Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 – May 11 – The Mystery of Beauty

Study from God’s Word 1st Kings 1: 1 – 4 (see below); 1st Kings 1: 5 – 53; 2nd Samuel 1 – 7; 1st Kings 2: 1 – 9; 1st Kings 2: 10 [1st Chron. 29: 28 - 30]; 1st Kings 2: 12 [1st Chron. 29: 23 – 25 … 2nd Chron. 1: 1]… Passage for Reflection: 1st Kings 1: 3 – 4 … NIV 1 When King David was old and well advanced in years, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. 2 So his servants said to him, "Let us look for a young virgin to attend the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm." 3 Then they searched throughout Israel for a beautiful girl and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful; she took care of the king and waited on him, but the king had no intimate relations with her.

My Journal for Today:
This is a curious passage, is it not? And the lesson Dr. Smith teaches from it may seem a bit obscure, coming from the time when David, an old and infirmed King, was dying and in need of warmth and comfort on his death bed. So, what did the King’s attendants do? … They went out and found the most beautiful lady they could find to lay with David and give him warmth. And this curious practice raises questions, doesn’t it?

We might ask, “Doesn’t the Bible teach that outward beauty is not as important as inner beauty?” And, of course, it does? Well then, … why would King David’s court need to go out and find a beautiful, young, and nubile lass to lay with David – even though it was obviously not tempting to David sexually. And the answer lies in what these people considered “the best” for their King. Only the best and the most beautiful, even in outward beauty, was good enough for their God-anointed King David.

Yes, it may smack of lauding superficial beauty; but think about what we do when we get dressed for a funeral, or a wedding, or likely even to Church (though less so these days, I’m afraid). We get all gussied up in our finest adornments; and in the case of dressing in our most beautiful for a wedding, we do so to honor the new bride and groom. In the case of the funeral, we get all dressed up to honor the life of the one who has passed on. And finally, as many of us still do, we get dressed up in our “Sunday go to meeting” duds to honor our Lord with our finest and most beautiful adornments. Hopefully, we’re not dressing up to show off our finest clothes and strut pridefully in front of others. That would be beauty on display; and it would, in the case of Church time, dishonor the One Whom we have come to honor, wouldn’t it?

Yes, God would take us any way we’d come to Him for real, honest worship on His Sabbath; but I believe we do our God a disservice if we do not consider being in our most beautiful state – outwardly and inwardly - when we come into His house of worship on Sundays. And yes, that means preparing our inner beauty to match our outer beauty. If we have unresolved sin in our lives, we need to confess them to receive God’s cleansing; … if we have people who need to be forgiven in our lives, they need to be forgiven to honor God’s beautiful forgiveness of our sins; … and … if we have unpaid debts which we’ve pledged to repay, we need to get our inner house in order to be seen by our God as “beautiful” as we might be in our dressed-up state of beauty as we come to worship Him bother externally and internally.

Beauty is a mystery; and how we see “beauty” is certainly in the eyes of the beholder; but when we come to the KING of kings, especially honoring Him as our LORD, we need to be as beautiful as we can be, cleansing all of our spiritual insides and presenting our best externally for our King. Then, prayerfully we can worship our God openly and honestly, presenting our best and most beautiful for His consideration. And I pray now that we’d all be beautiful as our lives worship our God in Spirit, in physical presence, and in the depth of our emotions. May we live beautifully for our God; and may He be glorified with our “beauty.”

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I pray that I am beautiful in Your eyes. Amen

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