LAUGHING AT THE DAYS TO COME
“Strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come.”
The testimony of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 is that she rejoices in the time to come. However, I notice that more than 20 other translations of the Bible write that she “laughs” at the future. With so many translating it this way, I thought I better check it out.
Yes, they are correct. The Hebrew word is sachag and means “to laugh.” The same word is translated “laugh” in a number of other Scriptures, e.g. Job 5:22: “At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh.”
The next thing we have to face is: “How can we do this?” How can we laugh at a future that seems bleak? We wonder what kind of a world it will be for our children and grandchildren as we observe the moral decline of our nation, the rise of Islam and terrorism, and the increase of Christian persecution around the world.
As we read through Proverbs 31 we observe why this courageous woman can laugh at the future.
1. SHE IS INDUSTRIOUS AND PREPARES FOR THE FUTURE
Proverbs 31:27 says: “She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eatheth not the bread of idleness.” She is not lazy. She not only thinks of today but provides for the future. She has extra necessities and food ready for a “rainy day” or difficult times to come.
The words “looks forward” means “to lean forward, to peer into the distance, to observe, to watch.” Because she is wise she peers into the distance and makes sure her home is well-stocked and in readiness for whatever calamity may happen. In fact, this Hebrew word, tsaphah is the word that is elsewhere used for “watchman.” She is a watchwoman. Because she diligently watches and works hard to make this happen she can laugh at the future. Of course she does this with discretion. She is not a hoarder, but a provider.
2. SHE SOWS FOR THE FUTURE
We notice that that this woman poured her life into her marriage, her children, and her home. It was her life. Yes, she had industry in her home, but employed servants for this task, plus incorporated the children into the businesses as they grew older. They did everything together. Everything she organized was for the benefit and building up of the home.
Some women say she was in business as a real estate agent. They want to think of her as a career woman outside the home. This is not the case. Yes, she looked for a field to buy a vineyard, but that was very much part of the running of the home. Every family, especially wealthy families, owned their own vineyard in Israel. This is typical of the Middle East and Europe today. I have stayed in a number of European homes who own their own vineyards.
As more children came along and the family grew larger, they needed a larger vineyard, so off she went to find a suitable field to plant it. Most probably her servants planted and tended the vineyard.
Because she poured her life into her home and family, she could rest in the fact that she had prepared them for their future lives. She did her part; now she trusts them to the hands of her Omnipotent God.
God’s principles are eternal. “Be not deceived: God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that she he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption: but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6: 7-9).
3. SHE TRUSTS GOD FOR THE FUTURE
This is the ultimate treason she can laugh at the days to come. She does not look at the circumstances around her or fears what may come because she knows God is bigger than anything she, or her children, may face in the future. She trusts a big God, a great God, a faithful God, and a God whose kingdom is unshakeable.
1 Peter 3:5, 6 tells us about the holy women of old “who trusted in God” even in the face of fearful situations. The context of the Scripture reveals that they faced circumstances that could even be terrifying. After giving us the specific testimony of Sarah, the Scripture goes on to say: “You are her daughters, if you do do what is right and do not succumb to fear” (Complete Jewish Bible).
The Amplified says: “And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you--not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you.”
The Berean Study Bible says: “You are her children if you do what is right and refuse to quiver in fear.”
Moffat’s translation says that we will be Sarah’s daughters if we “yield to no panic.” Many years ago I coined the phrase, “Sarah’s daughters don’t panic.” Can I encourage you also that whenever you face a situation that causes you to fear, or even be terrified, to shift into a different gear. Begin confessing out loud immediately, “Sarah’s daughters don’t panic” and instead of succumbing to fear, confess your trust in your God who is bigger than any circumstance you face. He is bigger than your future worries for your children. He has your children in the palm of His hand. He has their future and destiny planned before the foundation of the world.
Those who trust Him will never be ashamed. And when you trust Him, you can laugh at the future.
Blessings from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Great God and Father, I thank You that You that nothing that can ever happen to me, or my family, without Your knowing and without You coming into the situation to show Your mighty right arm. I thank You that You hold the future in Your hands. I put my trust in You. I trust the future of my children to you. And I thank You that I belong to Your unshakeable and everlasting kingdom. Amen.”
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!