If we were silent "the very stones would cry out" | Glorify God
In today's post I wanted to unpack what it means that God desire His own glorification. Is God vain? Is He proud? Isn't it unbecoming to desire your own honor? And if so, why would our good God operate in this manner?
Even God worships God | The Great I Am
My assertion is simple: God does all things so that He might be glorified and that glorifying God is the purpose of life.
If you doubt God's desire for glorification, consider the following verses. Indeed God seems very concerned with His own glory, praise and acknowledgement.
Scripture is Clear: Glorify God
- Isaiah 42:12 | "Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands." (KJV)
- Isaiah 48:11 | "For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another." (KJV)
- Psalm 29:2 | "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." (KJV)
- Psalm 96:4 | "For the Lord is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods." (KJV)
- John 13:31 | "Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him." (KJV)
Is this Bad? | Is God vain?
When I first heard the suggestion that "even God worships God", my first thought was, isn't that vain? But no, it is not.
Let's unpack this a bit more by exploring scripture and logic to understand how God might be "correct", in placing such a high worth upon His own glorification and praise.
Investigating God's "Vanity"
First, if God exists, then He is perfect: This must be understood.
If God exists, then necessarily, whatever He is, is optimal, ideal, and complete. Why? Because He is our creator, and therefore the definer of purpose, and perfection.
As author of all things God is necessarily designer of the measurements and definitions upon which we determine good from evil, and worthy from waste. Therefore asking whether God is good, is like asking whether the rules in Monopoly are "right"... they are what they are, and God is "I Am".
Exodus 3:14 English Standard Version (ESV)
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.”[a] And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
So yes, God does desire His own glory. I would argue this is the core idea of Christianity. That God being perfect, loved His creation (man) so much that He literally came incarnate so that we might know and follow Him, both literally and figuratively. That is to say, God in Christ is the literal and figurative "Way", we were designed to go. And like the rules of a board game, written by its author, asking whether the rule is "right" is non-sense.
We live by our creator, to walk in relation with our creator, and the only appropriate posture in that relationship is as a son to his father, or servant to King.
I think in part we understand this, but still it might seem surprising that even God glorifies God above all else. We think of our own pride and knowing that man can never be perfect we believe worshiping oneself is vanity, and foolish pride, but NOT in the Lord it isn't. Just as we must glory His name, so to must He also, it is simply the "right" thing to do. To do any less would be idolatry, even if done by God himself.
"You shall have no other gods before me"
If God loved anything above Himself, God would have a false idol: Does that make sense?
God is perfection, the alpha and omega, who was, is and is to come. He is the source of all good, joy, hope, peace, love, and light. Apart from Him is void, death, or emptiness.
But then this begs the question, if God loves Himself first, seeking His own glory, does that mean He is selfish? Not in the least. As John 3:16 tells us, He loves us more than words can explain, and as Romans 8:28 says, He is working things for the greatest good of those who love and serve Him.
So in God we have a creator that is the center of all, and who is truly deserving of every praise, because it is proper that He should be glorified, but also for our own greatest good. It is right that man is humbled before God, it is best for us that we would humble our hearts before true power, in adoration of His name.
It is by this confusing and complicated relationship we can accurately declare that He is for us, and we need not fear, not even death.
Romans 8:30-32 King James Version (KJV)
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Even God worships God, Christ's name is above all names not just because God is the center of all and all, but also because God knows it is right and good for our hearts to be centered upon His nature, power and glory.
This is why Martin Luther King said:
"Christianity affirms that at the heart of reality is a heart, a loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children."
God's pursuit of his own glory is nothing like human vanity.
Where we wrongly glorify our sinful selves, standing in pride over our measly "accomplishments", which are but filthy rags to Him (Isaiah 64:6), Christ the Lord stands rightly enthroned in glory and eternal praise. This is not vanity, this is simply correct orientation of reality.
So, yes, God desires His own glory. His nature demands that every knee bow, but no this is not akin to human vanity.
He rightly acknowledges His own glory, and in doing so acknowledges reality and truth. Thus is His nature: He seeks His own glory because it is right, not out of selfishness but out of love. He loves us so much, that in His perfect wisdom, wanting our greatest good, He works in this world that we might know Him, because by knowing Him we might live, and live abundantly.
John 10:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Lord help us kneel in worship, sing in praise, and glorify your name in all that we say, do and think. That we might live rightly, shining the good news of your works, and living the fullness of life that you intend for us.
To close I decided to link a wonderful song by Hillsong United, called "No other name"... may these lyrics stir your soul, reminding of God's gracious and merciful love, power and perfection.
Hillsong United: No other name
As always, thank you so much for your time and attention. I hope you have an amazing day and may God bless you.
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