Day 27 – “eshet chayil” Woman of Valor
Day 27 – “eshet chayil” Woman of Valor
The 7-Day Honeymoon had ended and it was time to join the families and friends for the final marriage feast. Sarah sat by the window looking out at the beautiful olive tree. “I don’t want this week to stop”, the young wife thought wistfully. She turned to look at Jacob as he finished preparing himself for the event. “My husband, my covenant partner, what did I ever do to deserve such love and devotion. How can I possibly repay his love?”
A knock on the door and Hiram’s voice interrupted Sarah’s thoughts. “Come on you two, your week is over! It’s time to come back to the real world.” With one last passionate kiss and lingering hug, Jacob helped Sarah put her betrothal veil over her face and the couple were led to the Marriage Supper by a joyful Hiram, the best friend of the groom.
Quite a crowd had gathered for this celebration. Friends and family from out of town stayed all week for this joyous occasion, anxious to see who Jacob’s bride was. Jacob drew his wife close, not wanting to lose the memory of her fragrance during the celebration. He had waited so long for these moments, he must relish each one.
The family and friends cheered as the bride and groom entered the room. This was a special couple indeed. Jacob was whisked away to the front of the room by his father Ariel, an empty wine glass shoved in his hand. Sarah stood back with the 10 virgins who came with her to the wedding, blushing at their teasing looks. Sarah laughed with the crowd as Jacob put the glass on the floor and smashed it with his foot, signifying his days of independence were over; now he was in covenant with Sarah, his wife.
The crowd cheered and then quieted with respect as Jacob took Sarah’s hand. The Rabbi stepped forward to read the Seven Blessings.
The Sheva Brachot
- Blessed are you, God, who brings forth fruit from the vine.
- Blessed are you, God who shapes the universe. All things created speak of your glory.
- Blessed are you, Holy One, who fashions each person.
- We bless you, God, for forming each person in your image. You have planted within us a vision of you and given us the means that we may flourish through time. Blessed are you, Creator of humanity.
- May Israel, once bereft of her children, now delight as they gather together in joy. Blessed are you, God, who lets Zion rejoice with her children.
- Let these loving friends taste of the bliss you gave to the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden in the days of old. Blessed are you, the Presence who dwells with bride and groom in delight.
- Blessed are You, who lights the world with happiness and contentment, love and companionship, peace and friendship, bridegroom and bride. Let the mountains of Israel dance! Let the gates of Jerusalem ring with the sounds of joy, song, merriment, and delight — the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride, the happy shouts of their friends and companions. We bless you, God, who brings bride and groom together to rejoice in each other. (3)
The Book of the Bride is Opened
Ariel once again called for the attention of his guests. “My daughter”, he said as he reached out to Sarah, “come and join me.” Sarah caught her breath. This was the moment she feared most. When the book would be opened and she would be “judged” by her father-in-law and the guests, and more-so by her husband Jacob. The Book of the Bride would be opened and Sarah’s work over the past 7 years would be judged. This moment would set her place in both family and community for her life. If she was judged a woman of valor she would be looked up on with respect. If she was judged foolish she would bring disrespect on herself, her father’s house and worse, on her husband Jacob.
Ariel opened the book, looked at Sarah, and read Proverbs 31:10-31
“eshet chayil” – Woman of Valor
“A woman of valor, who can find?” Ariel looked at his son with great pride, “This woman, Jacob is a woman of strength, efficiency, wealth and passion. You, my son have chosen well.” Ariel proceeded to read from the Book of the Bride the tasks and the character qualities He and his wife had written for their future daughter-in-law before either Sarah or Jacob were conceived.
The stories of character Ariel read were written by Hannah, the one who had trained her. As Ariel read each one, the crowd shouted with joy, “Give her the reward she has earned.” Jacob looked lovingly at his blushing wife.
Ariel continued to read the skills Sarah had become proficient at, skills that spoke of her industrious heart and her ability to manage Jacobs affairs. The crowd shouted again, “Let her works praise her at the city gate.” Sarah was overwhelmed with humility and gratitude. “How could I, this crippled girl with a withered foot, be worthy of this honor?”
Ariel told the crowd and his son of the times Sarah had opened her arms to the poor and extended her hands to the needy. The crowd shouted, “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Ariel walked over to Gabriel, Sarah’s father, hugging him tight and thanked him for giving their family such a treasure.
The crowd shouted, “A wife of Valor, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies!” At this Jacob removed the veil from Sarah’s face, the one she had worn since her betrothal. Now Sarah was revealed to the world as the Wife of Jacob. Jacob placed a crown on her head. Again, cheers and music filled the room. And then a hush fell over the crowd; as they witnessed something they had never seen.
Grateful for all her groom had done for her, Sarah knelt down, removed the crown from her head and laid it at Jacob’s feet. Sarah looked up at her husband with sincere heart, “All this is possible because of the way you provided for me. I thank God for my husband, my covenant partner. I will bring you good and not harm all the days of our lives.”
Jacob, moved to tears himself, helped Sarah to her feet. Jacob took a white stone from his pocket and put it in his wife’s hand. “On this stone is the name I give you, a name between you and I alone.” Sarah held her breath and looked at the stone, still feeling undeserving of the blessing of her husband and his family.
Written on the stone:
Are you ready to walk fully in your calling as the Bride of Christ? Dancing Through Life
About the Author: Celeste Davis, is a passionate follower of Jesus Christ with a heart to walk fully in Covenant with Him. As Founder of The Wellness Workshop, Celeste’s passion is to teach women and impact their families to “Be Nourished” as opposed to dieting or trying different life strategies. We nourish our bodies with God-Made Food, our Souls with God-Made Relationships and our Spirits with the Word of God and Prayer. More Info about Celeste.