Monday 27 May 2013



King David had one consuming desire. He wanted to continually dwell in God’s presence and gaze upon God’s beauty.

 “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)

What exactly is the “beauty of the Lord”?

Since God is invisible, what can we possibly appreciate when we “gaze upon His beauty”? Is there such a thing as “beauty of the Lord” in the first place?

If anything, God is not beautiful, judging by externals. The prophet Isaiah described Jesus as having “no form or majesty that we should look at Him and no beauty that we should desire Him” (Isaiah 53:2b).

If Jesus were to present Himself before us today, He would not appear rugged, macho, handsome or dashing. He will not make heads turn. The ladies, especially, would not be going gaga after Him.

What then is so beautiful about God?

When we consider God’s wondrous creation in nature, we are simply awestruck by its beautywhether it is the sun setting on the horizon or the majesty of the Iguazu Falls.


When we consider man, we marvel at the beauty of God’s intricate design: “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14).

Apart from God’s beauty in nature and man, we can also appreciate the beauty of the Lord in three areas:

First, it is remarkable that God chooses to dwell in the hearts of believers. Dispelling the image of a cold, distant, over-judgmental celestial Beingever ready to whip us into submissionHe is a personal God. In fact, He is like a father to us.

“To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).

“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16).

He is so personal that He calls us His friends: “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you” (John 15:15). 

Secondly, God’s beauty lies in His incomprehensible love, grace and mercy and humility towards us. His favour towards us who believe is immeasurable.

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

“Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
 who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
(Psalm 103:2-5)

“Jesus made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

Thirdly, what is so beautiful about God is His power which can accomplish incredible things for us, within us and through us.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20).

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12).

Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive” (John 7:38-39).

Let’s pause for a few moments to consider these incredible truths concerning God’s power. Though Jesus’ miracles are great, believers can also perform such great actsand much more because the Holy Spirit is working in and through us. Isn’t that mind-boggling?

When David was spending time in God’s presence, what struck him concerning the “beauty of the Lord” were certainly not superficial and external things. It’s all about the attributes of God, His unchanging promises, mighty acts and favour towards those who are faithful. All these things make God beautiful.

To gaze upon the beauty of the Lord is to contemplate the glorious excellence and perfection that can only be found in God.

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
    yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
 I will consider all your works
    and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
(Psalm 77:11-12)

When we gaze upon His beauty, we are filled with a sense of awe and gratitude. Such an attitude results in praise, thanksgiving and service.

Getting ourselves immersed in worship is so important. For worship brings down God’s presence and paves the way for effective service.


To gaze upon God’s beauty is positive. To attempt to give God a makeover is not. It is dangerous when we insist on modifying God’s image and making Him more agreeable and acceptable to us.

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