• JRM Sydney

GLORY

GOD of Infinite Beauty and Manifold Perfection

Q1: What is one thing you are really really good at or could compete for and probably win?

We have come to the end of our series on the Attributes of God and as they say: "Reserve the Best for Last". GOD'S GLORY is what I believe to be the epitome of all God’s Attributes. Our God is GLORIOUS!


We always hear expressions such as “TO GOD ALONE BE THE GLORY!” (Soli Deo Gloria), and are very familiar with verses such as “Whether you eat or drink.. do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31) But what do we mean by that?

Q2: What is Glory? WHAT IS the GLORY of GOD?


It is so central to Scripture that the story of the Bible is in some sense described to be the drama of God’s glory. It is a question impossible to answer, and yet it is utterly crucial that we attempt to understand it:


Martin Loyd-Jones wrote,

“The glory of God is something which no man can define. The glory of God is his essential and ultimate attribute. It means his greatness, his splendor, his majesty. The real trouble with all of us . . . is that we do not know God."

John Piper defines the Glory of God as:

“The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of God’s manifold perfections. The infinite beauty—the manifestation of his character and his worth and his attributes — all of his perfections and greatness are beautiful as they are seen, and there are many of them.”

In other words, the Glory of God is the Infinite Beauty and Manifold Perfections of ALL HIS ATTRIBUTES on display or made visible.


The Hebrew Word is ‘kabod’

  1. Literal Meaning - heaviness ; weight

  2. Metaphorical Meaning - pertains to one's importance; reputation and majesty (as in royalties)

Q3: Why do you think is "glory" meant "weight" in the Hebrew language? What did it mean?


GLORY IS THE OVERALL DESCRIPTIVE IDENTIFICATION OF GOD in the SCRIPTURES

Psalm 29:3

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.


GOD IS GLORIOUS in EVERYTHING.

People can be glorious in one thing and not very impressive in other things. But God is infinitely, consistently, unchangingly and unceasingly beautiful in everything. He is also perfect in every way.


Isaiah 6:2 states,

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”

God wants HIS GLORY to be on DISPLAY!

E.g. an artist/painter putting on an exhibit of his works..


Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

These are just 7 out of thousands of natural wonders of the world. The work of God's hands. A fraction of the reflection of His beauty and grandeur. We are seekers of Beauty. If these creations are but mere reflections and fractions of the beauty of God - then can you imagine HOW BEAUTIFUL is GOD?


GOD'S GLORY IS DESCRIBED IN THESE WAYS IN THE SCRIPTURES:

1. INTRINSIC

When we talk about Michael Jordan or Lebron James, we think of Basketball greats. When we mention the names of Roger Federer or Serena Williams, we pertain to Tennis Legends. We have many different Hall of Fame in this world in different fields of expertise and the process of honouring or paying homage and recognition to someone's great achievements is to give them glory!


For humans, their glory is normally based on what they have done or achieved. But GOD is a Class of Himself. He doesn't have any equal nor He has any competitor in His field. And His glory is not based on what He has done or achieved but flows from WHO HE IS! This is the INTRINSIC nature of GOD"S GLORY. It is Non-Dependent on external forces and it is self-defined. As water is naturally wet and fire is naturally hot; so is God intrinsically GLORIOUS!


Humanity’s glory also fades; e.g. Beauty Queens, Athletes, Celebrities, etc. Only God’s Glory is eternal! That’s why to live for one’s own glory is too small a goal or purpose to live for.

2. ASCRIBED

Men seek glory and want to achieve glory but God does not have to prove His worth. In one sense, God’s glory is the superlative honour that everything in the universe should give to God (Isaiah 43:7, Romans 3:23, John 17:5).

To "give" God glory does He has none. What it means is to reflect - to ascribe - to bring back the glory to Him! It duly belongs to Him!


God is not tolerant when His glory is challenged! That is why he hates idolatry.

I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. - Isaiah 42:8

IDOLATRY simply means worshipping the "created" rather than the Creator - the worship of anything and everything less than God Himself.


Q3: Why do you think, God's own glory is so important to Him? Q4: What is the relationship between worship and glory?


3. REFLECTED

God made us to reflect his glory. Paul tells us that even now in our Christian lives we all are being “changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18). There isn’t a visible light that surrounds us, but there is a brightness, splendor, or beauty about the life of a person who deeply loves God, and it’s often evident to those around them.

Most people won’t define their existence to be for the purpose of God’s Glory. But we are created for God’s Glory. He wants us to possess in increasing measure God’s Communicable Attributes- not just for us - but to reflect His glory! Humans who are not living for the glory of GOD don’t know why they are alive.


