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Veils Study #4

Veils and Beauty

God values beauty. He created a world that is not only functional but beautiful. He gave his creatures and innate appreciation for beauty. We are drawn to beautiful people, beautiful places, beautiful items and beautiful music, even when they are not functional. Think about it, why do women wear high heel shoes, even though they slow us down and hurt our feet? It’s because we are drawn to their aesthetic. Why do we bring flowers into our homes even though they may cause is to sneeze, leave pollen and petals on our tables, and will die sooner because we have cut them from their roots? It is because their color, delicacy, and aroma please our senses.

What is so valuable about beauty? Beauty inspires. It gives hope. It soothes our souls. And because of this, the Lord’s worship should be accompanied by beauty. Psalm 66:2 says, “Make His praise glorious.”

The Lord instructed beautiful articles to be fashioned for the temple and beautiful garments for the priests. These reflect the beauty, majesty and splendor of the Lord and the beauty, majesty and splendor of heaven.

The Hebrew word noam, which is translated beauty is also translated as favor. Beauty is often described as evidence of God’s favor. In Psalm Psalm 144, the Psalmist prays for God’s favor, asking, “May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.”

In contrast, in Isaiah 3, when the prophet speaks of a time when God will turn away from His people, removing His favor from them because of their rebellion, he writes, “the Lord will strip away everything that  makes her beautiful” (v. 18) So, times of discipline may be accompanied by a stripping of beauty for a season.

What kind of beauty does the Lord value? We know from 1 Peter 3:4 that the kind of beauty the Lord values most is not outward beauty. While outward beauty may be a sign of His favor and may point to His glory and worth, the Lord values inner beauty, above all. Peter writes, “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.” While outward beauty fades (we all know that too well from experience), inner beauty is imperishable, something that lasts.

The Bible uses the word vain to refer to something that is empty.  An outward beauty that is not accompanied by inner beauty is vanity. It is worthless because it is empty. It contains nothing of true substance. I think that is why it bothers the Lord so much. An outward beauty that is not accompanied by inner holiness and the fruit of the Spirit is actually deceitful. It promises to inspire, soothe, and give hope, but it cannot because it lacks substance. Perhaps that is why the Lord disciplines by removing outward beauty. It’s His way of saying, “This does not match what is on the inside, so I will reveal the truth so that, through my chastisement, the inner man/woman may become truly beautiful.”

So, we are careful not to put the cart before the horse. Our veils do not make our worship beautiful. Rather, they provide an outward picture of the beauty of the Lord, the beauty of authentic worship, and the beauty and glory due the Lord. We can value them and enjoy them for their ability to point to a deeper beauty, which can soothe, inspire, and give hope.

Study:

Look up some or all of the passages below. I have included the Hebrew or Greek work which is used for beauty, or which relates to the beauty spoken of in the passage as well as their definitions below.

Exodus 28:2 (tipharah)

2 Chronicles 20:21 (ahadorab)

Psalm 39:11 (chamad)

Psalm 90:17 (noam)

Psalm 96:9 (hadarah)

Proverbs 31:30 (yophi)

Isaiah 3:24 (yophi)

Isaiah 53:2 (toar, hadar)

Isaiah 60:13 (paar)

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (yahpheh)

Matthew 23:27 (horaios)

Romans 10:15 (horaios)

I Peter 3:3,4 (aphthartos)

Hebrews words for/related to beauty:

tipharah - glory - beautiful, beauty, boast, glorious, honor, jewls, pomp, pride, splendor

noam - favor - delightfulness, pleasantness

hadarah - beauty - adornment, glory, array; used for attire

toar - form - outline, form

hadar - majesty - comeliness, ornament, honor, splendor

chamad - covet - to desire or take pleasure in (what is desired)

yophi - beauty

p’er - beauty - beauty, garland, ornament

yapheh - beautiful - fair, beautiful, appropriate, fitting, handsome

Greek words for/related to beauty:

horaios - fair - beautiful, blooming, fair

exothen - external - outside, from without

kryptos - hidden - hidden, secret, inward

aphthartos - imperishable, incorruptible - indestructible, imperishable, incorruptible; hence: immortal.

Scriptures for further study and the Hebrew or Greek words used for beauty in the respective study:

For Reflection:

As you read, note the value God puts on beauty, how God uses beauty, when and why beauty becomes troublesome to the Lord, and what kind of beauty pleases Him.

How can you use a veil demonstrate or point to the beauty of the Lord when you dance?

What cautions to do need/want to take when dancing with your veil?

Spend time meditating on the beauty of the Lord as He has allowed you to see it.

References:

Bible Hub

Zondervan Study Bible, King James Version, copyright 1999