“I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.” (Isaiah 42:8)
While there are many truths concerning God’s purpose in salvation (justification; redemption; reconciliation; adoption; propitiation; predestination) ultimately God’s purpose in the saving of sinners is so He will be glorified. His chief goal in saving sinners is His glory. This He will not share with another.
What exactly is meant by glory? God’s glory is often literally depicted as a brilliant light (Exodus 34:29-35). Biblically, brilliant light symbolizes truth, righteousness, purity and holiness. See Revelation 21:23; Psalm 43:3; Hosea 6:1-5; John 12:41. This is what the shepherds seen and heard on that first Christmas night (Luke 2:8-14). This is what the Apostle John meant when he wrote, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4) and “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). Therefore, to say God is glorious is to say that God’s character is truthful, righteous, pure and holy.
The word glory comes from the Hebrew word kabod which has as a root meaning “weight” or “heaviness.” It means that God is substantive. It means that God is not a lightweight. It means that God is important, distinct and honorable. The Greek word for glory is doxa. We derive our English word doxology from doxa. Its meanings parallel the Hebrew.
Often, an object’s value is measured or evaluated by its weight. For example, fresh produce, meat or a precious metal’s value is determined by its literal weight. This is the case when you buy lunchmeat at the deli counter. The price you pay for what you have ordered is directly proportionate to the amount or weight you requested.
God’s glory represents the truth that He is of infinite worth and value. God’s glory surpasses the glory of anything else which exists. Mankind continually seeks to glorify human beings by ascribing to them, be they politicians, actors, celebrities or athletes, a worth or value which is above other human beings and perhaps even comparable to God Himself. What foolishness!
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “When we are ascribing glory to God, we are ascribing worth to Him. We are telling others of His value and unsurpassed worth. This, in turn, should shape what we do in and for Him. Our worship should evidence great beauty and reverence, for the most worthy being deserves that kind of worship. The Lord’s perfections should be regularly on our lips, for if we truly value something, we will not fail to tell others about it. If God has infinite worth and value, we should speak of His marvelous character.”
I Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Seeking to glorify God in all we do should impact the way we work, study, and treat other people. We glorify God by doing things well and treating people in a proper way.
Resolve today to do all for the glory and praise of God because He is worthy of glory.
Soli deo Gloria!