Summary: The beauty of God is greater than the ugliness of our fear.
“A Beauty Greater Than Our Fears, Part 1: Beauty Has a Name.”
- Set context for the Psalm – 2 Sam 15
I. Intro – Mole, Dr. called, tornado, Child not home yet; these are the times when fear grips our hearts and cripples us with thoughts of the worst possibilities. How do we deal with these fears? David turns his attention to the beauty of God. We see that there is a beauty greater than our fears; this is what we will focus on…
II. What is the Beauty of the Lord?
A. The loss of Beauty
1. As we read this phrase, we have an immediate disconnect. This is odd to us because we think of beauty as something that is seen; yet, God is unseen. How can a being we can’t see be beautiful?
2. Our culture has made beauty something completely external, “beauty is only skin deep.”
3. And that it is relative. It is now said, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”
4. Because we have bought into this lie, we do not understand how David can say that God, who is unseen, is beautiful; and therefore, we’ve stopped speaking this way. In speaking to one another, we do well to remind each other that God is loving, or that he is in control, but when was the last time you heard someone speak of God’s beauty?
5. Christian used to talk this way (hymns, Puritan writings)
a. Jonathan Edwards, “Sweet Excellencies,” “Altogether Lovely,”
i. “Fairest Lord Jesus”
“Beautiful Savior, Lord of all nations, Son of God and Son of man! Glory and honor, Praise, adoration, Now and forevermore be Thine!”
ii. “Thou Lovely Source of True Delight” – Ann Steele, 1760
6. We now have to ask the question, “What is beauty?”
B. The Source of Beauty – God Himself
1. We find in the Scriptures that Beauty has a definition, it has a name, it has a prime source that is the fountain of all other beauty– God Himself is beauty.
2. God’s beauty is his perfections. His power is beautiful; etc. but it is not simply that they are eternal that makes them beautiful; rather, it is their relationship to one another.
3. It is the interplay of all his attributes as they are seen together that is his beauty.
4. ILL – colors on a painting
5. So, when we look at God, we behold One who possesses an “admirable conjunction of diverse qualities.”
a. We do not simply see a being that is all powerful, but one that uses his unlimited power in conjunction with his unsurpassing wisdom, and all-encompassing goodness, to bring about the most wise, and most good thing that is possible for those whom he has set his eternal love upon.
b. So, as we see all of God’s divine attributes displayed together, the only conclusion is that he is beautiful.
6. Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder; rather, that which is beautiful is only beautiful in so much as it reflects something about God. This is why when the Scriptures speak to us about our beauty, it is in terms of godly characteristics.
a. “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” Ps. 29:2
b. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” 1 Peter 3:3-4
c. It is when we reflect God’s beauty that we are beautiful; we know this intrinsically….
d. APP – Young people, as you think about the type of person you want to date or marry, look beyond the physical appearances, and see if that person has a beautiful heart that reflects the heart of God; and then ask your self if that person will find your heart to be beautiful.
7. Summarize point – there is an external beauty, but it is the internal beauty that is first and foremost.
III. How Do We Behold the Beauty of the Lord?
1. What does it mean to behold this beauty? The word used is a special word, it means to see something that is divinely revealed from God. In other words, we don’t behold the beauty of God in the same way we behold a magnificent sunset; rather, it means to behold God as he reveals himself to our heart by faith.
2. “The harmony of all his attributes is the beauty of his nature. With an eye of faith and holy love we with pleasure behold this beauty, and observe more and more in it that is amiable, that is admirable. When with fixedness of thought, and a holy flame of devout affections, we contemplate God’s glorious Excellencies, and entertain ourselves with the tokens of his peculiar favor to us, this is that view of the beauty of the Lord which David here covets, and it is to be had in his ordinances, for there he manifests himself.” Matthew Henry.