The Beauty of the Lord
Beauty always appeals to the human heart. The Lord has given us marvelous visions of beauty in nature, and all around we see the perfection of His creatorial powers. The beauty of the fragrant rose, the loveliness of the violet, and the purity of the lily are always sources of delight to gaze upon.
However, the beauty of nature is fading and subject to decay. So is human loveliness and will sooner or later pass away. Alas, no beauty is permanent in this changing scene among the sons of men. But the beauty which surpasses all others is the excelling beauty of the Lord Jesus Christ. The psalmist expresses ardently in Psalm 27:4: “One thing have I desired 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 enquire in His temple.”
We may say in the language of the hymnist:
One thing, my Father only one
My heart desires of Thee
To know Thy well-Beloved Son
And all His beauty see.
The Holy Spirit delights to bring before our spiritual gaze glimpses of the beauty of the Lord Jesus. Among these, let us first of all consider:
The Beauty of His Character
The Lord of glory is the only One who ever possessed a character unstained by sin. His moral beauty could not be hidden. It shines out so brightly in His humanity, in His deity, and in His written Word. How rich the character He bears, exalted on the throne, in whom all glories shine. Think of:
The Beauty of His Walk
The pathway of our blessed Lord we would retrace with adoring hearts. Truly, it was one of unsullied holiness, a perfect path of purest grace, unblemished and complete. His perfect obedience to accomplish the Father’s will was displayed throughout His pathway to the cross. And the beauty of His love was displayed in His holy walk and seen in all its fullness in His glorious resurrection and ascension back to His heavenly Father.
Consider still further:
The Beauty of His Words
Many are the words which flowed from His blessed lips and today, as in every generation since the fragrance of His words were first heard, they bring comfort, joy, and peace to countless multitudes. The psalmist has exclaimed: “Thou art fairer than the children of men; grace is poured into thy lips; therefore God hath blessed thee forever” (Psalm 45:2). Only He alone provides words of secret power in hours of grief, and in loneliness, directs our hearts and minds to kindly thoughts of praise. The two disciples, at the end of the Emmaus journey, said one to another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us along the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32). Even His enemies had to confess, “Never man spoke like this man” (John 7:46).
What a joy to be occupied with the beauty of the Lord. We remember well the time in our life when the Lord of glory was nothing to us, and we were like the people whom the prophet Isaiah describes, who saw in Him “no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2). But the wonder of His grace, now He is to us the “chiefest among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10). We are reminded in the Song of Solomon of the supreme beauty of the Lord, and again in chapter 5 the daughters of Jerusalem challenge the Bride concerning her Beloved: “What is thy Beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us?” (v. 9). Then the Bride enumerates the loveliness of her Beloved, and exclaims: “My Beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thousand… His mouth is most sweet; yea, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend, O daughters of Jerusalem” (vv. 10, 16). Surely this is the language of every lover of the Lord Jesus Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom of our hearts.
Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts
Thy present smile a heaven imparts,
O lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy beauty see.
Finally, let us contemplate something of:
His Transforming Beauty
As we thoughtfully and intently gaze on the Lord’s beauty, we shall be transformed, in some measure at least, into His likeness. The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthian saints: “But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). What will it be to be completely transformed into the image of the Lord of glory when “we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2)! Even in the Old Testament, the Lord promised to His people through the prophet Isaiah: “Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17). The beauty of a face may win admiration, but only the beauty of a heart filled with Christ can attract others. Physical loveliness will eventually fade and decay, but the beauty of our Lord as we are occupied with Him, until at last “faith shall give place to sight and we shall see His face.” May we again say and sing with the hymnist:
O fix our earnest gaze,
So wholly, Lord, on Thee,
That with Thy beauty occupied,
We elsewhere none may see.