David could see something that no one before him could see. No other figure in the Old Testament so captured the heart of God than David. David expressed the one thing he longed for more than anything else, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that I will seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:4, NKJV). What an outrageous statement!
Just “one thing?” I would have thought as a king and warrior that David’s mind would be dwelling on: defeating the enemies of God or advancing the kingdom of God. But, David is focused in on the beauty and majesty of God. David is the preeminent theologian of the beauty of God. David cultivated a new worldview; a new way of looking at God—in His beauty.
What is the beauty of God? For contemporary science the first trait of beauty is, “elegant simplicity,” as in Einstein’s theory of gravitation. Theologian, Wayne Grudem defines the beauty of God as, “that attribute of God whereby he is the sum of all desirable qualities.” Philosophical realism through the centuries has taught us that the beautiful is that which has unity, harmony, symmetry, wholeness and radiance. Saint Thomas defined beauty as pulchra sunt quae visa placent, (beauty are those things which when seen, please).
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ sums up all beauty. It is the sum of all the parts—philosophically, scientifically and theologically.
Gazing on the Beauty,
Steve Holt D.D. MA