The Beauty and the Beast
I’m sure all of us have heard the story of the “Beauty and the beast”, but I’d like to tell you about the Biblical version of it. It begins first with:
The beast of oppression
The oppression of sin; we are slaves to evil, the captors of sin. There is little deliverance if any, from our captor, the devil. If we are delivered in one area, we are enslaved in another, there is no escape among men. Turning over a new leaf will not deliver us; Doing good deeds will not deliver us; nothing in this life will deliver us, except Jesus. We are captivated by the oppression of sin.
Rom 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
Jer 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
We are oppressed by habits; a bad habit is hard to break. Man is drawn to sin, it is his innate nature to sin. (Rom. 5:12) We can sometimes change the habit; we can even change the environment, but we cannot change the heart. Only our Lord Jesus Christ can do that. We are captive to the beast of oppression.
The beast of tribulations
Trials and tribulations plague us, and we are at the mercy of “chance”. For the most part, we have no chance against the winds of trials that come our way; we are often overwhelmed by temptations and trials, and tribulation. Again, there is no relief--no “rest for the weary“, no hope among men. The weather defeats us; time is often against us; the flesh is always warring against our spirit.
Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
Act 14:22 “Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”
Tribulation comes in the form of trials; our patience is tried, our faith is tried and our love is often tried by man and by God, but thank God that He sent His Son that we might be victorious over sin and death--and along with that, many trials leave us, and we are made free. Tribulation will come--if you love the Lord, and serve Him, tribulation will come upon you; it is inevitable; it is necessary that it come to you, but the Lord will lighten the burden of trials and afflictions, and give us the victory in Christ over all these malady’s. Jesus is the cure for what ails us! He will carry our burdens through the storm.
The beast of hunger
Hunger is never satisfied here on earth. As soon as we are filled, we begin to hunger again. We hunger for many things; riches, glory, food, and every lust that man can perceive; again I say, hunger is never quenched in this life. We are slaves to our lusts; we seek only to gratify the flesh; we glut ourselves with food and luxuries.
Mat 25:35 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” Hunger is a devastating enemy, able to slowly melt us down, and grind at our spirit; hunger fulfilled is temporary, for tomorrow we hunger again. This beast has defeated many a good man, and it could easily get us too, except that Jesus won’t allow it.
The beast of disease and pestilence
Even the air we breathe can be a detriment to us. Germs are everywhere, and disease runs rampant in the streets. The water we drink must be purified for fear of disease, and the body itself is easily susceptible to every illness known to man. It is almost as if the beasts are all about us, and on every side, yet there is hope. We need not fret, Jesus is our stay.
Psa. 91: 3 “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.”
Psa 91:7 “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.”
The Beastliness of Man
The “Maniac of Gadara” (Mk. 5:1-20) was such a man. He was a beast at his best, but the love of the Lord tamed the beast, and this “wild man” became a gentle-man. He was at his worst when Jesus made him better. Every man has a little of the beast in Him, but our Lord makes the difference, and tames the wild, wondering soul. Jesus found us at our worst, and yet He nurtured us and guided us, and led us unto Himself; in Him we have hope at last!
Sin is a beast--a dreadful, deadly beast. It’ll leave you in a mangled heap of despair, and laugh at your final demise. It is a mocker; a deceitful enemy, which poses as a true friend. None that love the beast will find true beauty.
There are many “beasts” existent today among men, but ahh, there is also beauty.
The Beauty of Salvation
“In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people,” (Isa. 28:5). I know that this may not be referring to salvation, but it clearly tells us that The Lord Himself is a crown of beauty to His people, whether Jew or Christian. There is no greater gift given to man than the salvation of his soul.
Jer 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” But…“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13)
The Beauty of Comfort And Joy
True joy comes from knowing Christ as our Savior; true peace comes from knowing our sins are gone, and we are no longer condemned. We can take comfort in these things, they are beauty to the wretched soul, and honor to the depraved. This is “joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. (Isa. 61:3) Great gifts from a greater God. Let the scriptures speak!
1Pe 1:8 “Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:”
The Beauty of Holiness
“O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.” (Psa. 96:9)
Holiness is beauty in the eyes of the Lord. Beauty, as we know it, is flesh and worldly, but a sweet spirit is most precious; holiness and purity are the real beauty of men, and pleasing unto God. Holiness is beautified in man; it is his delight. A holy life is well-pleasing unto God and man, and will lead us in the paths of righteousness. Holiness protects us from the beast of sin.
“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Heb. 12:14)
The Beauty of His Sanctuary
“Honour and majesty are before him: strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.” (Psa. 96: 6) The sanctuary of God, the church, is a beauty and strength for God’s children. Christ died for the church, and made her His bride, what a beautiful reunion we will have with Him in glory some day soon. Then the beast will be defeated completely, and the Beauty shall reign forevermore.
There is also sanctuary in His presence. The eternal presence of God is a strong sanctuary for man, the answer to all that ails him. He is a tower of strength for all that call on Him.
The Beauty of the Lord
Jesus is the beauty of our souls. It is He that turns the beast into the beauty; only Jesus can do so. In all Hs splendor and grace, we see a heart of beauty, a life of beautiful things, and it is given for, and to, us. Our God, Jesus, is altogether lovely; He is the bright and morning Star; the lily of the valley; the rose of Sharon, and the balm of Gilead. He is our Savior, and His grace is our beauty too. We are adorned with the beauty of His love, and His grace is sufficient for all men. He makes the ugly beautiful, and the despondent cheerful; this is an inner beauty, the beauty of the soul.
His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. (Song of Solomon 5:16)
The Beauty and the Beast