The glory of God?

By: Ng Shaowen

Soli Deo Gloria means ascribing glory to God alone. To glorify God is NOT to big God up, nor to make Him greater, but to ascribe to Him He already has – glory in and of Himself. And as we’ve heard last week, the crux of the sermon was “it’s not about me, but all about Jesus.”  In Hebrew – kabad/kabed (glory) literally means weight or substance. So what is the glory/weight of the LORD?

Ezekiel had such a wonderful vision of God’s glory in Ezekiel 1. Long story short, there was 4 living creatures carrying a throne, and Ezekiel had the privilege to see it. BUT…

And above the expanse over their heads there was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like sapphire; and seated above the likeness of a throne was a likeness with a human appearance. And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around. And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness around him.  Like the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard the voice of one speaking. (Ezekiel 1:26-28)

We see all the details of the one who was seated on the throne that had a “human appearance” – He had the “appearance of fire” and there was “brightness around him”. He was basically like the sun. Ezekiel, upon seeing this, taken aback by the whole spectacle or “appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD”, “fell” prostrate. Apparently, the glory or substance of God is this light shining out and pouring forth of God. His glory is the giving of Himself OUTWARD. God is not one that requires us to offer Him anything. His eternal nature is love, and this love is generous and overflowing. This life and goodness that He offers is all about giving, none about taking from us! As Jonathan Edwards puts it, “As God shines His glory, and has light and warmth – it communicates to our hearts, and we are drawn to Him. This is not that He may receive, but He may go forth via His rays. ”

Jesus is described as the “radiance of the glory of God” (Hebrews 1:3) He gives us a clearer idea of what the glory of God is.

[23] And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. [24] Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (John 12:23-24)

Jesus, the Glory of God is about to humble Himself all the way, even to the Cross. On the Cross, we’re going to see the innermost being and glory of God. The Cross is about the glorification of the Glory of God. Jesus dies, to give us life. I’m sure this is the kind of glory that no god wants. However, our God has life in Himself and thus, His life can be one of giving and pouring forth. God, as of every good Father, would only want to pour forth His glory and love on His Son. However, as He pours forth the Son, and as we live by the finished work of Christ, He sends His Son to share His fullness with us!

Here then, the Gospel is the BEST NEWS in the world. God doesn’t want us to approach him with a random, small thing. God, through Jesus, shares ALL that God has and is! Jesus gives us the glory that God gives, and with gratefulness we receive.

1 John 3:1 reads, “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God, and we are.” This is a God, through Jesus, that is overflowingly glorious, and beyond, we can truly enjoy!

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