Beauty shines from within and without

By Dave Henning / September 21, 2022

“Beauty shines from within and shines from the surface, mixing the temporal with the infinite.  It is within, yes.  But it is also on the outside, intoxicating our experience, and frightening us with a holy resonance.”- Timothy D. Willard

“But God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.”- Genesis 1:31 (ESV)

As Timothy Willard continues Chapter 2 of The Beauty Chasers, he observes that the word we translate good in Genesis 1:31 really translates closer to beautiful.  Therefore, the author suggests:

“Think what it would sound like to say that God created every living thing, the heavens and the earth, light and darkness, and human beings and he looked upon all of it and called it beautiful.”

As a result, Timothy takes an in-depth look at the seven word groupings the Hebrew language uses to describe beauty.  The author covers the first four groupings today.

1.  Honor-beauty.  This relates to the heads of state and nations.

2.  Beautify-beauty.  Certainly, this second word grouping sounds strange.  But, Timothy notes, this grouping refers to the act of beautifying something.  Or turning something into an object of adoration.  For example, God does this to us as His children.

3.  Desirous-beauty.  Imagine how God delights in you, far greater than the way we delight in the things He’s made.  A holy affection and desirous love.  However, this word grouping means proper desire as well as lust.  The bentness of the word, as C. S. Lewis would say.

4.  Physical-beauty.  Like all physical beauty, Timothy counsels, it can turn into a snare of lust and pride.  Because of God’s favor, the Israelites became known to the surrounding nations as lovely.  Yet, that beauty led to harlotry.

Above all, this word refers to Yahweh Himself.  Thus, physical-beauty characterizes God’s presence as well as God’s people.  Hence, the mysterious and even haunting nature of this kind of beauty.

Today’s question: Do you believe that beauty shines from within and without?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “In the face of disappointment, beauty flies”

About the author

Dave Henning

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