Summary: Wisdom in Relating to Beauty Series: Wisdom for Life (Proverbs) Brad Bailey – August 5, 2018

Wisdom in Relating to Beauty

Series: Wisdom for Life (Proverbs)

Brad Bailey – August 5, 2018


We are continuing in our series entitled “Wisdom for Life.” Many describe our current culture as awash in knowledge but lost for wisdom. That is… we have access now to an overload of information… but are lack wisdom. Wisdom is defined best as the ability to know how life actually works…and what is the right response to the many choices we make. When given a choice to ask God for anything…. King Solomon of Israel ask God for wisdom…and it is that wisdom and more that made it’s way into the Biblical Book of Proverbs. So, we are drawing upon the Book of Proverbs to allow divine wisdom to speak to us.

To appreciate what God has to speak to us today… I think it will be helpful to ask a few questions. These questions are not meant to answer out loud… but to yourself. So let me ask us to consider four questions…and give a moment to allow us to ponder each of them.

1. Can you imagine something you find beautiful?

2. Can you imagine a world without beauty?

3. Can you think of how beauty can become vain?

4. Are you beautiful?

By reflecting on those 4 questions.. I believe we can begin to consider …our relationship to beauty.

We experience beauty as such a positive part of life…so much a part that it is almost hard to imagine a world without elements of beauty.

But it’s not hard to also sense the vanity that our relationship to beauty can bring.

And most of us at some level… feel quietly uncertain of being associated with beauty.

Today … hear God’s wisdom for relating to beauty.

We may not think about how we relate to the nature of beauty… but it is a profound and powerful part of our lives. Beauty speaks of all that we find pleasing to see and hear.. and how it effects us.

To appreciate the wisdom pf Proverbs… I want to help us grasp what the Scriptures tell us about the most fundamental nature of beauty.

Genesis 2:7 (NIV)

The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

When God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (v. 7), God was not only portraying man’s total dependence but also showing His desire for a relationship with man. The Hebrew word for “being” is also translated as “soul”…and is linked to the throat or the neck and accordingly has the connotation of desire, hunger, appetite, and longing. It is the same word used when the Psalmist declares: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul [nephesh] for You, O God” (Ps. 42:1). [1]

Our living nature is a nature that longs… that seeks a satisfaction that lies in God. We were created with a connection to the ultimate source of all beauty and good.

Then we read…

Genesis 2:9 (NIV)

And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground--trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.

That little phrase… “pleasing to the eye” implies something we shouldn’t miss. God created aa world in which His provision was not only practical… “good for food”…but included a sensory pleasure. It brought pleasure to the eye. And I think it is safe to say that it brought taste and touch. In other words… we were created to have a sensory relationship that is pleasing… that has an internal response to what we see, taste, touch, hear.

It speaks of His glory…His goodness. The ultimate goodness of God’s nature is manifest in the sensory pleasure… the beauty. One is not just thankful for the provision that fulfills their appetite…but can be thankful for pleasing experience with what we might call it’s beauty.

But something happened to that connection…to that relationship with beauty. This is how it is described later in the Scriptures, when the Apostle Paul, in the Book of Romans states…

Romans 1:21-23, 25 (NIV)

“… although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. …They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…”

We ascribed the greater glory… the greater good… to creation itself.

And notice what this is described as.

“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools…”

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Gordon A Ward Jr

commented on Oct 11, 2018

Utterly fantastic.....put in a way that will dig into the heart of the hearer.....

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