The human soul is drawn to beauty. We crave it. We hunger for it. A quick look through history will evidence how humanity has constantly been on a quest for beauty and all that it encompasses. I’ve heard it said that the standard of beauty has changed over the centuries. But this simply isn’t true. God is the creator of all that is good and beautiful. He Himself is the standard of beauty. God doesn’t change. So the standard of beauty has never changed. It is people who have changed, and naturally there is some confusion. What is beauty?
Beautiful is that which is good, that which is undefiled, that which is pure. Beautiful is that which gives evidence to God’s created order. Beautiful is that which gives evidence to God’s love and care. Beautiful is that which gives evidence to God’s power and His might. Beautiful is that which points to God’s knowledge and wisdom. Beautiful is that which honors God.
The Psalmist wrote: “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4) One day, those who have trusted Christ as their Savior will stand face-to-face with the Standard and Creator of beauty, and we will be completely overwhelmed with fear and joy. “Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty; they will see a land that stretches afar.” (Isaiah 33:17) What a day that will be!
Every time I go on a hike, or take a drive through the Hills, I am confronted with the beauty of the LORD. Some days, I am more sensitive to it than others, more aware or willing to wonder. He draws my eye to those things of beauty that He has showered through His world, and my heart aches. I am struck by the beauty of the LORD, the glory of His creation, the love He has lavished on us in giving us so beautiful a world to live in, to taste, to see, to hear, to touch, to smell, or in giving us senses at all. Everything we see, including the fact that there is even such a concept as beauty, is evidence of Someone who is greater than I am, evidence that Someone instilled in each human the knowledge of a Creator God. We can suppress that knowledge. We can deny it. But that knowledge is there. Over the last year or so, ever since arriving in the Black Hills and beginning to attend church in Custer, I’ve been learning more and more about God’s sovereignty, even over the little things. I think as Christians we often forget the little things, even though it is those little things that are so often present for us to enjoy, reminding us of the goodness of our Savior. If every good and perfect gift really is from God, and if God truly is the standard of beauty, then those delights I enjoy while marveling at the sunlight caught in flower petals or the shimmering gold of early yellow leaves or the spots on a fawn, then those delights are gifts from the loving hand of God. If something draws my mind to Jesus Christ, then that is a gift and should be cherished. For the Christian, we should set our minds on those things that glorify God, those things that cause us to consider Him. We should cultivate eyes that see His beauty, a heart that yearns for His beauty, and lips that speak of it. Philippians 4:8 commands: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
How many ills in the Christian life would be cured, simply by reveling in and cherishing our glimpses of the King in His beauty!