**She is like the merchants’ ships; she bringeth her food from afar.** Proverbs 31:14
If you have ever traveled through Europe or the Middle East, you know that the climate can hinder access to different types of produce and meat. Spain, in particular, has a semi-arid climate. It is a country with a limited water supply. Although they have improved their irrigation system and technology in the agricultural field, it is necessary to import products from more fertile lands on merchant’s ships or over -the -road truck hauls.
My understanding of the Middle Eastern climate, on the other side of the Mediterranean from Spain, is that it is mostly an arid desert or near desert. Water supply is very limited. Again there is an even greater need for the import of food and other products. Their diet is quite different from the European diet and very different from the American diet due to the differences in availability to certain fruits and vegetables.
Being resourceful is a necessary trait in order to provide well rounded and healthy meals to any family in this area of the world. If we think about it, even in America, certain produce and other products are imported from other countries with different climates so that Americans can enjoy a varied diet, taking advantage of all of their nutritional value.
Middle Eastern countries, like Israel, for example import nearly $3 billion dollars of raw food products. Spain imports much more. The use of merchant’s ships is not a new idea.
So, the Proverbs 31 woman is resourceful, just like governments are today. Wherever a woman lived during Old Testament times, she needed to know how to barter and trade. She probably formed relationships with those traveling through her town and placed orders for things her family lacked or desired. Later in this chapter we will see that she has several items she makes at home that she can trade with other merchants.
This year has probably shown us more about the Proverbs 31 woman’s life than any other. We have all experienced shortages and limitations as a result of the supply chain being shut down during the pandemic. Each of us has had to be resourceful, discerning, better stewards, more creative and patient with the limited availability of basic items.
Biblical qualities are not far off, antiquated ideas. They are just as necessary and useful today.
Wherever you live, whatever limitations you are facing, resourcefulness can help you find a way to provide for your family. Combining prayer with need is a resource that not all know about or avail themselves. The Proverbs 31 woman did all that she could to provide the best quality of life that she could for her family. Together with God we can do the same.