Introduction: Think about looking at a beautiful painting, a
beautiful sunset, a beautiful vista, a beautiful car or a beautiful
person. How can we say all of these are beautiful? They have more
differences than similarities. What is it about them that we call
beauty? For me, the beauty in all of these different things is that
I take pleasure in looking at them. Sometimes the pleasure seems
like rest, in others the pleasure seems more like excitement. Our
lesson this week investigates the artist side of God – the beauty
that is part of the personality of God. Let’s plunge into our study
of the Bible and find out more!

  1. Beauty in Creation

    1. Read Genesis 1:31. God is at the end of His Creation work
      week and He pronounces, “very good.” Would that suggest
      that the world was beautiful?

      1. What could God have failed to do that would make the
        world less beautiful?

        1. What if animals looked more like humans? All
          humans look pretty much the same. We have
          different colors, different heights and
          different weights, but it is all put together
          pretty much the same way. What if this were
          true for the animals?

      2. One answer I would give to the “what could God have
        left undone” question is flowers. How are flowers
        essential to our lives? (They are not. This shows
        that God cares about beauty.)

      3. Another answer I would give is colorful fish and
        birds. Do fish and birds need to be colorful in
        order to live? (There are plenty of dull-looking
        birds who manage to live. The colorful ones are here
        to provide beauty.)

      4. For every other beautiful thing you can think of, is
        its beauty essential for its life? (God gave us
        beauty even though it was not required. This says
        something important about God and His attitude
        towards us.)

    2. Let’s talk architectural design for a moment. Nissan
      designed a car (the Cube) that has an asymmetrical design
      (meaning one side looks different than the other side)for
      a few of its features. The Cube is mostly symmetrical
      (meaning both sides are the same). Imagine if humans
      were asymmetrical? Do you need two nostrils, as opposed
      to one big air hole on the side of your head?

    3. Read Psalms 19:1. Have you seen pictures of galaxies?
      Some pictures I’ve seen are of breath-taking beauty. What
      does this text suggest about beauty and the glory of God?
      (Part of God’s glory is the beauty He creates.)

    4. Read Ezekiel 28:17. Many Bible students believe that this
      is a description of Satan when he was still an angel in
      heaven. What does this say about the way that God
      created him? (Beautiful!)

      1. In this case, Satan’s splendor was a source of his
        seduction into sin. Why would God create a beautiful
        angel knowing that this would be a problem? (This
        tells us that beauty has independent value in God’s

  2. Beauty in Humans

    1. Read Genesis 1:26. What does this say about humans and
      beauty? (It that says we are made in the image of God.)

    2. Read Isaiah 53:2-3. This is a prophecy about Jesus. What
      did God look like when He became a man? (Isaiah says that
      Jesus was not handsome.)

      1. Does that mean that God is not beautiful? Is that
        the reason we are symmetrical, but otherwise sort of
        dull looking? (So many attributes of Jesus’ life as
        a human seem to be based on the idea that He came to
        earth as “one of us.” He came as a “second Adam.”
        (See, Romans 5:14 and 1 Corinthians 15:45.) I think
        that dictated several disadvantages for Jesus as a
        human. He was poor. God is not poor. He was not born
        into royalty. God is the King of Kings. If Jesus was
        rich, royal, and incredibly handsome, then those who
        are not would say that Jesus was not “tempted in
        every way, just as we are.” ( Hebrews 4:15).)

    3. Read Ezekiel 16:15. What does this suggest might be a
      problem with human beauty?

    4. Read Luke 12:27-28 and 1 Peter 3:3-4. A number of
      translations throw in the word “merely,” so that the
      sense of the 1 Peter text is “your beauty should not come
      merely from how you wear your hair, the quality of your
      clothes, and the wearing of jewelry.” Would the God who
      made lilies beautiful want us to look drab?

      1. If the answer is, “No, if God created beauty in
        flowers, He supports beauty in humans,” how do you
        understand this text in 1 Peter? (Peter is saying
        that true beauty does not consist of what you wear,
        how you arrange your hair or the value of your
        jewelry. Instead, true beauty comes from inside, it
        has to do with your character.)

        1. Is this some sort of scam? When I was young,
          whenever some adult recommended that I should
          date someone with a “great personality” I knew
          this was a code phrase for “bad-looking.” Is
          God just trying to make plain people feel good?

    5. Read Psalms 96:9. “Splendor of His holiness.” Does this
      sound like “beauty of holiness?” If so, how can holiness
      be beautiful? (Let’s go back to the introduction. How can
      a painting, a car, a sunset and a woman be beautiful? (We
      say, “How do I react to that?”)

    6. Now, let’s read Proverbs 31:30 and revisit 1 Peter 3:4.
      What is the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet
      spirit?” (Both of these texts tell us that physical
      beauty has a “shelf-life” (it does not last forever).
      I’ve seen woman who were beautiful for many decades – but
      I’m getting older too, so that might influence my
      opinion. However, the sad Biblical news for all of us is
      that physical beauty generally fades with time.)

      1. How can a quiet spirit be beautiful? (Beauty is “how
        do I react to that?” How do you react to a gentle

        1. Do you know members of the opposite sex who are
          great to look at, but you would not want to be
          married to them? The adults who used to tell me
          about a “great personality” were not involved
          in a scam.)

      2. Which would you prefer: a beautiful, mean spouse, or
        an plain, loving spouse? (Since beauty fades, the
        odds are that all you are left with is mean! If
        beauty means to enjoy beholding, then plain and
        loving wins.)

    7. Read 1 Samuel 16:7. Are we destined to look only at

    8. Read Proverbs 20:29. Let’s look at God’s design of human
      beauty from another angle. Can beauty change with age?
      (Yes. What is pleasurable about young men? They are
      strong. What is pleasurable about old men? That they are
      distinguished. You can take pleasure (find beauty) in
      different things about your spouse as time passes.
      Perhaps you took pleasure in the physical beauty of your
      spouse when you were young, but you take pleasure in the
      personality, creativity, humor, or wisdom of your spouse
      when you are old.)

    9. Read Psalms 51:10. If we decide that we do not have a
      beautiful spirit, can God sculpt us into a more beautiful

  3. Beauty and Music

    1. Read Revelation 15:2-3. Have you ever seen someone “hold”
      a harp? We had a harp at my daughter’s wedding. You had
      to truck that thing to the church. Friend, these
      instruments in Revelation are guitars! (I am partially
      joking.) What does this say about music and heaven? (It
      will be part of praising God!)

    2. Read 1 Chronicles 23:1-5. Notice this, a combined choir
      and orchestra of four thousand! Have you ever been in a
      large crowd that was singing praises to God?

    3. Why did God give (most) humans and some animals the
      ability to sing? (Again, this shows the beauty created by

  4. Beauty and the Sanctuary

    1. Exodus 25 contains the instructions for building the
      tabernacle in the wilderness. Read the list of materials
      used in Exodus 25:2-8. This sounds like a beautiful
      creation. Josephus describes the temple in Jerusalem
      that was destroyed by the Romans as a fabulous place. Why
      does God surround Himself with beauty? (Because He
      appreciates it and He wants us to appreciate it.)

      1. What about helping the poor instead of building
        fancy churches? (It should not be an “either/or”
        issue. We should build beautiful churches and we
        should help the poor. Both beauty and kindness are
        attributes of God.)

    2. Friend, can you better appreciate the essence of beauty –
      that reaction of pleasure when you are in its presence?
      God, the great Artist, blessed us with that!

  5. Next week: Love Stories.