Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Glory


 

Kinship Christian Radio announcer Beth Crosby recently began one of her programs by saying: “God created everything with His voice. He spoke and the universe came into existence. That is grandeur, power, and glory. David tells us that God’s glory fills the heavens. The word “glory” itself means “majesty.” It describes Gods stateliness, His impressiveness in scale and proportion, His greatness. Creation doesn’t exist simply to provide us a home or a place for us to enjoy. The universe exists to show forth Gods immeasurable, unquantifiable, indescribable, and awesome characteristics. The celestial realm’s great expanse magnifies God’s enormity and reminds us that God is worthy of worship.

Amen, Beth!

When I sat down to write this, and told my family I intended to write about God’s glory, and they said, “You do that a lot.”

True. I have no defense for that accusation.

And, as I pondered why that was so, I came to the conclusion that I keep doing it over and over again because I feel I never quite get it right. It’s like the words on the page always fall way, way short of the glory due God.

It’s no wonder.

Because God’s kingdom and His power are infinite, so is His glory. How could I describe the infinite glory of an infinite God? As Beth said, God’s awesome characteristics are immeasurable, unquantifiable, and indescribable.

The Bible tells us that God’s glory is so great that, when it takes on visible properties, it is downright frightening.

In 2 Chronicles 7, after Solomon had consecrated the temple he had built for the LORD, the glory of the God filled it and the priests could not enter it. When all the people of Israel saw the glory of the LORD filling the temple, they fell down on their faces and worshiped and praised the LORD.

The shepherds who were keeping watch over their flocks by night had a similar reaction when the angel announced the birth of Jesus:

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. (Luke 2:9)

Indeed, fear and trembling, praise and worship are the only responses left to us when we are in the presence of the glory of God.

While I will never be able to adequately describe the incredible glory of God, the Bible does describe what it was like when God’s glory withdrew from the Earth:

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. (Luke 23:44, 45a ESV)

In that moment when Jesus was dying and the love of God and His glory retreated from all the earth, complete darkness fell over us.

There was a great earthquake, the temple of the curtain was torn in two, and the very rocks split. It seemed as if the whole earth would crumble to pieces without the presence of the glory of God.

And, I am convinced it would have, had He not withdrawn from us temporarily that His glory would be all the greater when he arose from the dead, clothed in majesty, with a way opened before us to be freed and forgiven, reunited and restored to Him.

The truth is, God’s glory is all around us every day. We do not live in darkness. All of this is a miracle, created by His voice. From the infinitely small perfection of the very molecules that make up everything around us to the infinite vastness of the universe, His infinite love is visible and tangible in the gifts He has placed before us.

But the greatest of all those gifts was His incredible plan to take on finite flesh and emerge victorious in the battle of the finite versus the infinite.

When we brought death into this world with our sin, we introduced the finite into what had been created and designed to be infinite. That’s why when Jesus rose from what had been the finality of death and brought everlasting life to all who believe, He was victorious in restoring the infinite. And this was not by any virtue of our own, but by the very nature of His infinite love for us and to the praise of His infinite glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Today’s  Praise

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13 ESV)

3 comments:

Beth Crosby said...

Great post, Dan - thanks for sharing this and for pointing us to His great glory and grace. Blessings to you!

Dan Jones said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dan Jones said...

Thanks to you, Beth! And all the glory to God!