Proverbs 31:13 She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it].
This is the verse we mentioned in the introductory lesson. Again, I wouldn’t suggest taking this verse too literally, unless you have a desire to develop wool and flax. If you don’t have a desire to develop wool and flax, note that the spirit of the text speaks to the Proverbs 31 Woman being an industrious woman. It also speaks to something a little deeper.
As with rubies and pearls (Lesson 2), wool and flax also have symbolic meaning. First, let’s define wool and flax. Wool is the dense, soft, often curly hair forming the coat of sheep that is processed into a textile fiber. (See education.yahoo.com.). After being processed, wool is white and is therefore, used as a symbol of purity (See Deut. 22:9-11) and forgiveness of sins (See Isaiah 1:18).
Flax is a widely cultivated plant, having pale blue flowers, seeds that yield linseed oil, and slender stems from which a textile fiber is obtained. (See education.yahoo.com.). It is picked and processed into either a very fine yarn used for high quality linen or lace, or a tougher yarn used in making ropes. (See angelfire.com.).
The spiritual significance of wool and flax includes that both items must be processed before they can be of use. Their uses are both functional (wool – warmth) and fashionable (flax-linen-beautiful clothing). They are both derived from living things: wool from animals (sheep) and flax from plants. However, these derivations are where I see something of great spiritual significance. In the Bible days, wool and linen were forbidden to be worn together by the Israelites. (See Deut. 22:9-11 and Eze. 44:17-18.). Obviously, one would not generally mix the two together, because wool provides warmth and linen provides coolness. However, more importantly than this, wool represents the Children of God, and flax (linen) represents the world, or Gentiles. Wool came from sheep, symbolic of the Children of God and flax came from Egypt, a type of the world. (See Isaiah 19:9.).
God forbade his chosen people from mixing with those who were outside of the Covenant. Similarly, he forbids us, as Christians, from being yoked together with unbelievers. (See II Cor. 6:14.). However, it is God’s will that all men be saved. His having a chosen people, the Israelites, was just to be the first fruits of his Kingdom. It was always his desire for the Gentiles to worship him as Jehovah. It is also his desire for unbelievers to become believers. So, when I read that the Proverbs 31 Woman “seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands to develop it,” I see ministry. I see her ministering to the Christian (teaching) and to the unbeliever (evangelism). Her “willing hands to develop it” speaks to her never giving up on sharing the God of her salvation with others and in not becoming dismayed if the people appear unreceptive. She knows that she has either planted or watered a seed and God will provide the increase. (See I. Cor. 3:6.). Now, is this to say that everyone should be a minister? No. Everyone is not called to the ministry, per se. However, we are all to share the gospel with others. We do so by witnessing with our mouths and with our lifestyles. We don’t have to mount the pulpit and take a text, but we do have to let the light of God shine through us. So, be a Proverbs 31 Woman and willingly let your light shine before Christians and unbelievers, so that neither will live beneath the privilege of salvation, which is complete peace.
Be blessed! See ya in the next article!