Putting Lipstick On A Pig



Putting Lipstick on a Pig

Much worldly activity makes very little sense in the eternal scheme of things. From a very short view point things may give pleasure only to deliver pain and suffering in the end. While there is no actual proverb about putting lipstick on a pig, 11:22 states that "Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion."  A pig is still a pig whether you put lipstick on it or a gold ring in its nose.

Throughout the book of Proverbs we will run into this contrast of the wisdom of God and the foolish things that man has become infatuated with. They are foolish no matter how much lipstick we put on them.

Riches take a leading role in this as men will sell their soul for temporary fortunes. "Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven" (Prov. 23:4-5).  Simply put: "…riches do not last forever…"  (Prov. 27:24).  "Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf" (Prov. 11:28).  Greater than riches is wisdom and godliness. "How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver" (Prov. 16:16, see also 3:14; 8:10; 8:19).

Easy sex also is addressed.  There are the two long stories of the adulteress and the simpleton who gave in to her (chapters 5 and 7).  Pleasure for the moment may be sweet but in the end it brings destruction.  Like a man who clutches hot coals to his breast gets burned, "so is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife; none who touches her will go unpunished" (Proverbs 6:29). God has provided not only the physical union of man and woman but he put it into a context of a loving, committed relationship that provides emotional, psychological, and spiritual support as well. Hence the admonition to 'enjoy waters from your own well..  '. Read the whole section in 5:15-21.  "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous" (Heb. 13:4).

The easy life (laziness) is often the desire of man. Even the desire to be rich comes in second to this desire! Labor is too much work! "A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,  and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man" (Proverbs 6:10-11). Pitiful excuses are made in order to deny such laziness. "There is a lion in the street…" (Prov. 22:13; 26:13). Paul's advice to the godly man in the New Testament is simply "let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need" (Ephesians 4:28).

Probably the greatest warning is simply against the foolish and arrogant trust in man's wisdom. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death" (Prov. 14:12). "Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him" (Prov.  26:12). Hence we are admonished to "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding"  and "be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil"  (Proverbs 3:5,7).

The goal of the book is to give wisdom and discretion. "The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth" (Prov. 1:1-4). It will provide a foundation from which one can make wise choices and choose the best goals. It keeps from unnecessary hurt. Real living begins with the fear of the LORD (Prov. 1:7; 9:10). Such a life then lives by the wisdom that He has provided in His word.  Lipstick on a pig is still just bacon.