“Beauty will save the world.” ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth. (Ps 50:2)
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who proclaims peace, who brings glad tidings of good things, who proclaims salvation,
Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isa 52:7)
What is Zion and why is it important to Christians?
Jerusalem and Zion are one and the same city. Zion was the place of God’s special presence among His people, and the place where they turned for help and deliverance. Jerusalem has been the holiest city in Judaism and the ancestral and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people since the 10th century BCE (before Common Era). During classical antiquity, Jerusalem was considered the center of the world, where God resided.
What does all of this have to do with our topic of beauty? Because God promises to shine forth out of Zion, which is called the perfection of beauty!
Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. (Ps 33:1)
The Word of God reminds us that praise is beautiful—not only in the sight of God but in the sight of men, as well. If I happen to find a television program that is broadcasting a praise and worship service, I find it so beautiful to see that I’m moved to tears.
. . . rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Pet 3:4, emphasis added)
In this verse from first Peter, the Word of God tells us that a gentle and quiet spirit is indestructibly beautiful! It is also very treasured by our God. So, we see that God considers salvation to be a beautiful thing, along with our praises to Him.
It is this inner quality of beauty that God commends and which the entire world unerringly recognizes! We will achieve this level of beauty as we obey God and seek to follow Him. He is the only One who transforms lives because He is the glory and the lifter of our heads! (Ps 3:3) Because His Spirit lives within each one of us, His beauty will shine forth through us.
This is why Isaiah 52:7 (at top of this article) calls the feet of those who spread the Gospel “beautiful feet”! We all may confidently pursue this beauty that shines forth from our inner man.