Diamonds are a girl's best friend, which makes this particular subject a controversial one for readers of this blog. Whether or not the wearing of jewelry is biblically acceptable, however, needs to be examined and proven by Scripture. I mean, no matter what it is, we should be wanting and willing to lay it all down for our God's glory.
Here's a well-known verse in the modesty community, one which speaks of the inner, hidden beauty of the heart as being far preferable to what's outside. Wearing gold here is labeled as merely outward and superficial, and as this denotes a type of jewelry, let's let this open up our study as we look into some other mentions and verses throughout Scripture.
Jewelry and Strange Worship
Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. Genesis 35:2–4
The correlation between strange gods and jewelry in this verse is profoundly clear. In fact, as we will continue to see from biblical references, jewelry was an integral part of heathen worship and lifestyles. Wearing jewelry meant protection from curses or demons, and was also a custom supposed to be pleasing to false gods. So when Jacob began the process of purging his house of all the heathen worship practices that had been carried with them from his father-in-law's land, he's very clear on everyone putting away all the strange gods and changing their garments, including the removal of jewelry. This was part of the cleansing process, and after it was completed in them, the Bible goes on to say how the holy fear of Yahweh was “upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.” They had been cleansed, and their Father was with them.
And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) …And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. Judges 8:24, 27
Notice how the bible connects the fact that those to whom Gideon was addressing had gold jewelry (earrings) because of their being Ishmaelites. This is significant because the Ishmaelites were known to be a heathen people—see Psalm 83:5–6—and so of course they would be wearers of jewelry in accordance to their idolatrous worship.
We are very much responsible for spiritually aiding our brothers and sisters and not tripping them up (see Romans 14:13), which is why the command in Deuteronomy 7 is so lovely. The people that our Father casts out (refer to Deuteronomy 7:1) are not the people who's customs and practices are what we should be borrowing from. The world is not set-apart for our Father, nor does it intend to be; and those who seek to mingle heathenry in their worship to the One True God tread on dangerous grounds. Not only are they themselves to be ensnared, but they heap upon their heads the sins of many on-looking souls. May the account of Gideon and his snare be a lesson and warning for us.
How We Should Make Ourselves Beautiful
Let's begin to understand a different view of jewelry from Scripture. On top of studying the literal practice of wearing gold and jewels and it's connection to strange worship, I want to bring up some key points in the Bible's symbolical use of jewelry. When the WORD speaks of jewelry and various adornment in a symbolical way, it conveys the nature of doctrines inside individuals, and how that affects our appearance in the sight of our Father in Heaven.
NOTE: The following passages and verses from Scipture really demand a thorough reading of the whole chapters
to understand where they are coming from and the key points being made. I suggest that you read Ezekiel 16 and Jeremiah 4 for the best understanding.
In both of these passages we can see symbolic language depicting the relationship between Yahweh and His people, Israel. This is especially clear towards the end of verse 13 in Ezekiel 16, where it says that the “woman” prospered into a kingdom, meaning “she” would have to be suggestive of a collective people. Both passages also deal with Israel wearing jewelry, but one is shown in a positive light while the other is shown in a negative light. The issue at hand is how Israel was made comely: In one passage, God decked Israel in jewels and fine clothing, while in the other passage, she put on her own jewels and clothing in an effort to give herself her own beauty.
No matter our efforts, they will always be in vain. We cannot give ourselves any amount of real beauty. Worthwhile beauty—beauty recognized by God—is the inner man of the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Peter 3:4; Ephesians 3:16). The heart—wherein should dwell the truth of God's WORD and what makes up the character—is something that we cannot change or add to. All goodness comes from the Father (James 1:17)—and that remains true with both internal and external beauty. We can of our own selves do nothing.
Ezekiel tells the story of how Israel was found by God, and how He made her beautiful. We know that His truth is what set her apart and made her lovely above any other nation or people. When our Father gives to His sons or daughters His truth, and they partake of it through the Spirit of His Son, it changes them from the inside out, giving them a beautiful character and pure doctrines.
On the other hand, going back to the passage from Jeremiah chapter 4, when we take our hearts into our own hands and give our lives things that we think will make us beautiful individuals, either one of two things will happen. The first option is that we try to give ourselves the things of God without receiveing His gifts from Him. Since we cannot give ourselves one ounce of merit or truth this will in end in empty forms and motions void of the Son of God Himself. The second possible path we could take is to make ourselves comely unto the world, adopting acceptable practices and lifestyles which will help us fit in and feel comfortable. Either way, we are spiritually decking ourselves out when we do this which avails to nothing.
And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Malachi 3:17
Father wants to adorn you with jewels and call you His jewel. He wants to make you beautiful within, and then reflect that inward loveliness on the outside. But in order for Him to do this in you, you need to want it with all your heart, ask for it, and seek it as if it were a precious treasure (Matthew 7:7–11; Matthew 13:44). Lastly, you need to cease from giving yourself an empty beauty through your own efforts and the ways of the world. Don't try to make yourself beautiful through means of strange worship or empty externals, ask of God for true inward beauty and He will give you His Son.
The main take-away for me in this study is how sold out we need to be to our Father. Is there anything He hasn't done or isn't willing to do for us, and yet we still want to maintain this affection for a certain thing or part of our life which rejects Him and His ways? These affections or interests which conflict with our closeness to our Father are different for everyone, but for us daughters the struggle can be real with jewelry. Our Abba doesn't want us to be lukewarm, my sisters, He would rather us be cold than lukewarm. (See Revelation 3:14–22.) He desires for us to be sold out and on fire for Him in all we do, and that sacred passion should touch every aspect of our lives. Amen?!
The strength a sister can give to her sister is a true gift. I pray that these posts may be uplifting, inspiring, and motivating. All centered around modesty and biblical femininity in a modern world. Hugs! ❤︎ Erica