HF130 - Beholding the Beauty of the Lord
The walk of faith rests entirely upon a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is so important to understand this. Jesus did not come to give us another religion. He came to give us Himself. When this truth becomes a reality, we are well on our way to a life of discovering the beauty and wonder of Jesus Christ.
It is as David said in Psalm 27:4; "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord, all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple."
Paul said the same thing in different words; "But we all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." (2Co3:18)
Let's talk about it.
This is Bible Study HF130 - Beholding the Beauty of the Lord.
Where David says, "Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from your Law," he is speaking of a book. David knew that there were awesome untold treasures to be found in God's book. He knew this intuitively and he knew it by experience. In fact when David said 'wonderful things' it is likely that his attention was directed towards God's secret, that is, His Messiah, the Lord.
Later David writes, "The Lord said to my Lord." Since we now know that this speaks of Jesus Himself, it can be said that David's Lord was Jesus Christ, even though he did not know the Lord by that name. But David spoke often of Jesus, as did Isaiah and all the prophets. In fact the older testament is a treasure house that is filled with the beauty of the Lord Jesus.
And so while the apostle Paul points us to the treasure house of God's book, he also speaks of a blindness that has come upon those of the Jewish faith who had rejected Jesus as the Messiah and Lord of Israel. But the book remains true. For believers it is filled with the awesome wonders of Jesus and of His beauty.
When we believers read the same Scriptures as do they in the synagogue, there is no veil over our hearts. The apostle said that we are 'being' transformed from glory to glory as we behold the beauty of the Lord. Of course Paul was speaking of what we today call the Old Testament. There was no New Testament when Paul wrote his letters. (Actually Paul's writings are considered to be the earliest books we have in the New Testament.)
But in all this, perhaps it should be said that the single greatest need of believers today is to have our eyes fully opened to the glory and beauty of Jesus. It was this very beauty that enthralled the prophets of old. It was this revealed beauty that enthralled the apostles, as we hear John write, "And we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)
Reaching back to the prophets, we hear one of the Psalmists write about Jesus, saying, "My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; my tongue is the tongue of a ready writer. You are fairer than the sons of men; grace is poured upon Your lips; therefore God has blessed You forever." (Psalm 45:1,2) The ancients considered this Psalm to be about Messiah.
And so for believers there is a beauty in Jesus to be realized that no sinner can ever hope to know. It is simply in the beauty of knowing. It is in this knowing that our hearts spring forth in our love for Jesus. Peter said it best, "And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory." (1Pet1:8)
When Peter says that we have not seen him, he is speaking of a physical sense. But we actually do see Him with our hearts. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that the allows us to know Jesus both in His sufferings, and in His resurrected glory. Jesus said, "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:40)
Is there more to this than simply the aspect of beauty? Yes, there is more, but the beauty of the Lord will always be the under girding strength for a believer's walk with Jesus. What else is there besides His beauty? I am so glad you asked. Let's hear it from the apostle Paul.
Paul said, "He is the image of the invisible God." A little further he writes that there is a wealth that comes from "the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge." (Cf. Col1:15; 2:2,3)
Did you catch it? All the treasures of eternity, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, all the wealth of heaven are hidden in Jesus Christ Himself. This is why once we come to know the Lord, our life takes on the aura of a spiritual journey where we begin to make discovery after discovery after discovery. All these discoveries wrap themselves around Jesus. I feel sorry for anyone who thinks that the Christian walk is not a walk of wonder. It is wondrous beyond compare.
There is an Old Testament story that gives a picture of the beauty of our walk with the Lord. Finding a bride for Isaac is filled with types and shadows of Christ and the Church. In this beautiful Old Testament story we have Abraham as the Father. We have Isaac as the Son. We have Eliezer, the servant of Abraham, as the Holy Spirit. And we have Rebecca as the Church.
Rather than fill in the blanks you may wish to read this story afresh. It is laid out in Genesis 24. But the part I want to draw your attention to is the return journey in which Eliezer is bringing Rebecca to Isaac. On this journey Eliezar fills Rebecca's mind and heart with thoughts of Isaac. He gives gifts to Rebecca. And as the caravan gets closer to their destination, Rebecca's heart is fully overflowing with a love for Isaac. (Rather than me filling in all the details, just let your mind wander a bit on this story.)
How then is Eliezer a type of the Holy Spirit? Listen to what Jesus says; "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me."
Then the Lord follows this up in saying, "But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you." (Cf. John 15:26; 16:13-15)
So Eliezer shared with Rebecca the treasures that belonged to Isaac. After all, Isaac was Abraham's true heir of all things. But point being, once again, that when we come to know the Lord, our life takes on the forum of a journey of exploration. We are on the Rebecca journey. We are learning about the beauty of the Lord Jesus. We are learning about our future with Him.
Let me bring all this back to basic Christianity. The longer you walk with Jesus the more composed your life becomes. Every young believer has to work through insecurities, through certain doubts, and even fears. The Holy Spirit continues to help us process life by sharing with us heavenly things.
The Bible itself describes the path of the righteous as "the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter unto the full day." Peter may be alluding to this when he writes, "And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts." And Paul most surely has this in mind in saying that we are transformed from glory to glory as we behold the glory of the Lord. (Cf. Prov4:18; 2Pet1:19; 2Co3:18)
What do we need to understand in all this? First we need to realize that the Lord Himself is our inheritance. And secondly, we need to realize that the Lord's inheritance is our inheritance. So in the turn around, don't get too carried away with the issue of religion. As I said in the beginning, Jesus didn't come to give us a religion. He came to give us Himself.
Have you been beholding the beauty of the Lord lately?
Think about it. The study is open. Feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions.
Lawrence E. (Buddy) Martin, HF Host
"See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled." (Heb12:15)