A Devotion for 2 August 2023 Anno Domini


Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

(1 Samuel 16:7, all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)


Too often, we credit beauty to the ‘eye of the beholder’, but beauty is immutable and not subject to the whims of human speculation. Beauty is a quality inherent in all of God’s Creation. It may be hidden to the vulgar mind of the observer, but all who love God can see His beauty in all things created: “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Wisdom reveals that beauty.

It was the unrestrained appetite of man that led to the Fall in Eden; and it is the degraded imagination of man that has marred true beauty. True beauty is a reflection of the beauty of God in all things and is expressed in all forms of true art – music, literature, graphic arts, sculpture, etc. Art can be corrupted as we see in the proliferation of modern art-forms that corrupt the beauty that God has produced. Picasso’s is not true art because it mars the beauty of God’s creative model by corrupting that beauty into something unnatural. Neither is the unmelodious and degraded music of the modern scene. In every aspect of God’s Creation we find both order and beauty.

You will recall that the Tabernacle in the wilderness was an unappealing structure when viewed from the outside. It was covered in goat hair, but inside, it was beautifully furnished with overlaid gold fixtures, and silk and wool curtains. The Tabernacle was intended to reveal the beauty of Christ. Christ revealed no extraordinary attraction in appearance, but His beauty was one of depth and interior beauty: “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
(Isaiah 53:2)

Anarchy cannot define beauty for beauty is its opposite. True beauty imitates the order and vibrancy of life as God intended it. Fredrick W. Ruckstull, in his seminal work on art (Great Works of Art, and what makes them great), says: “There is no such thing as ‘relative beauty.’ Beauty is absolute, at least as absolute as anything on this earth can be. It is taste – or the appreciation of beauty – which is relative.” In other words, beauty is inherent in its essence in the nature of the object or principle being presented. The deeper meaning and beauty of DaVinci’s Last Supper is representative of the meaning that makes the work beautiful. There are numerous biblical proofs hidden in that painting that require understanding to interpret. God’s word is similar in that the greater meaning is only revealed through a deeper study and consideration of its passages.

One measure of true art is ‘what kind of emotions does a work evoke in your heart?’ When we behold DaVinci’s Last Supper, our attention is drawn immediately to the central figure – Jesus Christ – due to the paintings use of ‘point perspective.’ Additionally, we are reminded of the moment in time which the painting depicts: “…Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.” (John 13:21-22) Sorrow and compassion overcome the understanding observer. There can be great beauty even in sorrow as the heart is thereby warmed to the meaning. Graphic art can have a profound impact on our understanding and emotions.

Dr. Bennet Reimer, in Philosophy of Music Education, (a prominent resource to contemporary students of music), points out the aesthetic nature of the effects of classical music. What emotions are evinced by the music – lofty ideals, platonic moods, or gutter sentiments. The results of the music on the heart of the listener is a measure of the worth of the music. Music, too, should reflect the beauty inherent in God’s Creation. It must have melody, order, meaning, and arouse feelings worthy of our Maker. Example: What emotions are aroused by the notes of Stars and Stripes Forever, the National Anthem, Amazing Grace, Moonlight Sonata, or Panis Angelicus? Contrarily, what emotions are evoked by Heavy Metal or sensuous music of our day?

The beauty of Christ was not in his bodily form, but in His Words and Heart, His innate beauty – hidden from the irreverent, but profoundly revealed to the seeker of truth and love. Our classic hymns help to reveal the beauty of His Word to the listener – both in music and in word. Not only are the words of our traditional hymns reverent and revealing, but the music, too, aids in the aesthetic effects of the hymn.

I pray that the Christian, and especially the Church, will dispense with the endlessly repeated mantras and self-indulgent songs that pass for praise and worship in the modern churches and focus on praise to the Lord.


By |2023-08-09T18:37:35+00:00August 9th, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on HEART BEAUTY

About the Author: