The Vain & Prideful Pursuit of Beauty

Perhaps in our day more than ever before, beauty is something that is almost worshiped in our culture. The world has set up a lot of unwritten rules for what you should look like as a lady. “You must have youthful, blemish-free skin. Your hair must be think, shiny, and styled perfectly all the time and your eyelashes must be long. Your teeth need to be straight and white as porcelain. And your figure must match up to the nearly impossible ideal of celebrities. So you have to get busy buying all manner of co$metics and products and spa facials to look good, and then perhaps you have to put yourself under a grueling regimen of exercise and special diets and jump through all kinds of hoops striving to become beautiful. Only then can you have satisfaction, only then can you be happy with the face or the body you have. After all, if you do not fit into this mold then you will be immediately set back in life.” And this has been proven by numerable studies revealing that pretty people are given an automatic advantage, be it in their careers and annual salary or their very reputations. That is why beautiful people are consistently more successful than other harder-working people for no other reason than their good looks. Of course, that’s called PREJUDICE. Our culture has become incredibly superficial because it has turned its back on God. So to the carnal, only carnal things – things that can be seen and touched – are things that matter.

Alright, so it’s a well-known fact that to the world, beauty is very important. But today I want to take a look at this subject from the biblical perspective. What does God have to say about this matter of beauty? Is there any guidance the Scriptures have to offer for us of the gentler sex? After all, we should desire to see things the way God sees them, not how the world does or even how we want to see them. What I’m going to present here is probably not going to match up with what you’ve heard all your life and perhaps currently believe. It will not be politically or socially correct. So what we’re about to get into may step on some toes, but if you read this to the end with a heart open to wisdom and a desire to know truth, I believe it will be a blessing to you.

Worrying about what the world thinks

We worry too much about what the world thinks. I can’t even begin to count how many self-described Christians, from young girls to older women allow themselves to be put under such a yolk – without ever even questioning why – because it’s just expected. If you don’t chase after what everyone else is chasing after, something is not right with you, according to the world. Well, I will not hesitate to ask that question, because I want these ladies to think. I want them to ask what the Bible says and not to be deceived and weighed down by things that do not matter at all in the kingdom of God.

We should be glorifying God in all we do, not seeking to please men.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)

And again,

“For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

Things that make other people look at you with approval and pleasure rarely are the things that make God look at you with such.

“As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.” (Proverbs 11:22)

This verse is talking about women who are beautiful (fair) on the outside but NOT inside, women who lack the things of God in their character and lives. Discretion in the Bible is also a word for wisdom, but more on that in another study. Remember that in the Bible a swine was an unclean animal. Hogs are loud, greedy and destructive creatures. They also love mud and grime and smell to the sky. Worst of all, they can’t be trained out of their nasty desires. Now, does a gold nose jewel do anything to make that stinky, filthy, disgusting pig any prettier? Of course not. It may help to think in terms of comparison. What is a small little shiny object no bigger than your pinky fingernail, in comparison to a big stinking hairy hog? That stud doesn’t fit that pig! It is a joke. It is an illustration given to show how those beautiful women who are ungodly are absurd in their spiritual filth in the sight of God.

At the end of the day, women who spend their days trying to beautify themselves, neglecting their inner selves, have completely missed the mark. They may have a sparkly gold jewel going for them, but what does that profit them when they’re just like pigs! (Women without discretion who aren’t beautiful are like pigs without the jewel, but at least that isn’t as ridiculous.) If this makes you angry, just know I didn’t say it – God did. Better yet, don’t get mad, get right! Obviously, character is the bigger picture. But does that exclude physical beauty? We’ll have to look at more verses to know.

Beauty is deceitful and vain!

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30)

What is favour? It means blessed or beautiful in the Bible, depending on the context. It’s also where we get the word “favourite” from, which means partial towards something. When you immediately like someone just by meeting them without knowing anything about them at all, there is favouritism at work, and it is driven by the appearance. Favour is that appearance someone has that makes others like them right away, regardless of their character. Those who judge someone by how good they look are deceived! It is something that pulls the wool over your eyes. It does not offer any honest insight into who that person is that you are talking with. That is often a big part of why so many people get sucked into bad marriages. He thought she was the ideal, but what he got was a raw deal. A pretty face is nothing more than “eye candy.” You may find it enjoyable to look at that person, but wait until you have to live with them… how the tables turn. So you think you are something special because you are well-favoured? That does nothing to impress the Lord. God knows it is all too often a tool of deceit! Good looks are nothing more than a veneer that can gloss over all manner of corruption of the heart – whited sepulchres that appear beautiful outwardly (Matthew 23:28).

