Ashes mean something that has been destroyed. This represents a situation where all hopes are lost, when all human efforts have been exhausted and the case has closed. Ashes represent total losses which nothing good can come out from.
Christians should understand that there is no close case with God, and neither is there any irreversible situation with him. Hence when God says I will give beauty for ashes means he will give us hope where there is no more hope.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 32 verses 17 and 27,
Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (Verse 17)
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? (Verse 27)
From the two scriptures above, we see that God is the last bus stop for that ordeal. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.
The phrase encourages us to look beyond our difficult circumstances. He reminded us that those things are only for a while, weeping may only endure for the night but joy will surely come in the morning for god’s people.
Where in the Bible can we find the phrase “Beauty for Ashes”?
Beauty for ashes can be found in the book of Isaiah 61 verse 3,
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
What is the message of Isaiah 61?
This phrase can be found in the book of Isaiah chapter 61. The entire chapter talks about the good news of salvation as written by Prophet Isaiah. It enlightens that the grace of God shines in Christ, and all that is in Christ is conveyed to us by the word.
Believers are admonished to understand that Jesus came at the appointed time and will come a second time accordingly also at God’s appointed time. As we wait for his second coming, we are left with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
David Guzik simply describes Isaiah 61 as the empowerment of the Messiah’s ministry, and the everlasting covenant between God and his people.
The covenant is unending, among others the chapter mentions, they shall rebuild the old ruins, they shall raise the former desolations, and they shall repair the ruined cities, the desolations of many generations.
God assures us that no destructive force in our lives is greater than his plan to keep and preserve us.
Prophet Isaiah closed the chapter by saying, I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
What does Beauty for Ashes mean in the Bible?
Beauty for Ashes is a promise of God to believers. The world we live in today is full of troubles, pains, and disappointments. This has brought fear and automatically has stolen the joy of many believers. It is important to know that Isaiah uses the Hebrew language which cannot be translated into English.
The Hebrew word for beauty as used in the phrase here refers to a headdress or turban. God is simply saying that he will wipe out the ashes upon your head and replace it with a beautiful headdress.
Ashes in the verse connote shame, grief, sicknesses, mourning, dishonour, and lots more ways that threaten the faith of believers. The phrase is a promise of glory from our heavenly father to restore us to the image in which we are created.
For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery for burnt offering; I will direct their work in truth, And will make with them an everlasting covenant. (Isaiah chapter 61 verse 8)
God gives us strength to remain strong during difficult times, courage to forge ahead during the storm, joy to keep us going, and finally takes us out fully restored.
What does Ashes symbolize in the Bible?
Ashes symbolize grief, mourning, and repentance. In ancient Israel, people wear ashes or sackcloth as a form of repentance. This practice extends to some modern-day believers. Catholics, with some other Christian denominations.
They have an ash cross drawn on their forehead on the first day of fasting referred to as Ash Wednesday.
On Ash Wednesday, which is the first of the 40-day season of Lent, many Christians observe the easter season with meditation and repentance.
To sprinkle with or sit in ashes was a mark or token of grief, humiliation, or repentance as in the case where Tamar put ashes on her head in 2 Samuel 13 verses 19 to 20
“Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly. And Absalom her brother said to her, Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. ”
We also have the case of Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, who puts on a sackcloth and ashes as a sign of mourning when he learns of Haman’s plan to annihilate his people.
When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes. (Esther 4 verses 1 to 3)
Ashes have long been linked with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is simply connected to the sufferings and deep sorrow of Jesus and his rebirth. Up till today, Christians wear ashes on the first day of Lent to mourn and recognize the pains and sorrow that our Lord Jesus suffered.
What does the Bible say about cremation?
Cremation is the process of burning the remains of a dead person into ashes. The process takes place in a specially-designed cremation chamber that holds one deceased person and exposes them to intense heat for about two hours.
This process serves as a funeral or post-funeral rite and as an alternative to burial in some countries in the world
The Bible refers to burial as a standard way of disposing of the dead in both the old testament and new testament. The tradition of the Israelites was to always bury their dead and not burn them. Jesus our perfect example was also buried in a tomb.
The first case of cremation in the bible was in the case of Saul and his sons.
Now when the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men arose and traveled all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh and burned them there. Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days. (1 Samuel 31 verses 11 to 13) This was done for a sanitary reason and not their normal tradition.
Some Bible verses that support Burial?
Here are some scriptures that reveal how people were buried, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah, before Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. (Genesis 23 verse 19)
Please let your servant turn back again, that I may die in my own city, near the grave of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him what seems good to you. (2 Samuel 19 verse 37)
Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. (Acts 2 verse 29)
But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. (John 20 verses 11 to 12)
What did the Bible say about beauty?
Beauty is from God and it is good, for anything that comes from God is good.
God desired his people to be beautiful. He made us beautiful in the first instance. It is idolized beauty that is bad.
Psalm 139 verse 14 says,
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.”
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. What is beautiful to one might be ugly to another person. Everyone has their definition and acceptable conditions of beauty. God’s definition of beauty supersedes what any other person termed beauty.
Men look at outward appearance to define beauty while God looks beyond.
Proverbs 31 verse 30 says,
“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”
1 Peter 3 verses 3 to 4 New International Version admonishes,
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. ”
The two scriptures above suggest that true beauty is linked to our relationship with God.
Some interesting Beauty quotes?
Everyone wants to be associated with beauty. Some authors had put together inspiring quotes on beauty. A few of those quotes are stated below:
Joseph B. Wirthlin
The more often we see the things around us – even the beautiful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives and the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.
Beauty is only skin deep. If you go after someone just because she’s beautiful but doesn’t have anything to talk about, it’s going to get boring fast. You want to look beyond the surface and see if you can have fun or if you have anything in common with this person.
God is a merciful God. He does not joke about the affairs of his children. This verse is one of the verses in the scripture that describes God’s compassion for believers. He said I will give you beauty for ashes. God is hurt when his children are hurt. He is glad when we are glad.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry. (Psalm 34 verse 15)
He did not say I will bring beauty from ashes but rather says I will give beauty for ashes. God is the author of everything you can imagine in heaven and the earth and he will never withhold anything from his children.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Psalm 84 verse 11)
He will not mend that ugly situation in you but rather give you a brand new life. It’s a new day for you, a new beginning of good tidings and good work.
Some people come to church on Sunday mornings with sorrowful heart, they attend Sunday school but their heart is somewhere else. God is set to replace that grief with the oil of gladness.
The right thing to do is to put that difficult event of the past behind you and submit yourself to the right hand of God, and he shall give you everlasting joy.