(KJV) Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The beauty of holiness.  I’ve been thinking about this phrase for almost a month, turning it over in my mind and pondering it.  I discovered it is used four times in the Bible:

1 Chronicles 16, when David and the people of Israel were celebrating the safe return of the Ark of the Lord to Jerusalem.  David wrote a new Psalm for the people to sing.  He gave it to Asaph – a chief of the Levites – and his brethren who were skilled in playing instruments.  Praising the Lord was so important to David that verse 7 says it was the first thing he did that day.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (1 Chron 16:29).

Psalm 29 and Psalm 96 repeat the text of David’s new Psalm from 1 Chronicles 16.  They aren’t word for word repetitions, but they are similar.  The main theme of each is that the Lord deserves all worship and praise because of His greatness and His mighty works.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness (Ps. 29:2).  O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth (Ps. 96:9).

2 Chronicles 20, as invading enemies approached Jerusalem.  King Jehoshaphat stood and prayed for God’s protection in the middle of the congregation of the people.  God sent a prophet to tell the people that He would fight their battle for them.  “Ye shall not need to fight… set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you” (v. 17).  Jehoshaphat encouraged the people to believe the Lord and the next day, instead of sending his armies out to the enemy first, he sent singers.  When they got to the enemy’s camp, they found all their enemies were destroyed, as God had said.  And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth forever (2 Chron 20:21).

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness means we ought to worship (adore, revere, and honor) the Lord because of the beauty of His holiness (His sinlessness, His purity).  

Psalm 29 speaks of God’s beauty in the world.  Here are some of my favorite phrases:

            The voice of the Lord is upon the waters… The God of glory thundereth… The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire… The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve … The Lord sitteth King forever… The Lord will bless his people with peace.

I want to challenge you to look around at the beautiful world the Lord created.  Think about the beauty of the God who makes things like the sunrise and sunset, or the moon, stars, and galaxies we see in the sky.  What about oceans, rivers, waterfalls, forests, lightning, fire, and rainbows stretched across dark rainclouds?  Think about new life, the miracle of birth for both humans and animals.  And yet God’s beauty surpasses everything here on earth.  His holiness is far more beautiful than any sunset or waterfall because His beauty is holy; it is perfect.

Our God is worthy of all worship.  He is mighty.  He has done great things.  He created a beautiful world for us to live in.  Worship the Lord today in the beauty of His holiness.