The very word “vanity” used to be describing someone who was looking in the mirror, thinking about their good looks (or lack thereof). It used to be an insult to be called vain. People used to understand the connection between pride and sin. Now they just find it amusing. In fact, they encourage girls to be vain! One has only to go to the cosmetic isle in the beauty section to see vanity on display and for sale everywhere, being sold by the experts in the craft. God will not spare this haughty and untoward generation!

One thing is certain: whether you are trying to be beautiful or are already, that beauty is not lasting. Why do all of these “beauty-chasers” never stop and think about how empty their pursuit is? All of these women trying to use creams and injections and who knows what else to ward off the signs of age are only fighting a losing battle. They may have some initial success with preserving their appearance to a degree, but sooner or later age will take its toll and death is the ultimate end of their beauty. Hair, skin and nails, even fancy clothes and ornaments, will all end up moldering in the grave. All of their time, effort and money are sunk into a wasted endeavor.

“Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.” (Psalm 49:14)

Do you, sister, want to have to face your Maker some day and be accountable to Him for that? to know that you could have done so much for God if you hadn’t been so focused on such foolish, useless nonsense? But then it will be too late. I tremble to think of such a thing. You had better seriously ask yourself if you really know Him, if you are giving yourself to the vanities of this life.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3,4)

What God wants to see is a woman who fears Him. Women who fear God do not squander their resources on vanity. They do not fritter away their lives being concerned about “fitting in” with the whores of the world or worrying about how they will impress other people by their appearance. The fear of man bringeth a snare (Proverbs 29:25). Women who fear God spend their time thinking about how they can better honor their Lord through virtue and service to Him and others. They think about things like honoring their fathers or husbands, training their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, seeking the true things of God and growing in the riches of the knowledge of His grace, and other commendable things. You can’t serve two masters! You have to hate vanity and the pride of carnal beauty in order to love the enduring things of the Spirit. It’s a stark contrast.

And if you think these are harsh words, we’re just getting started!

It is the Practice of Harlots to be Concerned About Their Beauty

“To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman. Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.” (Proverbs 6:23, 24)

One thing is certain, and that is to the whorish woman, beauty has been and always will be of utmost importance. I was going to bring up quotes from secular works on the ancient dress of the harlot, but I don’t need to. We can read in the Bible how physical beauty is an attribute acknowledged to her over and over in her lavish dress, her makeup, and seductive wiles. It fits her spirit. (Not that the natural beauty God gives a woman, without the enhancement of art and design, is sinful; rather, the lascivious woman puts effort into building that up beyond what is natural, but more on that later.)

Objection: “It’s not wrong to try to look beautiful or wear certain things, God just doesn’t want you to be prideful. It’s the heart, not the things, that are important to Him.”

That is the same lame, absurd cop-out we hear from those who want to justify their sin in the ecumenical emergent church with their piercings, tattoos, rock music and other such abomination. God hates the appearance of pride! It’s ridiculous to say it’s wrong to be prideful in heart but it’s fine to be prideful in dress! The spangling show of fine clothes, makeup, gold jewelry and gaudy getup is an invocation of judgment. Yes, the heart is more important than what you wear, but someone who has a heart of true humility and eyes not blinded by the world’s mentality would be absolutely ashamed to wear such things designed to draw attention to themselves like that – things that say, “Look at me, I’m rich,” or, “Look at me, I’m beautiful, admire me.” The very fact that you are wearing them in almost all cases means something is not right in the heart to begin with. The ornaments are symptoms of the disease of pride. If you don’t have the disease, you won’t have symptoms, simple as that, unless perhaps you have never studied the Bible on the topic (the true King James Version) and are simply ignorant of what God thinks on the matter, which is much less of a sin than those who know what the Bible says they should do and continue to make excuses.

