Beauty may be a blessing, but what dangers keep company with beauty? - Beauty - TouchPoints

Beauty may be a blessing, but what dangers keep company with beauty?

Esther 1:10-20When King Xerxes was in high spirits because of the wine, he told the seven eunuchs who attended him . . . to bring Queen Vashti to him with the royal crown on her head. He wanted the nobles and all the other men to gaze on her beauty, for she was a very beautiful woman. But when they conveyed the king’s order to Queen Vashti, she refused to come. This made the king furious, and he burned with anger. . . . “What must be done to Queen Vashti?” the king demanded. “What penalty does the law provide for a queen who refuses to obey the king’s orders?” Memucan answered the king and his nobles, “Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also every noble and citizen throughout your empire. Women everywhere will begin to despise their husbands when they learn that Queen Vashti has refused to appear before the king. . . .So if it please the king, we suggest that you issue a written decree, a law of the Persians and Medes that cannot be revoked. It should order that Queen Vashti be forever banished from the presence of King Xerxes, and that the king should choose another queen more worthy than she. When this decree is published throughout the king’s vast empire, husbands everywhere, whatever their rank, will receive proper respect from their wives!”

Vashti resisted Xerxes’s drunken demand, though it cost her dearly. She as well as her replacement, Esther, had to learn that great physical beauty comes with dangers. Her story also reminds us that to objectify a woman for her beauty is to demean and disrespect her as a human being created in God’s image. This harms the woman and corrupts the soul of the one objectifying her.

Ezekiel 28:17Your heart was filled with pride because of all your beauty. Your wisdom was corrupted by your love of splendor. So I threw you to the ground and exposed you to the curious gaze of kings.

God described the great seaside city of Tyre as a lovely woman much too aware of her physical attractiveness to others. Men and women can use their beauty in corrupt ways. They can take great pride in their beauty and use it for immoral reasons. Tyre reminds us that such pride can combine with other sins to bring about personal destruction.

Ezekiel 16:18, 25You used the beautifully embroidered clothes I gave you to dress your idols. Then you used my special oil and my incense to worship them. . . . On every street corner you defiled your beauty, offering your body to every passerby in an endless stream of prostitution.

God used very intimate language to describe his disappointment over the behavior of Jerusalem, comparing her to a brazenly unfaithful wife. This illustrates the larger point that a beautiful appearance is not always accompanied by beautiful conduct. Beauty can be used for evil, and when it is, it becomes something very ugly.