A Purple State of Mind
Images are powerful. Colors tickle the imagination. The rainbow was a most brilliant creation. Imagine just how dull this world would be without color. No dazzling sunsets. No twinkling Northern Lights.
Thankfully, the Lord knew colors would be a blissfully fantastic idea. He knew how much we would love and appreciate His art, through activities like finger painting as three-year-olds, snapping Polaroid photographs of the beautiful moments happening all around us, doodling in our journals, or gathering colorful sea shells along the shore.
The Bible talks a lot about colors. God used the first rainbow in Genesis as a symbol of His faithfulness. In the book of Revelation, a beautiful picture is painted of all the colors, lights, and illumination around His royal throne. Chapter 4 describes the Lord appearing as a jasper and sardius stone, like an emerald, with a rainbow, and lightening, thunderings, and a sea of glass like crystal coming out of His presence! Just imagine how majestic and colorful that scene must be! When we behold our King Jesus for the first time, we will be blown away by His beauty. It is going be more beautiful than the perfect rainstorm, a thundering waterfall, a brilliant rainbow, fireworks, the ocean, or anything else in all creation!
Let's talk about the color purple though. Proverbs 31:22 says, "She makes tapestry for herself; Her clothing is fine linen and purple."
In the ancient world, purple clothes were not easy to come by. Today, though, you can do a Google search for "purple shoes" and find enough pairs to wear purple every single day of your life!
But for the Proverbs 31 woman, being a woman with any kind of color or sparkle in her closet wasn't an easy or convenient thing. Purple dye was really hard to come by. It was precious, costly, and took thousands of little shellfish to squeeze out enough dye for only a yard or two of purple cloth! To create a whole purple tapestry, and design clothes of that color for yourself would be a huge (expensive!) project.
But the Proverbs 31 woman was totally on top of it. We know from reading this passage that she created her own clothes, and the verses before express what a talented tailor she truly was!
She stretches out her hands to the distaff, and her hand holds the spindle. She extends her hand to the poor, yes she reaches out her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all of her household is clothed with scarlet. -Proverbs 31:19-21
Her family was dressed in warm, beautiful, regal garments, and she even gave these handmade clothing items as gifts to the poor!
In the Bible, purple was very rare, and only worn by royalty or the extremely wealthy. (Another woman that we see wearing purple is Lydia in Acts 16! She was a seller of purple.) Symbolically, this color represents royalty and majesty. Only Kings and high officials who were wealthy and prosperous could afford to splurge on this luxury.
King Solomon's royal carriage was purple: "He made its pillars of silver, its support of gold, its seat of purple, its interior paved with love" (Song of Solomon 3:10).
King Solomon told his bride, "Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel, and the hair of your head is like purple..." (Song of Solomon 7:5).
By using the artistic expression of "purple hair," King Solomon was telling his beloved how precious and priceless she was in his sight. He saw her as purple: rare, special, irreplaceable, and a beloved gift only for kings to enjoy.
Jesus told us the very same thing when He said, "But, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows" (Luke 12:7).
Don't be afraid, love, you are worth more than the color purple. You're more precious than rubies, emeralds, and the finest gold. You sparkle and shine brighter than the most treasured and coveted diamond.
The Proverbs 31 woman had a purple state of mind. She knew how valuable she was, and she cherished and understood the value of others. She reached out to the poor, the broken, and the desolate. She took the purple garments that she had crafted by wisdom and understanding, and she bestowed that beauty and royal identity so lovingly and graciously onto those around her.
The Proverbs 31 woman had a status of royalty...just like we do! As daughters of the King, we have been dressed in royal robes of righteousness. What if we imagined, just for a moment, that they are purple robes?
Just like Queen Esther, the Lord has chosen to us to stand up and put on our royal robes (Esther 5:1). He wants us to put on our crowns and fill our minds with the truth of who we are in Christ. We know that we are a crown of beauty in His hand, a royal diadem in the hand of our God (Isaiah 62:3). We are His bride.
Just like the royal bride in the Song of Songs, we were created to have purple hair, a purple state of mind, cloaking and covering our minds. As we continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) and put on the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17), let us guard our minds from the lies of the enemy. Any claims that we are anything less than daughters of the King must be dispelled!
Even our King Jesus wore purple.
Then, Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!" Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify Him, Crucify Him!" -John 19:5-6
First, He wore purple, endured the mocking, the spitting, and the beating. Then, He bled crimson for us. His flawless beauty was stained and marred by our sin. Lastly, He rose from the grave wearing pure white, shining with all the brilliance and glory of Heaven. His purity has washed us in red, made us white as snow, and dressed us in purple.
As a beloved child of the King, just like Joseph, you have been given a robe of many colors. The Lord surrounds you every day with His brilliant rainbow of faithfulness! Some days you are dressed in scarlet, a brilliant and blazing red, reminding you of the blood Jesus poured out on the cross and how all your sins are forgiven. Some days you're blue, laughing and splashing in the joy of the river which flows from the throne of God. Some days you're dressed in green, all lit up with the life and vibrancy of His Spirit.
But today, you are purple.
You are royal. You are precious. Priceless. Loved. Treasured and adored.
It's not difficult to understand, or too lofty to grasp. Even though it's overwhelming, the reality that you are His can never be changed. Not even by a change of clothes. It is the simple, childlike faith of resting in His truth: it is a purple state of mind.