June 13, 2011

Beauty


Ever thought about what it must look like when smoothly beaten gold reflects the bright shekinah glory of God Himself? Of what purple tapestry must look like when the gold angels woven into it catch that light and sparkle it in a thousand different directions?

The heart of the sanctuary was a place of exquisite beauty-- beautiful in it's own right, but made 100 times more so by the presence of God.

But isn't it interesting that that beauty was inside?


The gold was covered with a plush, purple gold-embroidered tapestry.
The purple was covered with pure white goat skins.
The white was covered with ram skins dyed a deep scarlet, red.
The red was covered with a simple, humble, plain brown covering of animal skins.

These were "so arranged as to afford complete protection." (PP 347)
But what did the tabernacle need protection from??

Not from the weather-- the pillar of cloud protected from that.
The tabernacle needed protection from marauding, plundering enemies riding across the barren desert who would be dazzled at the sight of gold and kill to get it.

Shouldn't my body, "the temple of the Holy Ghost" (1 Cor 6:19) be clothed in the same way?
Shouldn't my "gold" be hidden from enemies who would say "That's sexy, I want it"?
And then covered with the justifying blood of Christ and sanctifying spotless righteousness of Jesus.

The truest beauty is the beauty of the soul that is within--the beauty of the glory of God.

The sanctuary was "clothed with humility" (1 Pet 5:5). It was simple, humble, symmetrical, shapely and beautiful  in form. Yet it didn't flaunt outward allurement.

It's simplicity was it's allure.

"[People who cultivate beautiful thinking] will have no need to be adorned with artificials, for these are always expressive of an absence of the inward adorning of true moral worth. A beautiful character is of value in the sight of God. Such beauty will attract, but not mislead. Such charms are fast colors; they never fade."  (HR, August 1, 1871 par. 14)

11 comments:

  1. hmm. Very thought provoking. True. God is a lover of beauty, yet many of the most beautiful things He created are hidden away and meant for only few and privileged eyes and hearts to behold. I wonder if any of the beauty in heaven will be cloaked and saved for a select few? Could that be what the 144,000 are privileged with?

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  2. Interesting thought...expound on it! I'm not quite sure I completely follow what you're referring to.. :-)

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  3. Ok, I know this post is old, but I was reading your latest post, and I saw this in the related links, and I read it, and it had to do with a topic I've been writing about lately myself, and being who I am I couldn't help making a few comments.

    Firstly, I'm not sure what you're implying here:
    "But what did the tabernacle need protection from??
    Not from the weather-- the pillar of cloud protected from that.
    The tabernacle needed protection from marauding, plundering enemies riding across the barren desert who would be dazzled at the sight of gold and kill to get it."
    You don't think the pillar of fire would have kept enemies at bay? Or the immense herd of people camped all around the tabernacle? I mean Rahab said that everyone in her country was "melting in fear" of the Israelites. Seems reasonable to assume that someone would think twice about assaulting the armed camp of a group of people that are conquering the country by military force, in order to try to steal some gold that is located in the center of the camp next to a supernatural pillar of fire.
    The other thing that was your description of the outer covering of the tabernacle as "a simple, humble, plain brown covering of animal skins." I'm guessing you've never owned a fur coat--or seen the price tag on one of them. Fur may be "plain brown," but it is far from humble! Even in the modern world of game farms, high powered firearms, and steel traps, furs fetch a pretty penny. Think about how much more they would have been worth to a group of people who lived in the desert, and saw animals rarely enough that they wanted to go back to slavery just to get a little meat!
    I'd argue that there was nothing "humble" or "plain" about the tabernacle--the entire thing screamed of an unimaginable opulence, not just the gold.

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  4. I appreciate your questions KT. You make me think deeper and I need that. ;)
    You are right. I delved way into speculation on this one and I can't prove that my position is true. :)

    But the truth that matters is still the truth... Whether or not the tabernacle was simple and humble, we know that the Jesus it represented was. He had "no beauty that we should desire him" he could have had opulence but chose shame, poverty, a life where people continually misunderstood him, and the clothing of a fisherman.

    His counsel to women is "let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on apparel but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." 1pet 3:3,4

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  5. His example is simplicity and it is the honor of any Christian to follow His steps.

    Thank you for helping me speak from the Word only and not from the ideas and words of men. My thought in this was triggered from a book I was reading and I should have done my research better.

    Good to see you blogging, btw!

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  6. You may have just inspired my next post... The line "He could have chose opulence..." I completely agree, I could go somewhere with that.

    On another note, isn't it interesting that Peter warned about the putting ON of apparel, but the church today warns about the taking OFF of apparel?

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    1. More and more I'm coming to see how the meekness and humility of Jesus are the true issues in any question of dress/adornment.

      This quote is so straight up:
      Showy, extravagant dress too often encourages lust in the heart of the wearer and awakens base passions in the heart of the beholder. God sees that the ruin of the character is frequently preceded by the indulgence of pride and vanity in dress. CG 416

      It all comes down to the motive. Am I free of pride? Is my self abased and hidden in Christ?

      Btw.. I did a little study in the Greek this afternoon and I'd suggest checking the legs of that stool carefully before you sit on it... :) You don't want to end up in the same position I was in in this post of holding a point that can't be substantiated from the word...

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    2. You'll have to educate me--I don't read Greek, and like Tyndale, I like to cling to the notion that a simple farmboy like myself can understand the Bible in my own language without fear of heresy. However, I do like to compare versions, and virtually all English versions I can find refer to the putting on of clothes. (http://bible.cc/1_peter/3-3.htm)

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    3. Well, you'll want to do your own study, since I'm certainly no Greek scholar either, but I'll share what I found.

      I've found this to be a really excellent resource-- http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1pe3.pdf

      Notice the string of parallels in this verse? (outside, of braiding of hair, of decking of gold, of putting on garments) My Greek-studying friends have told me that this is highly common in Greek. There are parallel structures almost everywhere you look in the NT. Phil. 2:1, and 2:2 are both good examples of this.
      In this case, there is a descriptor word at the end of the list of parallels-- Kosmos G2889- Adornment. When there is a descriptor word like this, it can either apply to the entire list or just to the last item. In this case, the translators moved it to apply to "outside", rendering our KJV "outward adornment"
      Which would mean that the translators thought of it something like this: outward adornment by braiding hair, adornment by putting on gold, and adornment by putting on clothes.
      Otherwise, it would only apply to the last item, which would mean it only applies to the "putting on apparel" phrase-- which doesn't really make sense.

      Either way, the adornment modifier clearly applies to the "putting on clothes" So it seems Paul is referring to the wearing of "adorning" clothes, or fancy, extravagant display in dress rather than the simple act of putting on garments.

      Hope that helps.

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    4. Ok, I think I see what you are saying, and I don't think it is that different than what I was saying. I wasn't trying to insinuate that Peter thought the act of wearing clothing was evil, because it's clear that Peter himself wore clothing (just not when he was working in the boat) (John 21:7). Rather, Peter seems to be warning about letting your beauty come from external sources--things that you put on--such as jewelry, clothing, makeup, etc. This is in contrast with the current Church teaching on modesty which says that women ought to use external means to hide or diminish their natural beauty. The first (Peter) says "you don't need to rely on clothes to be attractive." The second says "you need to actively use clothing to make yourself less attractive." That is what I was referring to when I wrote "isn't it interesting that Peter warned about the putting ON of apparel, but the church today warns about the taking OFF of apparel?"

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    5. I see. That makes a little more sense...wasn't sure how far you were going with that one, lol.

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