The Glory of Divine Beauty
“In that day the LORD of hosts will be a crown of glory, and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people.”- Isaiah 28:5
Inherent to God’s very being is His divine glory, His refulgent light that expresses His nature as holy, true, righteous, and just (Rev. 21:23; see Ps. 43:3; Isa. 6:1–7; Hos. 6:5; John 12:41). Yet while pure light, brighter than we can even begin to imagine, is part of what defines the glory of God, there are other ways in which Scripture speaks of divine glory. Certain biblical passages connect divine glory with divine beauty, as we see in Isaiah 28:5.
Divine beauty is something that the modern church does not often think about, but it is essential to who the Lord is. Our Creator is so beautiful that David’s highest desire was to gaze upon the very beauty of the Lord (Ps. 27:4). We also see how much God esteems beauty in the description of the tabernacle and the priests’ garments. The holy garments of Aaron were made “for glory and for beauty” (Ex. 28:2). Glorious colors and precious metals were ordained by the Lord for the tabernacle, His earthly dwelling place under the old covenant (Ex. 26). Being made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27), human beings esteem beauty and work to make their homes, their clothing, and other things beautiful. Since God Himself is beautiful and the standard of beauty itself, we cannot help but yearn for what is lovely.
We have seen that God has an inherent divine glory that He will not share with any creature (Isa. 42:8). However, that does not mean that there is no glory at all that He will give to His people. There is a glory of beauty that our Creator will bestow on His children, as is evident in today’s passage. This glory is God Himself, who will be for the remnant He saves a “crown of glory” and a “diadem of beauty” (28:5). The Lord has already made His people beautiful by clothing us with the robe of the perfect righteousness of Christ (61:10), but that beauty is not yet fully evident to all creation. But on the last day, in our glorification, all creation will see that God has declared us righteous and made us His people when the hope of righteousness is fulfilled (Gal. 5:5). On that day, Matthew Henry comments, “God will so appear for [His people] by his providence as to make it evident that they have his favour towards them, and that shall be to them a crown of glory; for what greater glory can any people have than for God to acknowledge them as his own? And he will so appear in them, by his grace, as to make it evident that they have his image renewed on them, and that shall be to them a diadem of beauty; for what greater beauty can any person have than the beauty of holiness?”
God has an inherent beauty of glory that cannot be shared with mere creatures. However, there is a beauty He bestows on His people, the beauty of Christ’s perfect righteousness that will vindicate us as God’s children and citizens of heaven’s glory on the last day. Are you looking forward to that day of the Lord’s vindication of His people?
Passages for Further Study