What Is Beautiful to God?

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How does God define beautiful? The word itself occurs only nineteen times in the King James Old Testament (Genesis 29:17, Deuteronomy 21:11, etc.). It is recorded, however, only four times in the New Testament (Matthew 23:27, Acts 3:2, 10, Romans 10:15).

If we define as beautiful things observable by the senses, then God would likely view a sunrise or sunset he created as such. The music of an angelic choir, a green forest, or a well-kept garden might also solicit such an evaluation from the Eternal as well. Beauty, however, goes far deeper with him than that.

The prophet Samuel learned a valuable lesson about what is beautiful to God. He thought David's brother had the looks to be Israel's next king. The Lord, however, told him, "Do not look on his face . . . for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1Samuel 16:7, HBFV throughout). Because David's attitude and heart was beautiful he was specially chosen to be the human king of the Israelites (1Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22).

´╗┐Anyone striving to obey their heavenly Father and keep his commandments (Exodus 20:3 - 17, Deuteronomy 5:7 - 21) are beautiful to him. Imagine his pleasure with anyone who worships him and him alone, who keeps his name pure and holy, and who joyfully observes his holy Sabbath and annual feast days. How wonderful it must be for him to see a person who truly honors his parents in everything he does!

In the book of Psalms, we learn much about praise. David proclaimed he would praise the Lord (Psalm 7:17) even in the midst of many other people (Psalm 22:22). He stated he would rejoice over him seven times a day (Psalm 119:164), as long as he lived (Psalm 104:33), with his whole heart (Psalm 9:1), and with singing (Psalm 61:8) and dancing (Psalm 150:4). All this rejoicing must be increasing pleasing to our heavenly Father!

The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "Diligently study to show yourself approved unto God" (2Timothy 2:15). Study requires an enquiring mind, so it must be beautiful to him to find someone who searches the scriptures to find the truth, then commits himself to it.

Faithfulness must also generate this response from the Eternal. What must he have felt when he heard Ruth declare her beautiful and pure love for Naomi with her wonderful poem (Ruth 1:16 - 17)!

The Good News Bible tells us, "Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a real blessing" (Psalm 127:3). Jesus recognized this when children were brought to him so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them (Matthew 19:13 - 15). How beautiful it must be to the Eternal to see parents teaching their children the right way of life (Proverbs 22:6).

Those who are forgiving (Matthew 6:14), possess a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18), live a life of are loving and giving (Matthew 5:42, 44) and all those who possesses a repentant mind (Job 42:5 - 6) are beautiful to God. It must be especially wonderful when someone repents, and changes from the old ways to the ways of the Creator when the truth is revealed.

One of the greatest miracles in the early New Testament church occurred in Jerusalem's temple, at a gate called Beautiful (Acts 3:2).

The gate, which faced the rising sun, was deemed to be magnificent because it was made of Corinthian brass and was adorned with thick plates of silver and gold. One day the gate fulfilled its name to the full when Peter and John, through the power of God, healed a lame man and had a chance to preach about Christ (Acts 3:9 - 26).

The only other early church reference to beauty, not found in the book of Acts, is in Romans 10. It is here that we discover one of the greatest things that the heart of God delights in. Paul writes, "How beautiful are the feet of those who announce the gospel of peace, and those who announce the good news of good things!" (Romans 10:15, HBFV).

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