SIN IS THE INTERRUPTION OF GOD'S REFLECTED GLORY

Q5: What does this mean?


Romans 3:23

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God


Sin detracts from Glory.. steals God’s glory... distorts the image of His creation. You and I are created to be GOD’S DIVINE ADVERTISEMENTS. We were created to be God's signpost of His goodness and loveliness. The Church's role also is to promote Christ and to point people to Christ!

What are you promoting with your life? Who or what are you pointing at?

CREATION and EVERYTHING GOD DOES is to REVEAL HIS GLORY

The Bible indicates that it is the glory of God himself that is His goal. God’s end in all his acts is ultimately HIS GLORY. It is not that God is an egotistical God, it is just the fact that there is no one else greater than Him that He would or possibly glorify. If there is, then He seizes to be the One true God.

Isaiah 43:7

"...everyone who is called by my name,

whom I created for my glory,

whom I formed and made.”


Isaiah 43:21

the people whom I formed for myself

that they might declare my praise.


1 Cor. 10:31

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.


Q6: What does it mean to glorify God whether we eat or drink?


4. MANIFESTED

God’s “glory” describes the bright light that surrounds his presence. It belongs to him alone and it’s the outward expression of his excellence. We see this glory in several places in Scripture. For example:


Habakkuk 3:4

“His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power.”


Luke 2:9

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.


Matthew 17:2

There he (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.


Revelation 21:23

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.


1 Timothy 6:15-16

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.



5. DWELLING

“Shekinah Glory”

I once was asked this question: How would you describe the GLORY of GOD to a CHILD? And a good way to describe this is the image of the sun: It is glorious in its

  • Size

  • Value

  • Beauty

We don't want the sun to disappear - We want it to stay. Its presence is our good. It provides not just light but heat and the balance of what makes life possible on earth. God's Glory is the same. It is beautiful but at the same time very terrifying. It is life-giving but also can be very deadly.

When the Israelites were rescued from Egypt and God led them by a cloud in the day and a cloud of fire by night, the Bible states “the glory of the LORD appeared” (Exodus 16:7-10). When Moses set up the tabernacle and God filled it with his presence in a visible cloud, it states, “the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34). Likewise, when Solomon was blessed to finish the actual temple, it states “that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God” (2 Chronicles 5:14).


This was what Moses was asking for in Exodus 33 - the Shekinah Glory of God - the ABIDING PRESENCE of the GLORY of GOD. When Moses was on the top of Mount Sinai speaking with God, “Moses said, ‘Please show me your glory.’

Exodus 33

12 Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up these people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13 Now, therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”

14 And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

17 So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.”

18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen.”

Q7: Why do you think Moses asked this from God?


It's not that Moses have not seen God’s Glory before, e.g. :

  • The Burning Bush

  • The Ten Plagues

  • The Parting of the Red Sea

It is that Moses was not satisfied with the good old days. He refuses to spend the rest of His life looking back on the "glorious past". He wants to see GOd's Glory NOW! and ALWAYS! The enemy wants us to settle on our past glory encounter with God. But God is the God of NEW THINGS! Moses asked I WANT MORE! SHOW ME MORE! Like a child at play who says again, again, do it again!

GOD WILL ONLY SHOW YOU AS MUCH OF HIS GLORY AS YOUR HEART WANTS TO SEE!

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ASKED GOD TO SHOW YOU HIS GLORY? FOR AN ENCOUNTER OF HIS MANIFEST AND DWELLING PRESENCE?


CONCLUSION:

Ultimately the GLORY of GOD "tabernacled" among us. It was His original plan and purpose for His people to experience His glory and live in it. JESUS is the GLORY of GOD come down to dwell and abide with us.


Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

But in 2 Corinthians 4:4, Paul says that:

"(v.4) the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God."


But to those who seek God's light and truth, God said:

(v.6) “Let light shine out of darkness,” and made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.


We behold the GLORY of GOD in CHRIST through the eyes of our hearts. If we desire it, we will see His glory every day. When all we see around us all seem to be darkness and ugly gloom and despair, we can pray as Moses did: "Show me now Your glory!" SOLOMON asked for WISDOM - MOSES asked for GOD'S GLORY! WHAT WILL YOU ASK GOD FOR? You know you truly love God when what you are asking for is no longer what God can give - but God Himself. A hunger for more of God (not just on what he gives) is the mark of true revival! May we have the same desire as Moses and say, “Whatever I have experienced from you before - I want more!” We have to keep continuing in our desire for more of God! More of His Shekinah Glory! "SHOW ME NOW YOUR GLORY!"


Q8: Share with everyone your most powerful encounter when GOD revealed to you His GLORY? How did that encounter change your life?

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