By Terri LaPoint – Previously published August 26, 2011
“She rises up while it is yet night” – Prov. 31:15. How many sermons have been preached about this sweet domestic woman who gets up out of bed before the rooster crows to cook and clean and be a good housewife? How many night owls have felt condemnation from the typical understanding of this verse (and its companion verse in vs. 18 “her candle goeth not out by night”)? I know I have wrestled long and hard with this.
Until one night when I was hugely pregnant with my 3rd child, and I was up late because I couldn’t sleep. I was reading my study Bible, the one that has an actual lexicon in the back. I started looking up the words in Proverbs 31 to see what the words mean in the original Hebrew language. And I was TOTALLY blown away!!!
For those of you who don’t know, the Hebrew language, the original language, is a picture language; in other words, they draw pictures with the language to communicate a message. This is opposed to the Greek language of the New Testament which is a very precise language. It says exactly what it means. If there was a more precise word to use for communicating a message, they would have used it – no room for ambiguity. But the Hebrew language is a beautiful language that teaches and expresses things by drawing a picture in our minds.
So, the first word I looked up was “night.” And it can mean a literal night. But being a picture language, that same word can also mean “a time of trial and temptation,” even as we would say in English “the dark night of the soul.” So next I looked up “candle.” And yes, it can mean a literal candle or light. But it also means “trust and confidence in God”! So her candle goes out at night can mean she stays up all night canning vegetables and sewing clothes and working, or, equally valid, it can say that her faith and trust in God does not stop in those hard times of trial and temptation!
Then, and here is the best part to me. You’re not going to believe how powerful this is! In Proverbs 31:15, she rises up while it is yet night. She gets up out of bed? NO!!!! “Rises up” is a WARFARE term! It is used of the armies of David rising up against their enemies. It is used to say “Rise up, O Judge of the earth” in Psalm 94:2. It is a POWERFUL word, with the idea of rising up in the natural or in the spirit prepared for battle, prepared to win!
This is the only time in Scripture that it is translated to mean a wimpy getting out of bed in the morning. That is NOT what it is talking about at all.
The Proverbs 31 woman who was a woman of God who would see adversity coming, against her home, her family, her nation, and she would become bold in her prayers. She would rise up in the spirit in those times of difficulty and intercede before the throne of Almighty God for Him to help and intervene! She gave “meat” to her household – the meat of the Word, the meat of what God showed her in prayer, and she gave “portions” to her maidens, to her friends around her, because there was so much overflow of the power and anointing and the truth of God that she was able to bless others around her and give into their lives as well.
The Proverbs 31 woman was a mighty woman of God, strong in intercession, who loved God with all her heart, and knew how to rise up in the spirit to see God move in a mighty way in the circumstances around her!
So as you pray today, in times of difficulty and darkness, may you RISE UP in authority and boldness, and get ahold of the throne of God as you pour out your heart to the One Person who can change nations, who can turn the heart of a judge, who can redeem us from the snare of the enemy. May you be encouraged and strengthened!