The Bible is a collection of books which communicate truth through different genres of literature. These varying genres are designed to minister to us in different ways. Historical narrative enables us to see that faith is rooted in places, times, and events. Law instructs us how to live. Messianic prophecy confirms that Jesus is the promised Saviour. Eschatological prophecy gives us a window into the future. Wisdom literature details the ups and downs of Christian experience and provides principles for daily living.
And so the Bible does more than just present facts in a bland and predictable way. There is beauty to scripture which Christians can and should appreciate – particularly in the poetry of the wisdom literature. Scripture is intended to instruct us, and at the same time it has an aesthetic appeal. Consider a few verses from Psalm 91 as an example:
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty ……….. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler …………. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you……..
The language is simply exquisite. It is a reflection of God’s own majestic character. Because God is the very essence of beauty, we would expect the language of scripture to be beautiful. The Apostle Paul tells us that scripture has been “breathed out” by God and therefore as we receive it by faith we draw in the very fragrance of God Himself.
It is for good reason that David said, “One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27). It was in the temple that the public reading and teaching of scripture took place, and it was in this that David beheld the beauty of the Lord. If all we see in scripture are facts, we have missed something. The facts have been conveyed in such way to warm our hearts as well as inform our minds. Imagine standing before the Grand Canyon and reading a tourist board of geological facts, yet failing to take in the beauty.
Meditate on scripture in order to be informed and also to saver the beauty of its language and the concepts it presents. The beauty of scripture ultimately reflects and draws us to the One who authored it.