(Taken from http://cojs.org/three_graces_coin-_c-_300_ce/)
Have you ever seen the statue called the “Three Graces?” Apparently, it is so famous that many artists through-out history have created statues and paintings depicting an image of the “Three Graces.” I recently discovered that Seneca wrote that the “Three Graces” stood for the “3-fold aspect of generosity: the giving, the receiving, and the returning of benefits.” I have not been able to stop thinking of the “Three Graces”. I am seeing it everywhere.
(Taken from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Le_tre_Grazie.jpg)
I once heard a message by Dr. David deSilva on Reciprocity and Patronage. Dr. deSilva emphasized that Seneca stated that the beauty of the “Three Graces” is that the three are in a circle where their generosity never ends. As one gives the other in turn gives it to another and it invariably will return to the initial giver. The circle is never ending. Dr. deSilva also pointed out that the women are always depicted as young because the act of giving should never go long without giving in return. The beauty of the graces is that it is done in haste not because one must, but because one cannot help, but do so because the gift automatically prompts the desire to give so generously because one now knows the wonder and awe of receiving the gift.
(Taken from https://www.arsmundi.com/en/artwork/the-three-graces-pompeii-mural-painting-467635.html)
I wish I could go and sit and just look at the statues or some of the paintings of this wonderful concept depicted in art. What a gift to communicate such a profound message through images! It causes me to stop in awe and want to be speedy to give grace. This morning as I read Isaiah, I found a verse written to the nation of Moab! It is important to recognize that Moab was a nation known for idolatry and arrogance. The prophet Isaiah was giving them a warning. In his warning, I found this verse.
Isaiah had just told Judah to receive the outcasts of Moab and now he is challenging Moab to receive the outcasts of Judah. I realized that Isaiah was writing about the gift of reciprocity among the nations! If Isaiah were able to talk to us about the statues of the “Three Graces” I believe he would have given a hearty, “Yes!’ You get it! We must speed the cause of righteousness! Be kind! Remain faithful and dwell under the house of God! Seek justice!” The crazy beauty of Isaiah is that he is a prophet that cared deeply even for the enemies of God.
As we reflect on Isaiah’s heart for the nations, we discover that he worried about the fate of the nations. This is a lesson for us to observe and learn from so must we worry, too!
If I may I would like to rewrite Isaiah 16:5 in descriptive way, in place of king I am going to write leader. Sometimes, I do this to help me develop a deeper understanding of what God might ask of me or those around me. Consider the message this might bring to us.
Oh, leader serve in kindness born from benevolent love and it will be done unto you. As you lead, do so in truth born in the faithfulness of character that provides protection and aid to those in need. Dwell with the Almighty- Most High God. Let Him be your shelter in and out of season. Be quick to seek justice by doing right and reconciliation will occur among those around you. Dear leader, speed your cause toward righteousness. Do not be slow in doing what must be done. Be quick in giving kindness and allow your benevolence to be known to all. Give protection to those in need, for in doing so, you will one day meet your own need.
When I read this verse, I see the beauty of the “Three Graces” coming alive. I want it! Don’t you!
In what ways have you observed the beauty of the “Three Graces” taking hold in your life? Have you known the beauty of giving, receiving, and returning benefits? How might this idea cause you to want to speed toward righteousness? What might these look like for your nation or people group?