(Thanks to Sterling, again, for inspiration on this one)
"Not All That Glitters..."
If we could spiritually see Satan, he would likely appear to be the most beautiful sight we've ever beheld.
"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty" (Ezekiel 28:17).
Conversely, the Lord Jesus Christ came into His world with "no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isaiah 53:2).
The contrast frequently still manifests itself in God's working in our lives. The devil and his influences often wear the most appealing garb. They look, sound, feel, and act with great appeal to our senses, emotional nature, and even our intellectual capacities. If we fail to exercise our Biblical calling to be wary and cautious, our enemies will inevitably deceive us with spiritual confections sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. As a young man whom I greatly respect once said long ago when he was only ten years old, "The devil makes good things seem bad, and bad things seem good" (a library of theological volumes will yield no brighter light of Truth about our enemy than that statement).
The Lord Jesus presently comes to us in far different ways. His light often shines in darkness. His beauty glimmers from the unlovely. He speaks quietly, or sounds common and ordinary. His working in our lives most often bears no pomp, circumstance, excitement, or glitter. Indeed, recall that for more than 90% of His earthly lifetime, a mere handful of souls knew the Lord's identity. He performed no miracles, taught but once in the temple when He was twelve, and lived so inauspiciously that His own brothers were not aware He was the Messiah of Israel (John 7:5). He still frequently bears "no form nor comeliness." His working in our lives, while perfect, often challenges our understanding and ability to see and embrace. David's prayer, "Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us" will sometimes appear to be far from our definition of loveliness as our Savior reveals His glory in mangers rather than palaces (Psalm 90:17).
Remembering the contrast between the devil deceived by his beauty and the Lord Jesus willing for our sakes to have no beauty goes far in helping us to embrace the good things and reject the bad. "Not all that glitters is gold" suggests the old adage. Even more, not all that glitters is God. In this world, much beautiful glimmer proceeds from devilish influences of a being who once bore the Lord's light, but who now dwells in delusions of unreality. He seeks to promulgate his deception upon others, offering darkness that appears to be light. We do well to remember Satan's illusory beauty, and even more, to realize that our Savior still dwells among us in garb that requires the faith to see His beauty where we might least expect it.
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."
"Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found Him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?"
Weekly Memory Verse
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.