  6. “I’m afraid of what they might do to me!”
  7. “Will they be upset or offended?”
  8. “Will they still be friendly towards me?”
  9. “What will they want me to say?”
  10. “What will they want me to do?”
  11. “Where will they want me to go?”
  12. “I’m afraid they will not be happy with me!”
  13. “I don’t think they will approve of this!”
  14. They might frown on my actions!”
  15. “I hope they will really appreciate what I’m about to do!”

This then is the fear of men. What is the fear of God? To answer this question, simply read the above sentences again and substitute the word “God” for the word “they.” This is the fear of God.

Here is a little exercise that might be helpful. If a person really fears the LORD, then the following will be true:

  1. Proverbs 3:7; 14:16; 16:6.; Job 28:28.
    He will  _______________________________________
  2. Proverbs 8:13.
    He will _______________________________________
  3. Exodus 20:20.
    He will _______________________________________
  4. Nehemiah 5:15.
    He will _______________________________________
  5. Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:2; 13:4.
    He will _______________________________________Who should our close friends and companions be (Psalm 119:63)? ______________________________________________  How can we learn to fear the Lord (Deuteronomy 4:10; 17:19; 31:11-13)? ________________________

The Queen Abbess Dr Patricia

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Author: Sir Godfrey Gregg

Sir Godfrey Gregg is one of the Administrators and managing Director of this site