Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A note on glory

Nobody ever 'gives' glory to God in the Bible, as though glory were an object that people possessed but could hand over to God.
Every case of people 'glorifying God' is a case of people recognising the glory God has and has shown.
They recognize his glory because he does cool, loving, justice bearing redemptive acts.
God's 'glory' is not the praise of his people, rather, the people praise his glory.
Neither does God 'pursue' his glory. HE IS HIS GLORY! Indeed, in the OT, glory is closely ties to YHWH's presence. (fire, cloud, giant shiny eye covered wheels etc..)
Go read the book of Numbers for the easiest way to make the glory of God appear: whinge! But it might be to your downfall.
God, however, can give glory, he can share himself around. He can invite mere humans into his divine life. Aaron and the priests are given garments of glory so that they serve in the temple.

We have to carefully distinguish between the noun 'glory' and the verb 'glorify'. Except when God does it, the verb does not produce the noun. The noun calls forth the verb.

To have the glory of God manifest in our own lives is to
1. Be recepients of his cool, loving, justice bearing, redemptive deeds
2. To praise him for those cool redemptive, justice bearing deeds
3. To live in a way consistent with a God who acts in cool, loving, redemptive, justice bearing ways

Even to say that we are 'formed for God's glory' needs to be read in context, where it describes the people of Jacob who are the object of God's cool, loving, justice bearing, redemptive acts.

So, there is a similarity between the verbs 'glorify' and 'praise', but the noun 'glory' is a different thing.


Matthew Moffitt said...

What's going on in Matt 5.16?

Mike W said...

It is the verb.
People see cool good stuff happening in the lives of followers.
They respond by praising God, somewhat like with Jesus' miracles.

Matthew Moffitt said...


Anonymous said...

the noun/verb thing isn't exact.

reality is , the noun can be speaking of 'honour, praise' or 'splendour,majesty'

and the verb can mean both 'give honour, praise' or 'make splendorous'. But I still maintain that they are two seperate things, and while we are called to 'honour, praise', we dont 'make' God any more splendiferous than he already is
mik w