“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall 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 meditate in His temple.” King David, Psalm 27:4, NASB
The word behold points to bygone days and may be considered archaic and obsolete. With the ever-growing society, some words tip and fall, deemed no longer useful or necessary and easily replaced.
Webster’s defines behold, “to gaze upon or observe a remarkable or impressive thing or person.”
What do we behold?
The English Standard Version uses behold a total of 1,069 times. In both the Old and New Testament, behold renders two uses. First, in context to an unrestrained interjection of new or exciting elements into the story. Essentially, “See here!” or “Look and take note!” In the Hebrew it is attached to hope, expectation, and certainty. Isaiah declares, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2, emphasis mine).
John, expressing his revelation and interaction with Jesus, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18). God is our strength and salvation and Jesus alive forevermore and He has the keys – YES! Exciting elements indeed!
The second use for biblical beholding is the gazing Websters speaks of. A steady gazing – do not look away. It is calling to attention – THIS (a verbal pointing) is worth our time and there is value in our full stop. One resource stated, the gazing goes beyond sight, but to all our senses, not only physical but mental and spiritual.
John the Baptist, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Full stop. Full regard.
In our current culture we tend to call attention to so much and so many, other …than Jesus. We flock (or did) to stadiums, concert halls and think nothing of it to stand with arms waving in full unrestrained excitement. There are moments, among the crowd we too would quiet ourselves due to awe and wonder.
Why aren’t we so excited about Jesus? Where is our applause? Where is the awe? May we reclaim what it is to behold our God!
This song! (see below) Oh! That our hearts would behold Him so tenderly, so unrestrained. So full of awe and regard. Listen to the words. He is worthy of our awe. Behold Him. (I am not exalting the worship, but the One we worship!)
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
*I do not know where I got the image of the lil boy above, it has always captivated me – challenged me.