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jayne
Aug 16th 2009, 07:11 PM
This is long! http://www.awalkinfaith.org/forums/images/smilies/what.gif I'm sorry. You don't have to read it.

The thread on child beauty pageants made me think of a post I had made in another forum a while back. If you've never thought about "Beauty and the Bible", it's interesting. :hmm: There were quite a few beauty contests in the Bible. And none of them were stemming from anything good or Godly…..only humanistic.

Now don't get me wrong. I am the make-up QUEEN! I love make-up, jewelry (I have WAAAY too much!) and I have far too many shoes. I don't quite look like Tammy Faye Bakker used to look, but........(I sort of some a little close!) (Not really ......well, a little!)

My mother was a beauty queen of her high school and a beautician. I was raise by a beautiful woman and surrended by beautiful women and plain women having a lot of fun trying to become beautiful. I always ranked myself as somewhere in between.

But, ironically, I was raised NOT to put my self-worth in all of that. And I grieve for women who can find no value in themselves because they believe their looks to be imperfect and therefore causing their worth to society to be useless.

But, I digress. Here's some unique viewpoints on beauty from the Bible.

In Genesis 6:6, (according to some interpretations) the Godly line of Seth began to intermarry with the ungodly line of Cain. It says that these men saw that there were beautiful women in the “other” camp. Weren’t there any beautiful women in their own towns and villages? It was that old adage of forbidden fruit. It led to the great destruction of mankind.

Queen Esther was made to undergo a year’s worth of superficial beauty treatments, go on a special diet, and to compete, physically, for King Xerxe’s attention. Kind of like "The Bachelor" today, no? Yet what is she to be remembered for? I believe it’s her famous line of, “Pray for me…..and if I perish, I perish.” She isn't given remembrance in the Bible for being beautiful, but for being self-sacrificing for her people and obedient to her calling. There she found God's favor. Being beautiful just got her in the door of the king's favor, that's all. Her worth was in her willingness to sacrifice herself.

When King David was dying, he was having chills. (1 Kings 1:1-4) Did they put more blankets on him? Give him a hot toddy to drink? No. They thought about sharing body heat. Well, that was fine…..he had LOTS of wives that he could have shared body heat with. :rolleyes: Er…..no. :hmm: They didn’t do that. That had a beauty contest. They scoured the countryside for the most beautiful, young, virgin that they could find. By the time that they put her in bed with him……he couldn’t respond to anything. Kind of weird, huh?

In fact, in the Old Testament, a woman’s three best qualities were being beautiful, young, and being a virgin. You find it over and over and over. With the exception of course of Proverbs 31. When Job gets his family restored, (end of Job 42) it said that he had three daughters and there were no women in the land who were as beautiful as they were. We don't know if they were good, kind, or chaste ...... but they were lookers. ;) And they were so beautiful that they got to share in Job's inheritance with their brothers.

And there's more. Sarah's great beauty almost got her husband killed more than once. God had to make provision for the beautiful foreign women that Israeli soldiers were attacted to so that they wouldn't rape them. Rachel is describe as beautiful and loved and Leah is described as ugly and hated. Rebekah was very beautiful. And Ruth was, if not beautiful, very youthful compared to Boaz. He was grateful that she had not gone after "younger men" than himself.

It's kind of weird how humanity, from the get-go, set up difficult standards of beauty for women and how women have been divided in to the beautiful team and the not-so-beautiful team and never the twain shall meet.

But it’s funny that in the New Testament, the description of women and wives are very different. It seems that Godly character and not the ability to win a beauty contest are what God is interested in for women ...... and has been interested in all along, despite the humanistic view of women by certain people in the Old Testament.


Luke 1:28 – The angel shared with Mary that she had found favor with God. Just as many women had found favor with mortal men for their physical attributes, Mary had found the ultimate favor….favor with God for something that could best be described as great and humble faith in God and her belief in His Trustworthiness. We have no clue what she looked like.

Matthew 27:18 – Jesus describes the woman who anoints Him with oil as having beautiful actions. “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me.” Just like Job’s daughters, this woman was given a permanent place in history, but for a different reason. Jesus said wherever the gospel would be preached, people would hear about her beautiful actions.

It is a woman’s lot in this life to adorn herself and take care of herself and to make herself as attractive as possible to find favor with men. There is no denying that. Be that good, bad, or whatever your opinion of it, it is a reality. And we should take care of ourselves and our bodies and we should want to please our spouses. But that should be coupled with the even greater attritubutes of a Godly woman. "Strength and honor are her clothing."

And it is of a greater importance as a woman to find favor with God and to be so awesomely blessed as to have Jesus Christ, Himself, say of her, “…she has done a beautiful thing to me." May we as women, as we display all kinds of beauty, strive for the beauty in spirit, obedience, and fear of the LORD, that will win the favor of Jesus Christ.

karenoka27
Aug 16th 2009, 07:22 PM
I hear you...I wear make up as well. I like to look like a woman. As I once heard someone say, "if the barn needs painting, paint it!":lol:

There is a difference between being beautiful on the outside and comparing yourself to the world's beauty.

