“For me, a picture should be something likeable, joyous and beautiful—yes, beautiful. There are enough ugly things in life for us to add to them.” Pierre Auguste Renoir.
In Psalm 27:4, David writes that the, “one thing,” he desires is to, “behold the beauty of the Lord.” Amazing, even stupendous a statement. David’s identity was not wrapped up in being a king or leader, but in God. David’s focus of identity was found in God’s love and beauty.
David didn’t wake up each morning thinking about kingly duties or responsibilities but in this, “one thing.” David was absorbed by finding time to break free from his duties and dwell in the presence of God.
David was consumed with being with God, worshipping Him and experiencing His beauty and love.
In our day of instant gratification, 24-hour news, ballet recitals and family obligations, in a time where the only line is the bottom line, we might be tempted to look at David as out of step with our modern, more progressive times.
But I am musing these days on just how much I love beauty. It’s all around me. In the rivers and mountains, in people and in Jesus. Might it be that when we gaze upon beauty, we are gazing upon God? Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating some syncretism with Taoism or New Age philosophy, but rather the ultimate end. For the ultimate end of Scripture is always God’s glory. The ultimate end of all beauty is God’s glory.
The refulgence upon the creature, upon nature is a reflection of the luminary source. The beams of God’s glory are something of God and are a beautiful picture of some part of His glory.
Cultivating a new identity,
Steve Holt D.D. MA