Beauty Is in the Eye of the True Beholder

Philip Graham Ryken
August 24, 2023

Theologian, Philip Ryken asks where we see God's beauty in the world. In a world that has in a myriad of ways always sought beauty, it is clear that such longing is innate and brings us joy. Ryken describes beauty as ineffable, indescribable, as too great to explain. It is universal and can be found in completely unexpected places.

"Even if we have trouble defining it, however, we know there is such a thing as beauty. We know this biblically. If we scan the pages of Scripture, we can derive a long list of things that God calls beautiful: people (Judg. 15:2Isa. 33:17) and their melodious voices (Ezek. 33:32), animals (Jer. 13:20; 46:20), plants and trees (Dan. 4:12Hos. 14:6), clothing (Josh. 7:21Isa. 61:3), cities (Pss. 48:2; 50:2) and their fine buildings (Isa. 5:9), ships at sea (Isa. 2:16), and royal crowns and other treasures (Ps. 16:6Prov. 4:9Isa. 28:1Ezek. 23:42). 

If the Bible stipulates certain things as beautiful, then there really is beauty in the eye of the Beholder, with a capital B. Almighty God is inexpressibly beautiful in his own being. One early theologian thus described him as “the all-beautiful,” “the superabundant source in itself of the beauty of every beautiful thing.”4 Beautiful in himself, God has also promised to “set beauty in the land of the living” (Ezek. 26:20). Whatever God sees and says is beautiful is beautiful! The Bible tells us so."

Image : Photo by Łukasz Łada on Unsplash

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