Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Our society seems to elevate charm and beauty to levels of divinity. At least that’s the impression I get from every magazine I see on the rack at Peak Performance Fitness Center. I have yet to see a cover with “Kim Kardashian Candidly Discusses Her Fear of the Lord!” Though it’s quite possible I missed that issue.
But the “magazine” of Proverbs tells us that what is worthy of praise in people is much deeper than a charming personality or physical beauty, though those two could be included in the total package I guess. You know, a triple-threat person.
Listen to Chales Bridges’ no-nonsense words in his 19th century study of Proverbs:
A graceful form and manner often end in disappointment, more bitter than words can tell, because they are often just a cover-up for the vilest corruptions. And then outward beauty–what a fading vanity it is! One siege of sickness sweeps it away. Sorrow and care wither its charms. And even while it remains, it contributes little to our happiness. It proves a frequent occasion of trouble and the source of many harmful temptations and snares; and, without honor and uprightness, it becomes to a well-judging mind, an object of disgust rather than attraction.
In case you have any anxiety over whether or not you have committed the unpardonable sin, well, you haven’t. For this anxiety shows that you still have a heart condition capable of repentance.
In the historical context of this passage, these scribes were so against God as revealed by Jesus, that they ascribed God’s very Spirit the power of demonic activity. They were calling what is good evil. When we do not see the difference between good and evil, we are in serious trouble. More and more I see the danger of blurring the lines to the point of proclaiming that evil does not exist.
There can come a point in which one is so entrenched in pride and self-righteousness, that one sees no need for forgiveness of anything. If good is evil and evil is good, then what needs forgiving? If you cannot distinguish light from dark and dark from light, you are, in this state, beyond the pale of repentance, for you see nothing to turn from.
You might say that the only sin that is unforgivable is the sin of thinking that you do not need forgiveness.
It is in this place where you deny the Holy Spirit’s power, indeed, you blaspheme it.