Deuteronomy 28:56, 57
The tender and delicate woman among you…
(Cf. Isaiah 3:16-26.) The queens of select society have little reason to be vain of their excessive and artificial delicacy. They need not pride themselves in it, or think that it entitles them to look haughtily on others. For -
I. DELICACY IS NOT CHARACTER. It is consistent with a vain, light, scornful, wicked disposition. The tender and delicate lady in this verse is one of the enemies of God. The purest types of female character avoid those extravagances of delicacy which, indulged in, become second nature. Character alone entities to respect. To be vain of beauty or breeding, when the heart is false and the life untrue to God, is to be vain of an ornamented husk within which lies rottenness. "'Tis only noble to be good."
II. DELICACY IS AN ACCIDENT OF FORTUNE. It is adventitious - an accident of position. Born in another sphere, she who boasts of it would not have had it. It is the product of artificial conditions, of which she reaps the benefit, but which she had no part in creating. It is not gained by her own exertions, or attributable to her worth or merit. If she values it, let her at least not despise others. She might have been the cottager, the cottager the lady.
III. DELICACY IS VALUELESS WHEN FORTUNE CEASES TO SMILE ON ITS POSSESSOR. No change of circumstances can rob of its value the possession of knowledge, talents, virtue, good breeding, or refinement. These will grace the humblest home, will prove a passport to respect in any society. It is different with the fastidious and excessive delicacy of the belle. So entirely is this an appendage of a certain social position that, when that is gone, it perishes like a crushed flower. The admirers of the delicate lady have deserted her. She is treated with coldness, even rudeness. No one so helpless, so dependent, as she. She shone, like the moon, in a reflected brightness, and, foolishly inconsiderate, gloried in it as something of her own.
IV. DELICACY MAY BE COMPELLED TO STOOP TO THE BITTEREST DEGRADATIONS. This is the lesson of the verses before us, and we need not dwell upon it. But the thought of such possibilities should quell pride and awaken awe. The depths of want and woe to which the most delicately nurtured may sink, are only paralleled by the possibilities of joy that lie hidden in the most wretched souls, if they will but forsake sin and give themselves up to Jesus and the guidance of his Spirit. - J.O.
Parallel VersesKJV: The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,
WEB: The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,