Thursday, October 31, 2013
What Does the Bible Say About Beauty?
The Bible has much to say about what makes things beautiful in God's sight. It covers all areas of beauty as defined in Webster's dictionary thus: "1. That quality or aggregate of qualities in a thing which gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit; physical, moral, or spiritual loveliness. 2. A beautiful person or thing, esp. a beautiful woman. 3. A particular grace, ornament, or excellence; anything beautiful; as the beauties of nature." We would do good for ourselves and others to see the things that are beautiful in God's sight.It is interesting to note that the word "beauty" is not found in the New Testament and that "beautiful" is found only 4 times in it. "Beautiful" is found 19 times and "beauty" is found 49 times in the Old Testament. "Beauties" is found once and "beautify" is found 3 times in the Old Testament.The Bible does refer to several women as being beautiful. It warns men not to allow the beauty of a woman to lead them into adulterous activities. The real beauty of a woman is not external, but rather it is an inner beauty that shines out of her beautiful spirit of love and kindness. This kind of a woman would never do anything to seduce a man to commit adultery or fornication with her. She is encouraged to live a life of devotion to God and His ways. Such a woman will not dress in such a way as to be referred to as being "sexy." She will not accent parts of her body to call attention to herself. See 1 Peter 3 for instruction on how this is to be done in a family setting.The Bible tells us about the "beauty of holiness." See 1 Chronicles 16:8-36. This is the way we are to "worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." See 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 to see how the Israelites won over their enemies when they praised "the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2 tells us to "Give to the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 96 gives us the reason we should "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness:" and "fear before Him, all the earth." The most beautiful thing that can happen to a person is to "worship God in spirit and in truth." 2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us what to do to perfect "holiness."In Ecclesiastes 3:11 we are told that God "has made everything beautiful in its time." Timing has much to do with a beautiful life of holy living. Most of you have probably never heard of this before. In this chapter we find 14 contrasting activities that are "beautiful in its time." If the timing is wrong, the action is very destructive to everyone involved. The beauty is changed into ashes.Only God can make an ugly thing beautiful. He can take a person that is lost and undone and make that person into a vessel of honor. How He does this is beyond our natural ability. Just because a person is ugly-spirited now, does not mean there is no hope of ever being changed into something beautiful. The Bible and history attest to this. The testimonies of God's redeeming love and grace are all around us.In the Song of Solomon 7:1a we read, "How beautiful are your feet with shoes, O prince's daughter!" On the other hand, Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15b tell us "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" God is more interested in our feet being "shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" rather than our beautiful shoes. Man looks on the outward appearance and God looks at the heart. See Ephesians 6:10-19 to see how the whole armor of the Lord makes for a beautiful sight in God's eyes.In summary, the things of God's creation, whether physical or spiritual are beautiful. The things that dishonor God are ugly. God is in the business of turning ugly things into beautiful ones. See Isaiah 61 to see what God's intentions are for our lives.