Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Perfection of Beauty

A winding pathway through a deciduous forest at the pinnacle of autumn, its canopy a tapestry of gold, crimson, and amber, beckons Midwesterners as the weather cools each passing day throughout September and into October. Viewing the blazing hues of magnificent maples and majestic oaks, one wonders if perhaps this picturesque display defines beauty. A tourist of Costa Rica thinks otherwise. Awakening each morning to the call of the gulls along the breathtaking coastal waters, a perfect azure set against a clear sky, the traveler is convinced he has experienced the perfection of beauty. But on the pages of Scripture, all of which attest to the glory of our great God, a unique perspective on beauty can be found. And should not the perfect God who created beauty be able to present to readers of His sacred text another dimension to this oft-misunderstood word?

Indeed, our God, Who is “fairer than the children of men” (Ps. 45:2), can show His beauty to us. Did not David relate that his chief desire was “to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of his life that he might behold the beauty of the Lord”? According to Psalm 50: 2, this beautiful God, Who is both perfection and beauty, has shined out of Zion, the “perfection of beauty.” What is it exactly that makes Zion so perfectly beautiful?

Translated literally, Zion means “parched place.” Yet in this dry soil of the Middle East is located the place God chose from all eternity to be the earthly tabernacle for Messiah. It is the setting where the first temple was built to the holy God of Heaven, and even more significant, is the location that the greatest sacrifice for all mankind was made. It is not the land’s form nor comeliness but rather its relationship to its Maker that makes it of special significance to God.

In like manner, believer, you may take heart. As the city of Jerusalem has been designated by God as part of His special plan, God also calls you His chosen. As Zion's barren spot of earth boasts little natural beauty, you too may feel your outward attractiveness greatly lacking. However, if you are rightly related to your Maker, you can be likened to the image of His Son. The Perfection of Beauty, your lovely Savior, can transform you into His image, with His likeness reflected throughout every part of you being. As you allow His Spirit to transform your life, you will, in the words of Ephesians 4:13, “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.” In you, believer, God's beauty can be made perfect!