You are in a room. Then the atmosphere changes… it gets a little quieter… someone has come in to the room that has a powerful presence. They are not flaunting it… in fact, they don’t have to say anything.
Have you ever had that experience? Have you ever been with someone that made you feel small… not because they said something mean, but because they were so amazing?
In the last post on the beauty of God, I promised there was lots in scripture about it. We will start with the word “beauty” itself.*
One place where the word beauty is used in scripture to apply to God is Psalm 96:6. It talks about the change of atmosphere when God is in the room. There are four words (one of which is beauty) that are described as being “before” him or in his sanctuary. It is a poetic way to say that God has so much of these attributes, that He even changes the area around Him.
Let’s meditate on Him for a moment. The Christian idea of meditation is different from meditation practiced in Eastern Religion, Animism, or the Occult. The goal of Christian meditation is to think about something over and over again. It is like you would do with a diamond: you turn it in the light and see the different aspects of it from many angles.
Here are some questions to help you consider God’s beauty in this verse…
- Think about honor, majesty, strength, beauty.
- How do these four characteristics of God compare to each other?
- How are they similar?
- How are they different?
- What are the implications of them being together in one Person?
- How do the other verses in that chapter relate to or help us understand?
And here’s an listening aid to meditation that I made with the help of my wife and an indie composer. If it helps you, I’d love to know about it…
Here’s a description of the track to help you understand what I was thinking:
There is a beauty that is Other than what we know… a splendor that has a mystery about it. It’s not dark, but it is breathtaking.
A woman’s soprano voice reads, and the high range of her speaking voice is in contrast to the “heavy” glory of the Creator.
What do we do when the room grows quiet at the arrival of Someone who is hard to describe? Gaze… wonder… drink in…
Then why not move from meditation to prayer? Tell God what you’re thinking, questioning, wondering, wanting…
* The word beauty or belleza or some variation of them appears 110 times in the ESV and around 109 times in the NVI.
We translate this to Spanish and English from around 24 Hebrew words and 4 Greek words.