This verse is taken from:
Proverbs 11. 11-23
Thought of the day for:
14 April 2024

The word for a jewel here is that usually used for an earring or nose ring, hence the mention of the ‘snout’. It is ‘of gold’ rather than a precious stone, which perhaps we would associate with a jewel. They were used to adorn women’s faces and are first men­tioned in relation to Rebekah in Genesis chapter 24. It is worth pointing out that in the Old Testament these ear or nose rings are usually associated with non-Israelites. In Exodus chapter 32 and Judges chapter 8 when found with God’s people, they came from Egyptians and Ishmaelites and were used to make idols. In this modern day of increased body piercings, believers must remember that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should avoid copying the excesses of the ungodly.

This proverb uses the extreme analogy of placing a gold ring on the unclean swine’s snout to make the point that outward adornment is futile in covering the lack of inward graces, like those displayed by the woman of verse 16. How relevant this still is today, when, in many cases, we pay tremendous attention to that which is seen with little regard to the unseen. We must always remember that ‘man looketh on the outward appear­ance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’, 1 Sam. 16. 7. It is sadly possible, in the companies of Christians that many of us are asso­ciated with, to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s in relation to that which should mark God’s people in their appearance, dress and outward demeanour but to overlook the inward features such as holiness, faith, love and humility.

This does not mean that the outward in unimportant, cf. 1 Tim. 2. 8-10. On the contrary, it is highly likely that those who are genuinely spiritual will display this in part by outward con­formance to that which scripture would require of God’s people. However, that conformance, even when present, cannot mask a lack of true inward beauty and Christ-like features.

What is most pleasing to God is when both are found in matching harmony. This is seen later, where Abigail ‘was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance’, 1 Sam. 25. 3. Notice the order, the internal is before the external and both are in perfect balance.


Your Basket

Your Basket Is Empty