With the current threat of a storm similar to that which hit the UK back in October of 1987 looming, I was reminded of my futile, if not halfhearted attempts to get to work the day following that great event… and my mind drifting back, was reminded of the oft advice given by many an aged craftsmen, besides whom I once worked.
In 1987 I was 25 years old and as most of that age, glowing with the vibrant beauty of youth… so much so that its glare had almost blinded me to the fact that it should ever wane. And in such a deluded state almost believed that for those for whom it had, must be of some other species or suffering with a terrible disease.
Again and again I used to hear the same words spat from embittered lips…
Son, go find yourself the ugliest women you can and marry her, and when you have don’t look for another. For she shall seek your favour all the days of your life and not look for another, nor shall any seek to steal her away from you.
Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
Looking back, it is obvious that those words were spoken from lips forced to eat from the bitter fruits of infidelity, either of their own making or of a wayward wife. Who in a perverse way had learned far too late that beauty is deceptive, not only for she to whom it is given, but also to those beguiled by it.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Indeed, beauty is deceptive, beguiling both barer and beholder together. And so it was that in the days when Persia reigned supreme, that Queen Vashti beguiled by her own beauty sat besides a likewise besotted King. Whom forgetting that the beauty of a wife is the glory of her husband, later refused to present herself before the King’s honoured guests at his request, sealing her own fate.
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
Indeed, what an honour it is for a man to lead a faithful wife upon his arm before friends, whom like a jewel fitted in a socket of gold brings him favour wheresoever he turns, yet if her eyes wonder a stink, disgrace and an everlasting shame. For as the precious stone, so lays behind a beautiful women lacking discretion, a sad story of trouble and woe.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
As the costly jewel found in the gutter before envious eyes, so is beauty perilous if found in the wrong setting. The jewel fitted in a pitcher of gold and the wife upon the arm, but when beauty is worn without discretion she is a danger to herself, and all who behold her.
For as Queen Vashti after him, it was Absalom’s good looks that seeded his ruin, whom likewise deceived and forgetting his place rose-up to challenge the King. And hadn’t that same inherited beauty woven into his sister Tamar, driven a foolish Amnon to the outrages of rape, whom Absalom avenged by spilling his blood?
Therefore beauty should be treated with care by he who beholds, as well as she to whom it was given, else both shall be brought to ruin together. Indeed how much blood has been spilt and tears shed because beauty was treated so lightly, even used to satisfy base desires or personal gain? Yet when entrusted to she whom exercises it rightly, peace, healing and honour not only to herself but all who behold her chaste living.
For didn’t Queen Esther use her beauty to save a nation rather than herself? Who using her gift aright saved both she and they, and having so done received not only her life but riches and honour. For unlike Queen Vashti and Absalom she knowing her place, understood that He who had entrusted her with such beauty gave it for a purpose, and not to be squandered upon herself. For indeed He who made all things, be they looks, authority, wealth or honour tries the heart, and is no respecter of persons, for…
All these things His hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Therefore do not lust after, nor treat beauty so lightly, for it is a snare to the fool who beholds as well as she to whom it was given. Which will be turned by the destroyer if it should fall into his hands, for Satan knows how to bend it to destruction, and has led multitudes by the hook of beauty into the chambers of death.
13 - Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing.
14 - She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city,
15 - calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way,
16 - “Let all who are simple come to my house!” To those who have no sense she says,
17 - “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!”
18 - But he know not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of Hades.