* Beauty’s definition
Beauty means lovely, handsome, or pleasing to the eye; excellence.
* Beauty begins inside a person
Rebekah had physical beauty, but the servant was looking for a sign of inner beauty. Appearance is important to us, and we spend time and money improving it. But how much effort do we put into developing our inner beauty? Patience, kindness, and joy are the beauty treatments that help us become truly lovely—on the inside. (NLT)
Genesis 24:15-16 – As he was still praying, a young woman named Rebekah arrived with a water jug on her shoulder. Her father was Bethuel, who was the son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and his wife, Milcah. Now Rebekah was very beautiful, and she was a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came up again.
* – Apparently some Christian women were trying to gain respect by looking beautiful rather than by becoming Christ-like in character. Some may have thought that they could win unbelieving husbands to Christ through their appearance. It is not unscriptural for a woman to want to be attractive. Beauty, however, begins inside a person. A gentle, modest, loving character gives a light to the face that cannot be duplicated by the best cosmetics and jewelry in the world. A carefully groomed and well-decorated exterior is artificial and cold unless inner beauty is present. (NLT)
1 Timothy 2:9-10 – And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.
* – A changed life speaks loudly and clearly, and it is often the most effective way to influence a family member. Peter instructs Christian wives to develop inner beauty rather than being overly concerned about their outward appearance. Their husbands will be won over by their love rather than by their looks. Live your Christian faith quietly and consistently in your home, so that your family will see Christ in you.
We should not be obsessed by fashion; but neither should we be so unconcerned that we do not bother to care for ourselves. Hygiene, neatness, and grooming are important, but even more important are a person’s attitude and inner spirit. True beauty begins inside. (NLT)
1 Peter 3:1-7 – In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior.
Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty that depends on fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should be known for the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. That is the way the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, when she called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.
* Our work can take on beauty
Those who spun cloth made a beautiful contribution to the Tabernacle. Good workers take pride in the quality and beauty of their work. God is concerned with the quality and beauty of what you do. Whether you are a corporate executive or a drugstore cashier, your work should reflect the creative abilities God has given you. (NLT)
Exodus 35:25-26 – All the women who were skilled in sewing and spinning prepared blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and fine linen cloth, and they brought them in. All the women who were willing used their skills to spin and weave the goat hair into cloth.
* Beautiful thoughts
Psalm 45:1 – My heart overflows with a beautiful thought! I will recite a lovely poem to the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.
You are the most handsome of all. Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever.
* Perfection of beauty
Psalm 50:2 – From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.
* Beautify a palace
Psalm 144:12 – May your sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.
* Composite of ideal womanhood
Some people have the mistaken idea that the ideal woman in the Bible is retiring, servile, and entirely domestic. No so! This woman is an excellent wife and mother. She is also a manufacturer importer, manager, realtor, farmer, seamstress, upholsterer, and merchant. Her strength and dignity do not come from her amazing achievements, however. They are a result of her reverence for God. In our society, where physical appearance counts for so much, it may surprise us to realize that her appearance is never mentioned. Her attractiveness comes entirely from her character.
The woman described in this chapter has outstanding abilities. Her family’s social position is high. In fact, she may not be one woman at all—she may be a composite portrait of ideal womanhood. Do not see her as a model to imitate in every detail; your days are not long enough to do everything she does! See her instead as an inspiration to be all you can be. We can’t be just like her, but we can learn from her industry, integrity, and resourcefulness.
The book of Proverbs begins with the command to fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) and ends with the picture of a woman who fulfills this command. Her qualities are mentioned throughout the book: hard work, fear of God, respect for spouse, foresight, encouragement, care for others, concern for the poor, wisdom in handling money. These qualities, when coupled with fear of God, lead to enjoyment, success, honor, and worth. Proverbs is practical for us because it shows how to become wise, make good decisions, and live according to God’s ideal. (NLT)
Proverbs 31:10-31 – Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is worth more than precious rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.
She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar. She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls. She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She is energetic and strong, a hard worker. She watches for bargains; her lights burn late into the night. Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of winter for her household because all of them have warm clothes. She quilts her own bedspreads. She dresses like royalty in gowns of finest cloth.
Her husband is well known, for he sits in the council meeting with the other civic leaders.
She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches al that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
* Everything beautiful for its own time
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
* Awe-inspiring beauty
Tirazah was a city about 35 miles northeast of Jerusalem. Its name means “pleasure” or “beauty.” Jeroboam made Tirzah the first capital of the divided northern kingdom. “Majestic as an army with banners” means that his beloved must have had awe-inspiring beauty, like a mighty army readying for battle. (NLT)
Song of Songs 6:4 – “O my beloved, you are as beautiful as the lovely town of Tirzah. Yes, as beautiful as Jerusalem! You are as majestic as an army with banners!”
* Beauty will be gone
The women of Judah had placed their emphasis on clothing and jewelry rather than on God. They dressed to be noticed, to gain approval, and to be fashionable. Yet they ignored the real purpose for their lives. Instead of being concerned about the oppression around them, they were self-serving and self-centered. People who abuse their possessions will end up with nothing. These verses are not an indictment against clothing and jewelry, but a judgment on those who use them lavishly, while remaining blind to the needs of others. When God blesses you with money or position, don’t flaunt it. Use what you have to help others, not impress them. (NLT)
Isaiah 3:16-24 – Next the Lord will judge the women of Jerusalem, who walk around with their noses in the air, with tinkling ornaments on their ankles. Their eyes rove among the crowds, flirting with the men. The Lord will send a plague of scabs to ornament their heads. Yes, the Lord will make them bald for all to see!
The Lord will strip away their artful beauty—their ornaments, headbands, and crescent necklaces; their earrings, bracelets, and veils of shimmering gauze. Gone will be their scarves, ankle chains, sashes, perfumes, and charms; their rings, jewels, party clothes, gowns, capes, and purses; their mirrors, linen garments, head ornaments, and shawls. Instead of smelling of sweet perfume, they will stink. They will wear ropes for sashes, and their well-set hair will fall out. They will wear rough sackcloth instead of rich robes. Their beauty will be gone. Only shame will be left to them.
* – People are compared here to grass and flowers that wither away. We are mortal, but God’s Word is eternal and unfailing. Public opinion changes and is unreliable, but God’s Word is constant. Only in God’s eternal Word will we find lasting solutions to our problems and needs. (NLT)
Isaiah 40:6-8 – A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass that dies away. Their beauty fades as quickly as the beauty of flowers in a field. The grass withers, and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
* – There was nothing beautiful or majestic in the physical appearance of this servant. Israel would miscalculate the servant’s importance—they would consider him an ordinary man. But even though Jesus would not attract a large following based on his physical appearance, he would bring salvation and healing. Many people miscalculate the importance of Jesus’ life and work, and they need faithful Christians to point out his extraordinary nature. (NLT)
Isaiah 53:2 – My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
* Beautiful feet
God says that the feet of those who bring good news are “beautiful.” It is a wonderful privilege to be able to share God’s Good News with others, his news of redemption, salvation, and peace. To whom do you need to give the Good News? (NLT)
Isaiah 52:7 – How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
* Beautiful on the outside
Jesus condemned the Pharisees and religious leaders for outwardly appearing upright and holy but inwardly remaining full of corruption and greed. Living our Christianity merely as a show for others is like washing only the outside of a cup. When we are clean on the inside, our cleanliness on the outside won’t be a sham. (NLT)
Matthew 23:27 – [Jesus said] “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity.”
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