DEVOTION: Beauty, Vanity, and Good Sense

    June 21, 2020 | Books of the Bible | Proverbs by Jason Hall

    Proverbs 11:22

    A beautiful woman who rejects good sense is like a gold ring in a pig's snout. (CSB)

    Proverbs 11:28

    Anyone trusting in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like foliage. (CSB)

    What do these two sayings have in common? They both speak to the utter uselessness of earthly acclaim apart from trust in the Lord, and they do so using colorful language drawn from creation.

    In Prov. 11:22 we have one of the most enduring images of the whole book. Can't you picture the dirty, bloated pig with a 24k gold ring, coated with mud, sticking out of its nose? If imagining this scene makes you giggle, Solomon is smiling, because that's what he wanted to do.

    It seems a waste, does it not, to put a valuable ring in the nose of a pig? Isn't it somewhat useless? Yes, it is, just like earthly beauty is futile unless matched with wisdom.

    In Prov. 11:28, the one who pursues wealth apart from righteousness will lose it all – again, vanity – but the righteous will "flourish like foliage." The language takes my mind back to Psalm 1, where the righteous man is compared to a tree that yields fruit in its season, whose leaf does not wither.

    In both cases, what the world praises, whether it be beauty or riches, proves to be ultimately empty and even worthy of scorn. Be careful, Solomon says, to pursue the things that last.


    • What do you spend your time thinking about? What do you spend your money on? Do you invest in and care about eternal things or temporal things?


    • Spend time reading Psalm 1 and praying it back to God as the prayer of your heart.