Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep...Or Is It?

Noxema. Oil of Olay. Retina. Mary Kay. Microderm abrasion. Chemical peals. Waxing. Neutrogena. Bleaching. Laser. Botox. Bohemian Blowout. Hair dye. Plucking. Enhancements of all sorts. Tattoo. Piercings.

The list goes on and on as to the lengths women will go to look beautiful. I have to admit, I don’t believe in growing old gracefully, but I will also not submit myself to unnecessary surgeries or injections of toxins. Every woman has their own line they will not cross for the sake of beauty. I was blessed with a beautiful mom. When her hair started going pre-maturely gray, it was in the 70s when frosted hair was “in.” Her gray hair came in, and it looked like she was frosting her hair. Her gray hair was in the perfect place…disgusting. And when she had cancer and decided it was time to shave her head, her head was perfectly round. My Pappaw who was balding used to say that God only made a few perfect heads, and the others God put hair on. The thing about mom is her beauty is not only external, but it is internal and radiates outward. Do you know anyone like that?

Now to our story, Abram and Sarai are about to go into Egypt. Sarai is about 65 years old, and apparently her beauty has not faded. She is still very desirable by men. Ladies, let’s sit on this one for a moment. She was 65 years old and could still turn heads, but she was a woman with a broken heart and empty arms because she had no child of her own. How often have you judged another woman based on her appearance? Do you really know what is going on in that woman’s life to sit in the seat of judgment? On the surface, Sarai looked like she had it all…beauty, a rich husband, a godly husband, wealth, but if anyone had bothered to get to know her for who she was and find out the condition of her heart, I wonder what they would have found. Be careful when you judge based on appearances. You assume things you shouldn’t.

There are all different kinds of beauty in women – exotic, natural, Nordic, authentic. When I think of Sarai being beautiful and desirable at 65, I think of someone like Sophia Loren. If you don’t know who she is, google her. Exotic beauty. The primary concern for Abram in entering Egypt wasn’t for his wife, it was for himself. He wanted to make sure his own hide was protected…so much for chilvary (haha). Abram instructs Sarai to tell everyone that they were siblings. I wouldn’t recommend sitting on that for too long. This isn’t an all out lie. She is his ½ sister. Same father, different mother. The sin, of course, is in the omission. Sarai was not to mention that she was Abram’s wife because Abram was afraid the Egyptians would kill him in order to take Sarai to the Pharaoh to be one of his concubines. Instead, Sarai is taken to the Pharaoh, and Abram lives.

Let’s sit on this one for a moment. Abram has been growing in his relationship with God. God just keeps on blessing and blessing Abram. God has promised Abram he is going to become a great nation, and here Abram is afraid for his life. Abram is afraid for his life and takes matters into his own hands. If Abram who has been walking with God, hearing God, seeing God and receiving God’s blessing, doesn’t have the faith to believe that God would protect him, what does that tell us? HE’S HUMAN! Abraham is actually listed in the hall of fame of faith in Hebrews 11, and his faith had lapses and times of weaknesses. If Abram’s faith had lapses and had times of weaknesses, don’t you think your faith might as well? Can't tell you how many times I've beat myself up over my lack of faith. Stay with me, and we’ll see how Sarai and Abram’s faith changes.

Okay, back to the story. Sarai was va-va-va-voom, and Abram told her to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister. What do you think Sarai did? Yup, she followed. (See prior blog.) She submitted. Let’s see what happens when a wife submits.

Sarai was taken into the palace to live with the Pharaoh, and Abram got paid. He hit pay dirt. Pharaoh gave Abram sheep, cattle, donkeys, manservants and maidservants and camels according to Genesis 12:14-16. Was Abram’s instruction to Sarai right? No. He asked her to lie. A lie of omission is a lie just the same. Did Sarai do as her husband instructed? Yes. What does God do? He sends a serious disease on Pharaoh and his household, and Pharaoh figured it out and was ticked. Abram was willing to allow his wife, his love to become the wife or concubine of another just to save his own skin.

Here’s the thing. Abram screwed up. Abram proved he was human and had weaknesses. But God isn’t. The blessing that God had given Abram did not become null and void when Abram messed up. Abram may have breached his faith, but God never does. God keeps His promises. God restored Sarai to Abram, and they left Egypt.

I wonder what would have happened if Sarai hadn’t submitted. We will never know. You know why she submitted though? Love. She loved her husband. She wanted to protect her husband. She wanted to support her husband. What does your act of submission tell your husband? What does your act of submission tell your family, your children, your friends and your neighbors? You may not always like it. You may not always enjoy it, but you will be held accountable for it…like it or not. What does your LACK of SUBMISSION SAY? Sarai's external beauty may be what caught her husband’s eye, but her heart and her ability to submit, her internal beauty may have been what kept her close to Abram’s heart.

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