Jew-elry, before anyone get’s the impression this is a relig-itous title read on and you will get my drift, or should I say, draft. Since it involes OT Israel and the making of the golden calf out of their own jewelry you will see how appropriate and well fashioned this as the title is. We see how the people then made idols and how we can be prone to do the same.
(Exodus 32:23-24) They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”
This is very interesting, take a look at how this idol was forged. It was was made from ordinary things of everyday life. But that is not unlike us today, we can take almost anything and make a god out of it, something we look to for our purpose, value, reason for living, and what we hope in, whether carreers, relationships, savings accounts or stocks and bonds.
And yes in a way, some women actually worship jewlry, they do not literally bow to it, and there is no harm in it in and of itself, but what they feel like it gives them, beauty and attention? Women can make-up idols out of their appeal and charm. It is true, some ladies out their look to vanity for hope and use it as a charm, and think their success lies in a beautiful appearence. Yes we do live in times where the “ideal body image” is glorified and worshiped.
Many many women worship at the altar of a perfect female figure. Why? Well because we as human being think external things are going to be the things that go before us and give us success.
Scripture tells women that their outward apparel and beautiful looks is not what makes them truly and ultimately appealing,
(Proverbs 31:30-31) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Our society seems to get it backwards more often then not, beauty is often esteemed higher and appraised if more worth then, honesty; kindness and integrity. Yet “The world and it’s desires will pass away” as it says in John’s first letter.
Peter also writes, ” Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
There is no prohibition here against make up, jewelry or nice clothes, but they add nothing to a woman’s value in all reality. All Peter is stating is a woman should not put her hope, trust or security in a mere outward appearence.
This is not just a woman thing though but men also can look for value and purpose in the wrong things, often men may strive hard to get chisled and look impressive, dominant and find their physique gives them the recognition they want, other men are driven to find their value and significance in their job title and performance. Still others fall into addictive sexual exploits to prove to themselves their value and find pleasure to numb themselves like a drug addict or alcoholic might. Some chase a illusion of significance in money and net worth and Bible says this,
(1 Timothy 6:17-19) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
The human heart longs to feel loved, useful, succeed at what it finds makes it worthwhile, or appreciated.
Now jewlry, make up, fine clothes, great jobs, a retirment plan, nice biceps, successful relationships, finacial security, are not evil things. They ordinary things that can be enjoyed but make terrible “golden calves” for any of us. We all have those things whatever they maybe.
But what is our value, purpose and reason for living won’t be achieved in external things the world tries to offer and tell us we cannot do without. Comercials are often successful to tempt people’s fundamental longings, happiness, lack of this or that, the desire for things, the longing to fit in or be approved of, and that’s how many businesses come to life.
Dating websites, designer clothing, weightloss products that are cheap useless alternatives to diet, excercise and hard work, infomercials, comercials for cars, home decor, and other messages from the world bombarding us regularly.
None of these are evil things but have potential to create evil desires such as covetousness, envy, and ingratitude. These messages flood through a trojan horse called a Telivision or internent ads and try to reprogram our minds to define beauty and happiness in the world’s terms.
Some of the advertising is so idiotically cheesy that it is nauseating. You know, comercials so lame that they outright suggest “If you buy this today, your life will be so improved it wont ever be the same”
How often has that really worked? I don’t care what it is but even when I buy products that are shown in commercials my life’s problems do not go away, they are there when I get back and it is not a surprise because I never thought the product would “Mr Clean magic errase my problems”- not to dis Mr Clean, they have great products that will take the spots and stains out of clothes and clean other things, but wont wipe your hardships or life struggles away. There is no “Easy button” but there is hope.
Psalm 34:10-22 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Am I telling you that if one becomes a Christ follower and honors the Lord and walks in obedience that their problems vanish and life is sweet as cheesecake and butterfingers always? No! But God’s ways are always the best and the righteous will have the last laugh, the final truimph, and the last word. When all is said and done it pays off. Even if we never see it here on earth but rather in heaven. Often we will reap the temporary reward of wise living and a righteous life but not always nor immediatly. As the quote says, “Good things come to those who wait” but the rules of waiting must be applied,
(James 1:9-12) Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
As Christians we should not attach the meaning and worth of our lives to what people tell us but what truth tells us.
Our fulfillment won’t come through just accumulating more money, stuff, nicer houses and better cars. Pleasure is an illusion to the one who seeks pleasure in pleasure. It is very possible and most likely to pursue a desired end and then acheive it only to be empty and disatisfied.
Ecclesiastes 2:1-25 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done? I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both. Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.” For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die! So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
Without God blessing us with his presence our best blessings lose their flavor, I do not care how much money one has and it does not make the difference no mattee how beautiful their wife is, or how lovely their family is at the end of the day. The only way to truly enjoy the richest of life is not people, possessions or accomplisments unless God is central.
(Mark 8:35-36) For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
(Proverbs 10:22) The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.