Here’s a good one from Lee! Enjoy… -anita
GOD’S GLORY—WHERE DO WE FIT IN?
I recently read a piece that discussed God’s glory and the joy of His people. It came in the context of materials from Ligonier Ministries (headed up by Dr. R.C. Sproul, one of my most favorite theology teachers and who just recently passed away to be with his Lord).
The article dealt with a topic raised in Is 48:9-11; that God does all things for the sake of His name and He will share His glory with no one else. I have read that passage many times in the past and—though I hate to admit it– rather felt in that reading that God was maybe being a bit egotistical (as if I have the right or credentials to criticize anything that God thinks or does). A great Protestant thinker I much admire, Jonathan Edwards, comments on this and related passages that “God’s pursuit of His own glory is not contrary to our happiness.” Edwards continues, “In fact, by seeking to display the fullness of His glory, the Lord is at the same time seeking our joy.”
As I attempted to follow the logic of that, I failed to see his point, I must say. But the Ligonier article went on to explain that, “Since the highest aim of our God is to reveal His glory…then His glory must be the highest good possible.” The article logic then follows this path: since God is good [Mark 10:18], and if God’s glory is the highest good possible, “then we will find our greatest joy in the…proclamation of that glory….”
As I thought on that for a while, it occurred to me a couple of things, both of which tend to elevate you and me to a special place amidst all of God’s vast creation. 1) God made us in His own image [Gen 1:27], and 2) Jesus lowered Himself from a place of divinity and made Himself into a man like us, just so He could die in our place to expiate us from our sin. Jesus did not do that for anything else in all of creation, only us. Further, in Isaiah 43:1-7 we are told how special we are. In verse 4, God says “…you are precious in my sight…and I love you.” Later, in verse 7, He says, “Everyone who is called by my name…whom I have created for my glory.” So in an important way, we are tied to His glory.
Back to Edwards’ point for a moment that God’s glory displayed also involves His seeking our joy. In Ps 105:3 the Bible says to us: “Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.” And in Jude 24, Scripture says He is able to keep you from stumbling, and to “…make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”
I’m sure I don’t fully understand nor appreciate all that God is doing here. I am sure, though, that we, who are made in His great image and for whom He died, can be joy-filled as we see the glorious things our Lord has done and is doing. And as Jude promises, some day each believer will stand before Him and see His glory unabated…and will be glad!