This week's prompt (at the House of Belonging) was something to encourage or inspire women on their daily journeys...maybe go on a "beauty hunt"...and immediately there it was - that whispering voice ticker taping another verse in my head. The verse was this: Psalm 29:2b - and He quoted it in King James English (yes He did!)
...worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The beauty of holiness! Beauty, holiness, worship...the three are enter-twined intimately and incredibly and imaginatively(?). What images are sparked in the mind by this phrase! Holiness speaks of God's very nature and here the Word of Truth declares holiness to be beautiful! Just a glance out of any window gives a hint of this nature of God, where beauty and holiness first are revealed...an expanse of creation that our mind can hardly comprehend, full of incredible color and texture - elements that artists throughout time have tried to re-express! Each color has endless variety and nuance of hue and tone and transparency - depending on if it is expressed through water, earth, air or fire. And to think, that this is a fallen world! What were the textures and colors like before the serpent tempted Eve in the Garden? I wonder!
We may never know, but we do get a glimpse of God's heavenly dwelling place (and ours!) through several places in Scripture. There is a "pavement" like sapphire under His feet, and His throne is made all of sapphire like brilliance, a rainbow in shades of green is over His throne, His city is made up of streets of transparent gold, and walls encrusted with precious gems as jasper, chalcedony, sapphire, emerald, topaz, and more. Mighty pearls are the gates and a river "clear as crystal" flows through His "city".
(References - in order: Exodus 24:10; Ezekiel 10:11; Revelation 4:3 Revelation 21:21; Revelation 21:19-20; Revelation 21:21; Revelation 22:1)
This revelation of pure beauty may have been well known to our first mother and father. I can only contemplate it, based on the description in Holy writ, and as I do, I realize that I place this beautiful vision far away from me and at some distant time from now. Could this be the reason I can struggle seeing myself the way He does in the "right now", the way my life is today? Yes, much of the description is from the book that reveals the end of time...but isn't that scene the way heaven looks now? Is it somehow easier to perceive the color and texture of the fallen world, because it is easier to see? Is that why it is easier to believe the world's messages that are all around me? Those messages that tell me that I need to be "more than" I am right now, in this moment, that I am somehow "less than" if I choose a more narrow path? And yet His handiwork is still visible in this physical realm that is groaning for its redemption (Romans 8:22-23). I am His handiwork, too, and His imprint is still visible in me!
To continue this "beauty hunt", take five minutes to write down as much texture and color you can actually see from right where you are sitting. Then take five minutes to write out as much of the Lord's handiwork in YOU that you can "see". In this portion of the exercise, use what you know by faith (even if you do not yet embrace it), positive comments that others say they notice about you, as well as Godly attributes that you DO know you have...and finally, take five minutes to enjoy this video and write out the beauty of the Lord Himself that is inspired by the worship.
There are other verses that contain the phrase "the beauty of holiness", and we will look at them later in the series, because this is, as I discovered in my own journey this week, a series and that there is something mighty that the Lord wants to say (and I will share this learning walk with you) that is best said in several smaller bites that will be easier to chew through...and we will look at an incredible beautification process that the Lord has embedded in the Scripture, one that I am sure you will recognize has already begun in you!