Yet I think that beauty does have a use. Why else would God have made blossoms of every size and color? Why make a bird called a painted indigo, a whole patchwork of brightly colored feathers that thrills me every time he perches on my feeder? Why would he have made vistas that take your breath away, the Grand Canyon, the rolling green and blue or snow-capped mountain ranges, the tropical rainforests where flowers and birds and even creeping things seem to grow both larger and more vibrantly colored than anywhere else in the world? Why, in fact, would we classify color blindness as a disorder if seeing beautiful colors is useless?
But God did make us able to see beauty and appreciate it. Where do people want to go when they are tired and troubled? A place of order instead of chaos, a place of beauty instead of ugliness. Beauty can calm the soul or it can stir the heart. It can inspire. It can bring joy. It can also teach. Just as eating baby food gradually enables us to eat solid food, learning to appreciate outer beauty can eventually lead us to an understanding of true beauty.
God told Moses, And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. Exod 28:2 It mattered to God that the garments of the men who served Him be beautiful. It mattered to Him that they understand that outward beauty was representative of something truly beautiful—the sacred and the holy. One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Ps 27:4 Putting God’s priests in sackcloth would have been an affront to a beautiful God.
And as we learn to appreciate the spiritual beauty of our God, so we must also learn to recognize the true beauty of people.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isa 52:7 Feet must be the ugliest part of the human body, yet feet that take the gospel to others are “beautiful.”
The glory of young men is their strength; And the beauty of old men is the hoary head. Prov 20:29 Gray hair is nothing to be ashamed of. What it should represent is knowledge and wisdom, and the ability to help others along their path.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like unto whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men's bones, and all uncleanness. Matt 23:27. Inward beauty makes our service acceptable to God.
When the Messiah came, few recognized him. He did not look like the Savior they expected. For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. Isa 53:2. They had not learned the lessons of true beauty and missed out on the most beautiful thing of all, a Lord who sacrificed himself for our salvation.
What are you missing in life? A good marriage to a godly mate? A church that teaches the truth of the Gospel? Brethren who would love you more than family? Have your learned to look beyond the outside and see the beauty within? If not, then you have completely missed the lessons God has given us since He created this world and pronounced it “Very good.” Beauty is useful, but only if you learn the lessons it teaches.
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. Ps 96:4-6