In my continuing quest to do an in-depth study of Proverbs 31, I came across my next verse - Proverbs 31:13...
"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."
This verse is plopped right after two verses describing her husband's love and confidence in her, and her ability to gain his trust. I have to admit it seemed a bit oddly placed considering the verses following talk of merchant ships and fields - much more exciting.
I believe every word in Scripture is there for a purpose and this verse is no exception. It speaks clearly of the selection of materials and the production that follows. But, in looking a bit closer, it intrigued me that wool and flax were the items listed. I'm sure Mrs. Virtuous worked eagerly at a lot of tasks and spent a lot of time selecting appropriate items needed to take care of her home and family. So, why did the passage mention wool and flax?
Flax is a well-known plant with yellowish stems and bright blue flowers. The main use of flax (once dried and its oil expressed) is for the manufacturing of linen, obviously to make clothing. Interestingly, the expressed flax oil was used to feed cattle. Selecting the best flax not only created the loveliest of linens, but also became food for the family's cattle herd. It is noted that only women of noble birth were found spinning flax. And, we now see the noble connection to flax.
Wool is a bit more obvious in its origin - sheep. But in Old Testament times, the first wool shearing of a family's best sheep was required for sacrificing to the priest. Choosing the best wool, like flax, would make the warmest of clothes, but selecting of the best was symbolic of the sacrifice made to the priests. Mrs. Virtuous took her shopping seriously.
I'm not spinning wool and flax to clothe my family but it reminds me that as I care for others, I should choose wisely and work eagerly for God's glory. That is such a small price to pay for the ultimate sacrifice God made for me in sending His Son to be my Sheep sacrifice for my sins. I'm forever grateful that God chose the Supreme Sacrifice for me.