The Wrath of God abides on Pride

“Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.” (Isaiah 5:14)

What will your beauty do for you, oh haughty woman, when you breathe your last breath and open your eyes in everlasting torment – where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched? You may have gotten what you wanted in this life. Your looks might have brought you money, fame or love, but them and everything else will be stripped away when your soul faces everlasting judgment and contempt. There is no benefit! Beauty can do nothing for you when your life is over! The same is true for the believer. Whatever earthly physical beauty you might have had in this life will be no crown to you.

God alone is worthy of glory. For a man or woman to seek glory for themselves is insulting to Him, because it would cause the eyes of men to be turned from their worshiping of Him. It would be an act of pride. Like glory, beauty is an attribute of God Himself (Psalm 27:4). Neither are virtues to us, but they are important aspects of who God is. That is why God’s judgment is upon those who would array themselves with things that draw attention, things that glorify themselves, trying to put more emphasis upon their own beauty further than what was already given them naturally by God. Glory and beauty command awe. They have undeniable power. This is something the seductress loves because harlots (by profession and by nature) are always feminists – they desire to control men, to make them do their bidding. They love to see men fawning over them and stammering for words with a deer-in-the-headlights look. They love it when other women look at them with envy. They know they can use their looks as a tool to get what they want at the expense of others. Nobody will argue with the fact that an ugly, diseased, disfigured harlot will have a far smaller audience than the alluring, beautiful one! You can find the successful but unattractive in many industries, but not in whoredom. That is why beauty is a weapon any successful harlot has in her arsenal, to charm the senses of men.

“Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty.” (Isaiah 3:16-24)

This is a very serious passage. As such, it’s important for us Christian ladies to really take this to heart and understand what it is saying in the light of the rest of Scripture and with a sober mind. (By sober I mean weighing heavily.) We are talking about consequences for sin that is nothing to breeze over. Ignoring what the Bible says because it doesn’t appeal to you is a slippery slope! In this passage, God is not simply reducing these women back to their regular state – He is punishing them with judgment! The things themselves are referred to as bravery. The word is only found here in the King James Bible. Bravery is bold, forward, and haughty – the opposite of what things are commended for us ladies to exemplify. Bravery stands in total contrast to shamefacedness, meekness, humility, lowliness and chastity.

Ugliness

Ill-favored is the opposite of beauty. The term was used in the Bible regarding the seven starving cattle in Pharaoh’s dream that ate the others. Pharaoh said they were such as he had never seen for badness, they were so awful. As it is our nature to be attracted to beauty, it is our nature to have a repulsion of ugliness. It keeps us from eating the weird moldy item in the back of the refrigerator and grabbing the shiny red apple instead. When we see something or someone that is disfigured or perhaps has a skin condition, it is sends off signals in our brain that there is a problem, that something isn’t normal. God designed us that way. We naturally want to avoid things that show signs of disease. Disease and deformity are the consequences of sin in the fallen world we live in. We were made with a hatred of things that are associated with evil and wickedness. So I’m not saying it’s wrong to have an inner shudder at the grotesque. But sometimes people let this natural disgust go to far. They treat a person who is not just simple, but actually hard to look at, as if THEY are the problem, rather than that they have a problem, failing to look beyond the externals to who that person really is inside. The Jews in Christ’s day had gone so far as to assume all infirmity was a direct result of a sin someone committed, which Jesus surprised them by contradicting them, saying that neither that man had sinned nor his parents, that he was born blind.

Now, some people may argue otherwise, because they are so infatuated with beauty, but being simple or plain is not the same as being ugly. I do not advocate that women dress in sackcloth and ashes and disfigure their faces and go to the opposite extreme in order to run from pride (as they should) as some would accuse me of doing. Though there may be a time and place for that in mourning or deep distress before the Lord, God does not tell us to do that for our regular daily dress. But what you will NOT find in the Bible is any emphasis whatsoever on the importance of beauty in regard to women. In fact we can read in the Bible that washing and bathing was absolutely a part of normal life, and cleansing from filth is even likened to our sins being washed away by the blood of Christ, which itself is another study. So there is certainly importance in regard to cleanliness. But people who would press such charges aren’t doing so because they have any biblical grounds, but because they want to make someone look in the extreme and downright silly for rebuking their unbiblical ideas and practices. When they are pinned down by Scripture and can’t justify their behavior, they attack with false accusations. It is an ad hominem argument. The sad thing is that these proponents of worldly attire often look at simple, modest apparel as the equivalent of sackcloth to begin with, which is why they bring up such a thing! Their own dress is so gaudy by comparison. Simple, modest dress is seen as frumpy and just so awful. If it seems extreme to you to dress modestly, sister, let me help you look at it this way: if the Bible actually did teach that we should wear sackcloth and ashes as regular clothing (which it of course does not), why wouldn’t you do so? Is it because it is such a hard thing to do? Your Saviour (which I will assume He is) bled and died a terrible death for you; is changing your style of dress such a big sacrifice in comparison? The truth is you will be willing to do whatever it is He would want you to do, if you love Him, even if it is something that makes you feel uncomfortable or different than others. The real problem with the “sackcloth and ashes” argument is that it issues from a heart that does not want to submit itself to God. It is not interested in hearing the truth. It does not want to ask with an open and willing mind, “What does God want me to do?”

