Do you want to be more holy? I do, I know I do. That is one thing that comforts me about the state of my soul: blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness—even if they never quite attain it in practice. Paul said that the way to grow to be more like the standard for holiness, God Himself, is to behold Him in Scripture (2 Cor. 3:18). So let’s behold one little part of His character together.
I saved this little Philip Yancey quotation—round up the usual disclaimers—years ago in my BibleWorks notes at Romans 1:20. I have thought of it often since:
To me, the most obvious thing about God is that He is an artist who loves beauty. I live in the Rocky Mountains and go hiking. There are mountains called “14’ers” (14,000 ft. mountain)—54 of them. And I’ve climbed 38 of them, so I’ve spent a lot of time up there above the tree lines.
So what do I see? I see a carpet of wildflowers, and I’m thinking, “Why is this here?” At most, 200 people have seen this site. Or perhaps the Great Barrier Reef, the great tropical reefs—there’s nothing more beautiful on Earth than these unbelievable tropical fish. For most of history we didn’t even know they were there until Jacques Cousteau invented scuba gear, which was in 1950. Nobody even knew the greatest art in the world was already there just swimming around.
Why is that there? Well God didn’t put it there just for our enjoyment, or He would have made it a little more accessible! There’s something about His own enjoyment, His pride in artistic creation.