The Beauty of the Lord

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What is the beauty of the Lord? Who are the only two Biblical writers who wrote about it?

The word "beauty" appears in only 49 verses in the King James Bible. Of those occurrences only two, Psalm 27:4 (written by King David) and 90:17 (originally composed by Moses and likely written down by priests who served during David's life) use the term "beauty of the Lord."

One thing have I desired . . . to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple (Psalm 27:4, KJV)

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it (Psalm 90:17, KJV)

King David never thought of the beauty of God as inconsequential, but as a valuable gem to be desired. He saw things in him that most people overlooked and still overlook today. Like a gemologist who looks beyond the outward appearance of a diamond or other stone to see the beauty that is inside, the Bible invites us to contemplate and meditate on the Lord to discover his inner qualities.

Beautiful woman symbolizing Christians
Beautiful woman symbolizing Christians
Alessandro Allori, 1600 - 10

In Psalm 27 David sees the Lord as his light, his salvation, and his strength (verse 1). Despite armies gathering against him, David had peace and confidence (verse 3). He recognized God as being approachable (verse 4), and his protector (verse 5). He knew God enjoys praise and music (verse 6), and that he is merciful (verse 7).

Even if his parents might abandon him, David knew the Lord would be his protector forever (Psalm 27:10). He saw God as a teacher and a leader (verse 11). In all things, he saw God's goodness. He urges us to wait on him and "be of good courage, and He shall make your heart strong" (verse 14, HBFV translation).

Moses also recognized the beauty of God. He knew, despite having no home for forty years during the Israelites' sojourn in the wilderness, that the Lord provided refuge for them (Psalm 90:1). Unlike precious gems which had a beginning, and will have an end, Moses recognized God as being eternal (verse 2), and that man's time is nothing compared to his (verse 4). Even though man returns to the dust he was created from (Genesis 3:19, Psalm 90:3), and may perish by the Eternal's anger (verse 7), he recognized the Lord and his ability to have pity and mercy on those who serve him (verses 13 - 14).

Moses asked the Lord to show his mighty deeds to those who were alive back then, and to let their descendants (us) see his glorious might (Psalm 90:16). In the end, he prays for God's kindness and that he "Make us successful in everything we do" (verse 17, God's Word translation).

Other attributes of God are grace (Genesis 6:8, Luke 2:40), a giver of good and perfect gifts (John 4:10, Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8, James 1:17), and the source of all love (1John 4:9, 16). Is the beauty of the Lord displayed in other ways? Yes! However, they are so numerous it took the entire Bible to enumerate them.

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