The funny thing about the world's idea of beauty is that it changes. There was a time when plump women were thought to be beautiful.

As far as Esther, she was in a Christian environment but God used her beauty for "such a time as this"...

I got a chuckle out of Abishag...I had never noticed that before. David wanted to be kept warm but not by some old hag...too funny. I guess old people's body heat has run out and they would both be shivering!

Inner beauty is what is measured. I have met some homely people according to the world's standards and yet are the most beautiful in the world. And if these contests were going by that, they would surely win.

nzyr
Aug 16th 2009, 08:53 PM
Well king David was elderly. He was suffering from hypothermia. He didn't have relations with Abishag. She was a young healthy woman who became his nurse. Evidently blankets couldn't keep him warm. And they didn't want someone else's wife to do this. I think a lot of David's wives were elderly too by this time.

Brother Mark
Aug 16th 2009, 10:25 PM
The reason beauty is emphasized in the brides of the OT, and wired in men and women is because of what marriage means spiritually. Christ is the bridegroom and he desires a bride "without spot or blemish". IOW, he wants a spiritually beautiful bride. Men and women both understand how this desire is hardwired into us physically too.

The problem is, as always, the letter kills but the spirit gives life If we live to be pretty on the outside, we are destined for disappointment for as proverbs states, beauty is, in the end, vain. It will perish. But being beautiful spiritually will last for eternity!

Nothing wrong with physical beauty. But I think it no accident that Christ was not physically handsome. He knows what it's like to be rejected by men and can relate to those of us who are less than perfect in the looks area.

Grace and peace,

Mark

jayne
Aug 16th 2009, 10:55 PM
Well king David was elderly. He was suffering from hypothermia. He didn't have relations with Abishag. She was a young healthy woman who became his nurse. Evidently blankets couldn't keep him warm. And they didn't want someone else's wife to do this. I think a lot of David's wives were elderly too by this time.

Oh, I understand that this was not David's idea. But I take exception at his wives being too elderly to take care of him. Bathesheba still had dealings with Solomon concerning the affairs of state after this.

I'm not being critical of this passage. That's just the way it was. It was a man's world. This was the thinking of his advisors.

And the passage doesn't say that they looked for someone healthy. And part of her "nursing" duties was sex. She was more of a concubine. It says that they looked for someone young, beautiful, and who was a virgin. And it says that they scoured the coasts of Israel looking for someone who would fit the bill. I'm sure that it was a honor for a young, beautiful, virgin to be the last "concubine" or lover of the King.

Abishag wasn't able to have sex with David ..... well, I mean David wasn't able to have sex with Abishag. And that was critical to the story.

Later, David's son, Adonijah, was trying to take over just as Absolam did even though David had already said that Solomon would be king.

Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him Abishag as a wife. Adonijah already had following of people and had tried to take over. Bathsheba goes and tells Solomon and Solomon is livid and calls for his death.

Adonijah couldn't have asked for her, his father's concubine, had David actually had sex with her.

Again, I can't be critical because that just how women were viewed and women back then viewed themselves that way.

Bathsheba even went to see David about assuring Solomon's place as king and the Bible says that when she went into David's bedchamber that Abishag was there ministering to him. She said nothing and bowed down to David.

That just how things were.

nzyr
Aug 17th 2009, 12:14 AM
Oh, I understand that this was not David's idea. But I take exception at his wives being too elderly to take care of him. Bathesheba still had dealings with Solomon concerning the affairs of state after this.

I'm not being critical of this passage. That's just the way it was. It was a man's world. This was the thinking of his advisors.

And the passage doesn't say that they looked for someone healthy. And part of her "nursing" duties was sex. She was more of a concubine. It says that they looked for someone young, beautiful, and who was a virgin. And it says that they scoured the coasts of Israel looking for someone who would fit the bill. I'm sure that it was a honor for a young, beautiful, virgin to be the last "concubine" or lover of the King.

Abishag wasn't able to have sex with David ..... well, I mean David wasn't able to have sex with Abishag. And that was critical to the story.

Later, David's son, Adonijah, was trying to take over just as Absolam did even though David had already said that Solomon would be king.

Adonijah asked Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him Abishag as a wife. Adonijah already had following of people and had tried to take over. Bathsheba goes and tells Solomon and Solomon is livid and calls for his death.

Adonijah couldn't have asked for her, his father's concubine, had David actually had sex with her.

Again, I can't be critical because that just how women were viewed and women back then viewed themselves that way.

Bathsheba even went to see David about assuring Solomon's place as king and the Bible says that when she went into David's bedchamber that Abishag was there ministering to him. She said nothing and bowed down to David.

That just how things were.They needed someone who wasn't married, had children or was busy doing other things. They also wanted someone who was healthy. She was to be with him at all times. Bathsheba couldn't do that. She had children, and probably grandchildren. And she may have had other responsibilities. It was to be a temporary job.

And the damsel... cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
1 Kings 1:4

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