Have you ever been completely captivated by someone or something? Perhaps it was a breathtaking sunset or newborn baby that caught your attention. What did you do? Did you glance for a moment, or did you become so enamored by the vision that you stopped, turned, and looked “full-on” into the face of the exquisite sight?
David was captivated when he wrote these words in Psalm 27:4 …
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.
Gaze is from the Hebrew, chazah, which means to see, perceive, to contemplate with pleasure, look, behold.
This idea of gazing or beholding requires more than a passing glance; it is purposeful contemplation of something so magnificent that you just can’t take your eyes off of it. You drink in the sight, and as you do, you find sheer delight in its presence.
To gaze on the beauty of the Lord is to look, with full attention, into the face of Jesus in all of His glory.
Several examples come to my mind when I think of gazing on the beauty of the LORD, but none are more prevalent than that of Mary of Bethany at Jesus’ feet. We see her at His feet twice in Scripture. In Luke 10:39 we see her there listening to His teaching, and then in John 12:3 we see her anointing His feet and wiping it with her hair.
I think what strikes me most about these two moments is the time Mary takes away from all of the other pressing things she could be doing. She simply sits with or dwells with Jesus in an unhurried fashion and finds delight and joy in His presence. She beholds His glory in each of those moments, and it is as though time stands still. She worships her Lord and is completely unconcerned with those around her. And both times she is rewarded with a verbal note of praise from Jesus and a heart bursting with love.
Have you done that recently? Have you taken the time to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD?
Take a moment and read Isaiah 53:1-6. Put your name in the place of all of the pronouns in these verses and gaze upon the LORD in the splendor of His holiness. In the spender of His beautiful sacrifice for you.
What is your response to what Jesus did for you? Do you gaze upon His beauty daily?
F.B. Meyers says: To behold his beauty is to keep looking off unto Jesus.
Will you keep looking off to Him today?
Read the following verses and think about the ways you can behold the Lord.
- Psalm 119:18 – Open my eyes that I may behold wonderful (beautiful) things from your law. (Read His Word.)
- Psalm 119:37 – Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things and give me life in your ways. (Choose God’s ways rather than sinful ways.)
- Psalm 29:2 – Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name, worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. (Worship the Lord.)
Take time this week to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord daily, hourly, moment by moment. As you dwell in His presence and gaze upon His beauty, He will be honored and you will find sheer delight!