Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (Psalm 43:5 NaSB) Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NASB) Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. (Proverbs 31:10 NASB) As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. (Proverbs 11:22 NASB)
Juliana Borges this week (2001) was crowned “Miss Brazil.” In order to make it to the top of the beauty queens in her country she has had plastic surgery four times and 19 smaller procedures. She has had liposuction and changes have been made to her chin, nose, ears, and bust. Of the 27 finalists in the Miss Brazil pageant one third have had plastic surgery. Juliana says, “Plastic surgery made me more beautiful and gave me confidence in myself and the perfect measurements that won me this title.”
In Uzbekistan there is a different kind of beauty contest. In their first national beauty contest swimming suits have been banned. In this contest the contestants in addition to their beauty will be judged on their inner beauty. It will be their moral values on womanhood and motherhood on which they will also be judged. An 18-year old woman from Samarkand says the contest will be “a great opportunity for me to show my talent and to show my...maybe my prettiness.”
There is a beauty that is only skin deep. A shallow beauty can in fact be ugly and repulsive. “A lovely woman who lacks discretion” the Bible says is like “a ring of gold in a swine’s snout.” Now how ugly and repulsive is that! What is a swine’s snout used for? It is used to dig in the dirt, muck, mire, mud, and swill. A gold ring in a swine’s snout would be disgusting.
But then there is the beauty of holiness. An inner beauty that makes an individual glow with attractiveness beyond anything plastic surgeons could ever duplicate. There is the beauty of the flesh which would be like the enchantments of Pharaoh's sorcerers (Exodus 7:11). Then there is the supernatural beauty of holiness which is like the miracles of God which swallowed up the false enchantments of the sorcerers (Exodus 7:12). Finally there were miracles which the sorcerers could not even attempt to duplicate (Exodus 8:18-19) and that is like the beauty of holiness. Nipping and tucking and beauty treatments cannot duplicate spiritual beauty. For those with this kind of beauty God is the “help of their (my) countenance.” This kind of beauty is worth “far above rubies.”
Copyright © 2004. Ed Wrather. Used with Permission. On June 8, 1998 the email version of the Burning Bush Devotional was first sent.