The  Fruitful  Vine

"Thy wife shall be as a FRUITFUL VINE by the sides of thy house." Psalm 128:3a

Finding Favour With the King                by  J.  Kirkpatrick
Pioneer  Mothers                                   by  Grace Noll Crowell


by J. Kirkpatrick OH

"And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job:" Job 42:15

Throughout the Old Testament many women were called "fair". The word fair means to be good, pleasant, agreeable, bright, beautiful, having sight or vision, favorable in the sight of God and man. Those who have these qualities show consideration. They put forth that which affords joy to others. Favour includes grace of speech and loving-mindness. To be fair is to possess qualities of agreeableness, one who is a sweet sounding melody. Those who are fair are pleasant and an exquisite delight to be around because they are a continual comfort to others. "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing..." Proverbs 18:22

What qualities should we as daughters in the land acquire to find favour with our husbands? Consider the fair women of the Lord; Esther, Sarah, Rebekah, Tamar and Ruth; and the qualities God has instilled in them.

Esther learned the things needful to become favored of the king. After Vashti had fallen from the grace of the king, a decree went forth, "Let there be fair young virgins be sought for the king." Esther was found and chosen because she pleased the king. Esther 2:2

Before David's death, a fair virgin was sought for King David. Abishag, also, was brought before the king. "Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin, and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my Lord the king may have heat," I Kings 1:2.

Abishag's name means "blundering, to be enraptured, to deceive". Abishag, a Shunamite, a very fair damsel, came and cherished the king and ministered to him, but the king knew her not, I Kings 1:3. Esther and Abishag were both fair young women. Abishag was rejected. Esther was chosen to be queen. What made the difference? "As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion." Proverbs 11:22

As daughters in the land, we need to become jewels which sparkle with discretion. To learn to be discreet is to learn to be wise in avoiding errors. A discreet young lady learns prudence and sagacity which means that she exercises caution and correct judgment. She strives to avoid errors by following the most profitable course. She desires to exercise sound judgment by using practical wisdom.

Which beautiful, fair maidens are the sons of God to choose from? What attributes must a young girl acquire to become a fair, favored, choice for the king? Esther was chosen to be queen. Why? What qualities had she learned to prepare her for this position? Esther's Hebrew name was Hadasseh. Hadasseh means "myrtle". A myrtle is a very beautiful evergreen shrub. We can become that beautiful hedge of protection surrounding our home and family. The Lord will plant us as myrtles in the wilderness, Isaiah 41:19. Zechariah tells us that a man can stand among the myrtle trees, Zechariah 1:8

Genesis 12:11 says that Sarah was a very fair woman. Did Sarah possess true qualities of beauty? Sarai's name means "dominative, one who exercises dominion". Was Sarai able to overcome in these areas? Sarai had to change to become a fair, young damsel. Sarai's name was changed to Sarah. Sarah means "mistress, a princess, a queen". As Esther, Sarah, put on the purification needed to become a true queen. Peter tells us Sarah put off the "domineering" qualities and obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord, I Pet 3:6.

What true qualities did Rebekah possess which made her a fair young maiden fit for the king? Rebekah means "to clog by tying up the fetlock, fettering by beauty". Rebekah had to overcome those things which had followed her form her physical birth. Her name and her shortcomings show that Rebekah had much to overcome. The word "to clog" means to load or fill with something that retards or hinders motion. "To clog" is to put on encumbering shackles with a view to hinder or restrain from leaping. "To fetter" is to put chains upon the feet, to imprison so as to impede motion and hinder leaping.

Rebekah was able to overcome these negative hindrances in her life. When Abraham's servant came searching for a fair young maiden for Isaac, Rebekah was found partaking and ministering the water of the Word. Rebekah had put on the attributes needed for purification.

Did Absalom's daughter, Tamar, possess qualities fit for the king? Tamar's name means "to be erect as a palm tree". Tamar, indeed possessed true beauty. The palm tree is always a welcome sight to weary travelers for it always signifies rest, shade and refreshment. We are encouraged to come to the stature of the palm tree, Song of Sol 7:7.

What was in Ruth that Boaz chose? Ruth asks, "Why have I found grace in thine eyes, that thou shouldest take knowledge of me, seeing I am a stranger?" Ruth 2:10

Ruth's name means "a friend to associate with". Ruth, though a stranger, left all her old ways and followed Naomi. Boaz had fully been shown Ruth's true qualities, Ruth 2:11. Boaz had been told Ruth's proclamation, "Whither thou goest, I will go. Where thou lodgest I will lodge. Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God." Boaz chose Ruth, a stranger, over many handmaidens in Israel.

What qualities did Ruth, Esther, Sarah, Rebekah and Tamar learn to put on? Esther was brought to the keeper of the women and prepared to become the wife of the king. She was given those things necessary for purification, Esther 2:9. Sarah put off those dominative tendencies which hindered her and became obedient to Abraham. Rebekah overcame those hindering shackles which would keep Isaac from leaping. Tamar became a welcome sight of rest and refreshment. Ruth gave up all to become a friend, associated with God and His ways.

I encourage you to become fair, gracious daughters in the land; forsake the old ways, put on those things necessary for purification and become as the myrtle tree planted by the Lord in the wilderness. Isaiah 41:19      

Pioneer Mothers

by Grace Noll Crowell

Wind-swept and sun-baked
and dark with bitter rain,
The prairies lay before them
as they crossed the unmapped loam -

Beautiful and desolate,
a silent fateful plain,
Holding somewhere in its heart
the precious thing called home.

And the gentle, loving women,
who had left their gentle hills,
Looked out from slatted bonnets,
high courage in their eyes,

Drawn forward by the promise
of their own doors' new-laid sills,
Of windows facing toward the sun,
of walls that were to rise.

Their faces white with strange fatigue,
their babies at their breast,
Their men beside them as they rocked
across the unknown land,

They dreamed of happy days ahead,
of toil and peace and rest,
With a never-failing God to hear
and help and understand.

This is the land they left us now,
O women of today!
How can our courage die?

This is the heritage they left
the time they went away
Upon a long trek through
the pathless meadows of the sky.

How can we fail these mothers
who blazed a shining trail?
How can we tear their altars down
and raise none of our own?

O sheltered women of today!
We must not, dare not, fail
The bravest, strongest mothers
that the world has ever known.

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