"She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out; but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt and distrust]." Proverbs 31:18, Amplified. "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night." Proverbs 31:18, King James
In "tasting and seeing," rather than merely looking with her eyes, the Proverbs 31 woman has an understanding that goes beyond surface knowledge -- a deeper perception -- that her activities are all good and profitable. She
sees to it that everything she does is God-inspired and directed, and anticipates the results with confident satisfaction. This includes her daily activities, larger, multi-faceted projects, and her long-term goals, as they all fit into her fundamental
life's plan. Dake's, from the King James version, explains this passage at face value in that, "she is honest and upright in all her business dealings and not doubtful regarding the sale of her merchandise." 1 (see
Notes). (We will see in verse 24 that she does do some trading outside of her home.) Her "merchandise," more broadly translated in the Amplified as her "gain from work [with
and for God}," refers to anything she creates; anythings she undertakes and accomplishes. All of it is "good" -- that is, profitable, complete, accomplishing that which she planned it would under God's guidance -- and brings no sorrow with it, for she
does her work completely as God directs without deviation, in keeping with His commandments. As in Proverbs 16:3, she rolls her works upon the Lord and trusts them wholly to Him, so that her plans are God-inspired and so established at the outset, and
will therefore succeed. She puts her hand only to those things that are within God's will for her life, and in doing her work unto Him as His servant, with His helping hand, everything she undertakes will be satisfying and fruitful. Whatever she
does, she does joyfully and efficiently.
The second part of this verse shows us, again, a strong example of her being a rock, or a firm footing during a storm, for her family. Note the obvious point that this woman does experience
trouble, privation and sorrow, according to this verse. Many times, we as Christians feel that we should be exempt from the storms of life because we are children of God; we are often offended and bewildered when they do come and don't pass as quickly
as we would like. Difficulties may come from God for our discipline, to help us grow as Christians, for as Hebrews 12:6,7 tells us, " ...the Lord corrects and disciplines every one whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts
and welcomes to His heart and cherishes...for what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline.?" All these things taken together work "...and are [fitting into a plan] for good to those who love God and are called according
to [His] design and purpose." Romans 8:28 Note that this verse refers to our spiritual good, not necessarily worldly good. But we can rest assured that God will take care of us, for He tells us not to be concerned about food and
raiment (clothing) -- the things that worldly people crave -- but rather to "seek for (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom, and His righteousness [His was of doing and being right], and then all these things taken together will be given you besides."
In our Christian walk in this fallen world, we need to remember that Jesus told us we would have troubles and persecutions, but as Paul later told us in 2 Timothy 3:11, the Lord delivers us out of them all. The
Psalms, as well, are packed full of passages about God's regard for us and His deliverance. This ongoing deliverance is part of the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10:10, and we can firmly rely upon it. But part of its fulfillment comes from
our walking in wisdom every day, in everything we do and say, and thus avoiding any unnecessary trials and tribulations that we might create for ourselves. When we walk in wisdom we can sidestep many pitfalls, including those in the areas of health and
finances, and instead enjoy the blessings of the Lord according to Psalm 1:1-3, where King David teaches that the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who learns through study and meditation, shall be blessed and shall prosper in whatever he undertakes.
Please understand that I'm not referring to the Word of Faith view that God wants His children to be wealthy and therefore will bless any and everything we work at or invest in, when our main motivation is to get more money to satisfy the lusts of our flesh
(bigger house, nicer car, etc.). These are simply the desires of unregenerated people who take Scripture out of context, and our Lord doesn't work that way with His children. This view may also cause someone to make bad money/work choices because
he or she believes God will bless anything they touch, which is simply not true.
As Peter warned us in 1 Peter 5:8, we need to be ever aware that Satan continually roams in search of opportunities to wreak destruction. Perhaps
some past words we might have said or actions taken outside of God's will have paved the way. During these times the Proverbs 31 woman is strong, girded, and steadfast in her faith in God's answer. Thankfully, under the New Covenant of grace, we
have prayer, the powerful redemptive blood of Jesus, and God's promise of deliverance.
The Proverbs 31 woman is well-versed in the knowledge and ways of God, and possesses a clear understanding of God's presence in hers and her family's
life. In studying the second part of this verse, we might form a literal picture in our minds of a woman sitting up through the night with, perhaps, a sick child; or awaiting the return of her husband or son from a dangerous task or mission, her lamp
burning the whole time. She is not merely sitting with hands clenched in fear and anxiety, but being grounded in faith and knowledge of what God's Word says about the situation or circumstance, she is able to warn away fear, doubt or distrust as the
verse states. Whether or not her husband and children are secure in their faith during a particular trial, she is ever-ready and prepared to stand and speak out in faith. When others begin to waver, she is always firmly-footed.