The only beauty of worth

What is true beauty? We’ve looked at the world’s opinion, how beauty is what physical features someone has that makes them look attractive to other people. But that is only a vain, temporal sort of beauty – not beauty that endures in God’s kingdom. Beauty, to this world, is about what is seen with the eye. But to God, beauty is about things that are not seen, the things of the heart. His is a spiritual kingdom.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Men look at externals to decide if someone is good enough for them. That’s not how God sees us. How pretty you are is worthless God. Why don’t we stop this superficial nonsense of letting beauty dictate what we think about someone; why don’t we look at other people as God looks at them? Why don’t we wake up and be spiritual here? Instead of thinking like the world, why don’t we try looking at things how God does, for a change? I get so tired of watching this stuff go on in churches, among those who claim to be God’s people. It happens all the time, and especially among the younger folks. And to be frank it is hard not to get sucked into that mindset. But that’s exactly what happens in the world! Just look at any public school. The “pretty people” usually are the ones that get idolized by everyone else, have all the friends and popularity, receive preferential treatment by teachers, etc., regardless of their rotten attitudes. The “pretty people” get rich and famous and everyone likes them. That’s why everyone wants to be considered pretty, so they will be noticed and approved of. We ought not to have such a mindset. Let’s get back to the Book! And don’t say, “Well only God can see a person’s heart” because, even though it is true that you can’t know as much as God about them, I would venture to say that most of the time if you get to know someone well enough, and if you pay attention, you’ll eventually discover their true colors whether you want to or not. You’ll be able to tell when someone is a backbiter or disrespectful to their parents or what have you sooner or later by their words and actions. On the flip side, you’ll be able to see how selfless someone is as they put others first. Yes, there can be misunderstandings or people can try to “fake” good character, but when you are truly looking at that person for who they are and not how they appear, your discernment will always be a whole lot clearer than when looking at their pretty face!

Outward beauty is not a virtue. Inward beauty, the beauty of the heart, is what is not just pleasing, but of great price to God.

“Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.” (1 Peter 3:3-6)

Holiness is what is beautiful to the Lord. Not hairstyles, not clothing, not makeup, not body shape or size, not physical features. None of those things impress Him, or anyone who is spiritual and doesn’t see you with the eyes of the world.

“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Christians are to look at things with spiritual eyesight, not with the world’s superficial blindness.

“O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” (Psalm 96:9

All beauty is not evil

Let me make something clear: beauty is not evil or wrong in and of itself. No, one has only to look out into creation to understand that beauty and magnificence is of God, its maker, and not the devil. God saw fit to make things in nature that we would find wonderful and attractive in a wholesome way, things which cause us to delight in the work of His hands. The Bible never says beauty itself is bad. It is not wrong to have what people call a pretty face or features that are considered lovely.

