Summary: Beauty and wisdom draw us to Christ. False beauty, the kind that breaks covenants and leads astray, draws us to destruction and death. This is a combination of two Devotional meditations on Proverbs 2:9-15 & 16-18
9. then you will understand right and justice and equity and everything good.
10. when wisdom comes into your heart, and knowledge into your soul, it’s delightful (beautiful);
11. good plans will keep you; understanding will guard you, 12. to keep you from the evil person who speaks perverse things, 13. who leave the upright roads to walk on the paths of darkness, 14. who are happy to do evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil people 15. who’s roads are crooked, and their paths deviant
Beauty (delight), Good Plans & Understanding Guard You
Have you seen Niagra Falls?
The Taj Mahal?
Have you seen majestic Everest, or the Alps from venues in Switzerland?
Have you seen Lucerne, the city on a lake, or Aizawl, city in the clouds?
Driven through the black forest at midday, breathed in the cool evening breezes of Budapest, looked down at the tallest buildings of Chicago, or up at the spires of New York, breakfasted in the Space Needle of Seattle . . . Have you had tea in the Compass Rose in Singapore, sailed the seas between the islands of the Philippines, flown into Hong Kong at sunrise, and looked up at the stars over Japan, then down at the starry landscape at midnight, sat, awed by the glory of Shasta over coffee, taken in sunset on the beach of Newport? Have you viewed the Leonid meteor showers from the top of Saddleback Mountain one year, and the peaks of Arunachal Pradesh another? Have you heard (in person) Beethoven’s 9th performed by a great orchestra, or taken in the tones of some of the greatest performers of our time? Have you performed with accomplished ensembles and felt the rush of glory as you are part of a team recreating some of the most beautiful creations of the human mind?
I’ve experienced all these things. Each time I was in awe of the splendor of God’s creation, on one hand, and human creative genius on the other. Beauty lifts us up and enriches us. Maybe this is part of the reason that research shows that brain degenerative diseases are less debilitating and more delayed among people who have travelled and the same results for those who are musicians. We have a disproportionate experience of beauty that most humans can only imagine.
All of these experiences in no way eclipse the amazement of discovering a treasure in a verse of Scripture, an insight after ruminating over a passage, a leap of the soul as the LORD speaks and moves the spirit in prayer. The day-to-day Presence of the One who loves us is a beauty that is only reflected in these mirrors of Beauty. I think in this sense, Plato was right. He envisioned all such things, beauty, good, truth, grace, and even things like horses and fish, as being reflections-imperfect but glorious representations of Models or Forms found in heaven. The idea of forms isn’t exactly biblical. But the concept that all goodness, all truth, all beauty, all love are found most fully in Christ, and that all other forms of these virtuous realities serve to draw us to Him, is biblical. When we have a burst of understanding, we are drawn closer to that Mind from which all understanding flows. It is, as Solomon says, delightful.
The Results of Good Plans & Understanding
Good plans and understanding keep you from people who:
1. Speak perverse things
2. Leave upright roads to walk in darkness
3. Are happy to do evil
4. Enjoy the perversity of others
5. Tread roads that are crooked and deviant. (they don’t walk the straight & narrow)
Here’s the problem.
We live in a world where most people
1. use foul language and tell dirty jokes
2. don’t mind the road that is dark and crooked
3. don’t mind doing things that are “under the table” or involve bribery or grey areas
4. speaking of grey, they don’t mind 50 shades of it, and want to influence you to watch films where others are doing perverse things.
If you’re wise according to this definition, you may end up finding it difficult to find even one good friend-one who walks with you on the straight and narrow, who is careful with words-using them for blessing and good and truth, who shuns evil and embraces good, and simple clean humor, and enjoys beauty and excellence and integrity. If this is so, so be it. Have only a few good friends, and be guarded among those who don’t fit this restrictive definition. This is how wisdom directs us. The good news is, the life directed this way becomes more beautiful and joyous and fruitful as the years pass.
Prayer for Today
We want to walk only on the path that leads to You