The term “Glory of God” is found throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, and it can be understood in different ways. In this discussion, we will explore two main aspects of this term.
Definition 1: The Weightiness of God’s Glory
Imagine attending an intimate gathering with the wisest person in history [other than Jesus of course]. Imagine this person is about to make the most significant announcement of their life. Every word spoken carries immense importance. What would be your state of mind at that moment? You would be captivated, hanging onto every word, feeling the gravity of the moment. Likewise, the glory of God represents the seriousness and weightiness of who He is. The glory of God is what captivates the human mind, causes people to fall down before His Word. God is not to be taken lightly or trivialized. He is the Creator of the universe, existing from eternity past to eternity future, and the judge of all ages.
Definition 2: God’s Invisible Attributes Made Visible
The glory of God can also be understood as the beauty, power, goodness, grace, mercy, and justice of God being expressed and made visible to us. Understanding God’s Glory through Scriptures: Let’s explore how the Bible helps us comprehend the glory of God.
God’s Glory Revealed to Moses: In the book of Exodus, Moses asked God to show him His glory. In response, God made His goodness pass before Moses and proclaimed His name as “The Lord.” God revealed His invisible attributes to Moses, including His goodness, His Lordship, and His freedom to show grace and mercy to whoever He chooses. (Exodus 33:18-19 ESV)
God’s Glory and Holiness: In the book of Isaiah, we read about a vision where heavenly beings declare, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” Here, the emphasis is on God’s holiness; when His holiness becomes visible on earth, His glory is revealed. (Isaiah 6:3 ESV)
God’s Glory Declared by Creation: The Psalms and the book of Romans tell us that the heavens and the skies proclaim the glory of God. The wonders of creation, day after day and night after night, display God’s attributes. When we observe the perfectly fine-tuned universe, we witness God’s incomprehensible knowledge, His perfection, and His excellence. This leaves the entire human race without an excuse to ignore or overlook His glory. (Psalm 19:1-4 NLT, Romans 1:20 NKJV)
The Law Reflecting God’s Glory: The commandments and laws in the Bible reveal God’s character, nature, and attributes. Each law reflects an aspect of who God is. For example, the commandment “Thou shalt not steal” reflects God’s truthfulness and honesty. The purpose of the law is to reveal God to us, not to save us. (James 1:23 ESV)
Jesus as the Expression of God’s Glory: The Bible teaches that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. In Jesus, we see God’s glory made visible. Jesus demonstrated God’s attributes, character, and nature during His time on earth. (Hebrews 1:3 NKJV, Colossians 1:15 NKJV)
The Purpose of God’s Glory:
The ultimate goal of the universe, humanity, and even our salvation is to bring glory to God. This might sound surprising, but even the most evil event in human history, the crucifixion of Jesus, brings glory to God. The cross displays God’s love, mercy, justice, and grace. We wouldn’t have known forgiveness, had it not been for our wicked sinfulness. We would not have known healing, had we not first experienced sickness. We would not have been able to sing from our hearts; “AMAZING GRACE” had we not first recognized our desperate need for a gracious saving God. The reason grace is not amazing to some; is because they lack perspective of the wickedness of their sin before God. God’s grace, His goodness, His kindness and His forgiveness are put on display, exactly because of our sin. Evil serves as a backdrop against which God’s glorious works are revealed.
Living for God’s Glory:
Our lives find their highest purpose when we live to glorify God. We achieve this by imitating Jesus, reflecting His image in our thoughts, actions, reactions, decisions, and planning. We glorify God by submitting to the Scriptures and aligning our lives with God’s will. (Romans 3:23 ESV)
The glory of God is when His invisible attributes are made visible or knowable. We can understand His glory through His weightiness, holiness, creation, the law, and most significantly, through Jesus Christ. Our lives have great meaning and purpose when we glorify God and imitate Christ. This is only possible when we align ourselves with God’s Word. May we strive to live for His glory and fulfill the ultimate goal of our existence.