The problem is when physical beauty becomes an object of pursuit for women that they seek for themselves and/or want to put that beauty on display for others to behold to the intent of impressing. The reason for that always boils down to manipulation and self-glorification, unless they are just ignorant which is sometimes the case. It is a snare of pride, which God hates. Women are not to parade their physical assets to others in any way until the marriage bed (and then it would only be one other). That includes doing any “primping” that goes beyond cleanliness and order. I do not mean to imply for one minute that it is alright to be sloppy and entirely careless with one’s appearance. There is a certain amount of attention that should go into preparing for the day in dressing and general tidying. Being disheveled at times is inevitable but should be prevented under normal circumstances, as it causes you to stand out for no good reason. It can be inconsiderate to others and injurious to one’s health and practical living to have an unpleasant odor about you or neglect members that need continual maintenance, such as the teeth, nails, ears and even skin. But when that maintenance becomes more than maintenance and crosses over into giving your body unnecessary pampering, in the back of your mind doing so because you want to influence how attractive people think you look, then there is a problem. Likewise, it can be damaging to become overweight, so exercise for strength and health is perfectly warranted. But when you are exercising to have a body that looks like so-and-so’s or wanting others to have a better opinion about you because of your figure, again, there is a problem.

“What about building self-confidence in girls? Surely it’s not wrong to tell them how beautiful they are.”

Well-meaning women try to tell younger women that yes, the world has an unfair standard of what it means to be beautiful, but they just need to look in the mirror and realize how physically beautiful they are the way they are. Then they may tell them how beautiful their features are and they should be confident in their looks. The logic runs thus: God made everyone, so everyone is beautiful and they need to be aware of it. I think this is not how God wants us to view this matter. God doesn’t want us to fall into the same trap of pride, with just a different spin on things. Do you think the devil really cares whether we are prideful because we think we look like someone else or if we are prideful in our own selves? The world (which speaks with a double tongue, in trying to make us feel insecure with ourselves) and now many professing Christians are always telling us that we should love ourselves and be confident in who we are. But I firmly believe that it is not at all wise for a lady to think of herself as attractive, whether she is or not. It comes from a heart that is puffed up, not a heart of humility. A woman of discretion will understand that any good looks she may have are insignificant and take her delight in the things of the Lord, not in her flesh. Those kinds of prideful thoughts do not enter her mind in the first place; her mind is occupied with serving others and seeking to be meek and quiet in every aspect of her life. Mothers who try to flatter their daughters in order to prevent them from “feeling insecure with their self-image” or even perhaps end up with an eating disorder do much, much more harm than good. They get them thinking about their looks to begin with and foster a spirit of haughtiness. This can happen to girls at a very young age by constantly receiving compliments on their features, which they begin to expect and look to that for their sense of acceptance. The best way to prevent an eating disorder (or other fear of not being beautiful) in a young girl is to teach her that her beautiful spirit is only what is worth praising and focus on that, and focus on fostering character growth through years of labor. Then her confidence can be much more securely placed in that which doesn’t wither or fade. God’s ways are always best, aren’t they?

The Wonderful Liberty from Beauty

When you can stop worrying about such things, it is so excellently freeing. Trust me, you won’t believe how much bondage you were under until the idol of beauty is smashed in your life! When you are no longer a servant to hairstyles, demanding beauty rituals and trying desperately to change the body you are given, and just not give it another thought other than to keep it clean and healthy… it is so much easier to focus on the things of the Lord and to attend upon Him without distraction. Because that’s all that vanity called beauty really is – a distraction. It gets your mind onto things that aren’t important. Don’t live on the fence, trying to take the name of Christ on yourself in vain one minute while dishonoring Him the next by decking yourself out and painting yourself up like an harlot. The sooner you stop caring about being externally beautiful the sooner you can start making progress in your walk with the Lord. Try to think about things how God does, which might require a change of heart.

Yes, you may be ridiculed for not trying to fit in the cookie-cutter pattern of the world. Don’t believe the world’s lies. Other people may look down on you but you are no less of a person because of how “unattractive” or “plain” you look. The opposite is true. Those who only look skin-deep are shallow inside and do not know how to appreciate what truly matters – the spirit, the inner man.

“But many godly women, such as Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Abigail and Esther were described as fair and beautiful. Looks like God pays attention to that to me, right?”

There were certainly women in the Bible described as beautiful, both good and bad. As mentioned previously, it’s never elevated to a virtue. And what reason do we have to assume they went out of their way to try to accentuate their natural beauty? There is no indication in any text that these godly women put effort into forwarding their good looks. God endowed them with natural beauty. David was also described as being fair.

There are other women who were not godly that were noted as beautiful. (Genesis 6:2, Ester 1:11, Proverbs 11:22). Bathsheba also was beautiful enough to tempt a man after God’s own heart to sin multiple great sins.

So this begs the question, why does God mention this, if beauty is not important to Him? Judging from the whole of Scripture, it seems He did not bring this up because it was important and pleasing to Him, but rather because the Bible is written to men. For our sakes, no doubt, this was written, because God has already told us multiple times that He desires and searches after inward beauty and nowhere indicates physical beauty bears any weight with Him. God told us that man looketh on the outward appearance. And indeed, there is some significance to this in respect to men wherever we find these mentions of beautiful women, godly or otherwise. This holds true if we search further into each instance. There was some significance in the eyes of men, whether they were good men or otherwise, whether their valuing beauty was what God wanted them to do or not. To the ungodly, they naturally only mind the things of the flesh and the outward appearance; to the godly, they ever have with them the old men and a propensity to judge by sight rather than by faith. This propensity all men have to mind external beauty can influence their decisions to some degree, either by little or by much, and God makes note of it for our instruction, so we can see some of the reasons why men did what they did or how the physical beauty of the woman was part of the story. We see that natural physical beauty even in a godly woman can be the leading factor for a man to (wrongly) defile her, as in the case of Dinah and Tamar. In the case of Sarah, her fair countenance was what motivated her husband to request she hide the fact she was his wife. This was repeated in the case of Rebekah. It was the reason Esther was sought by the heathens of the nation to be a potential queen. David, though he was a man after God’s own heart, tended to regard the physical beauty of women, even to the point of committing adultery and murder. In all of these places where women are described as endowed by their creator with physical appeal, godly or otherwise, God notes this for the sake of the account and for the role it played in the decisions of men – not to tell us ladies we ought to pursue beauty. If anything, many of these cases serve as warnings to us to guard against emphasizing our own beauty when it can lead to many troubles, not the least of which is a man being attracted to you for what you look like.

Nothing God puts in the Bible is for word count. But it is important to accurately determine why it is put there, so we don’t come away thinking the text says or implies something it doesn’t.

“But what about Esther? She was beautiful and even went through a 6 month beauty treatment to impress the king!”

And Esther did not even receive a beauty treatment. In Esther 2:12 we read how she went through a time of purification for women. Nothing is mentioned about beauty and makeup, only purification by scented oils. Remember how they didn’t have indoor plumbing in that day.

2 comments

  1. patti says:

    I’m enjoying your articles . It is good to see a focus on holiness. Have you written anything for those of us who have tried to follow only to fall away into serious failure and are trying to come back?

    By the way, the word for binding a beast of burden to a load is properly spelled ” yoke”, as in two yoke of oxen or Jesus saying is yoke is light. Yolk is the center of an egg. Sorry, I am a bit of a spelling nazi.

    • Meredith says:

      Thanks for stopping by and reading through, Patti. It makes me glad to know they are being well received, at least by some.

      Regarding your question, I have not yet made a post specifically on returning from backsliding, though it is a topic that is found as an undercurrent in this post: https://herhighcalling.com/count-all-things-but-loss-follow-thou-me/ It is a short post, but there may be something that speaks to your situation in it.

      More pointedly, John Bunyan wrote a book called “Christ – A Complete Saviour.” It can be found in PDF form and read for free: http://www.bunyanministries.org/works/vol1/06_christ_complete_savior.pdf There was a time in my life that I found myself weeping through it as it spoke to me so deeply in regards to backsliding and returning and brought me such comfort. I highly recommend it for those who are truly saved that have fallen. Read the whole thing, if you can. If not, starting on page 28 will dig into the returning backslider specifically.

      Finally, there is a message you can listen to by Keith Daniel called “When the Godly Fall.” http://ia800207.us.archive.org/27/items/SERMONINDEX_SID8297/SID8297.mp3

      I would very much like to write a post that helps to compile the teachings of the Scriptures on this subject for you and others like you. Until that time comes hopefully the resources above will prove edifying to your faith. I would leave you with these two thoughts: that there is no failure that God cannot pardon, save the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost spoken of by Christ, which is in context to say that the power of Christ is of Satan, and it is an exceedingly rare sin to commit. If you are coming back to God, He will in no wise turn you away, no matter how grievous your sin was.

      And thank you for your correction on that. Whether it was my appreciation for eggs or being up too late that interfered with such a spelling error, I fixed those instances!

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