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The Bible has a lot to say about God’s glory, about His name or His reputation. And in reading through chapters 46-49 In Isaiah, we read this remarkable portion in Isa 48:9-11Isaiah 48:9–11 ESV“For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.
God takes His glory seriously. It seems only fitting that we do too. But what does that really mean? We’ll try to scratch the surface of that a bit today on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
Along with our Isaiah passage this morning, we also have Luke 21:1–9 and James 2 to consider. But it is the Isaiah passage just cited that I’d like to highlight today. For the glorifying of God appears to be a topic of some confusion.
To some, it appears as though God has an ego problem. After all, He announces that the reason why He has been so patient in dealing with Israel’s sins is that He’s done so for His own sake, lest His name should be profaned. But ego isn’t the issue in any of this at all.
If God had a big ego, when you turned over a leaf it would have a little label on it “Designed by God.” He’d plaster images of Himself all over or in our day, certainly have a reality TV show. No, He is so humble that many claim they cannot perceive Him even in the display of His genius and power in Creation. Though in truth, they are denying the obvious.
The reason why God is so jealous for His name is because as the source of all good, and because He can bestow no higher good upon His creatures than Himself – love demands He be seen, grasped and rejoiced in for who and what He is. And this then dictates what it really means to “glorify” God.
Quite simply God is most glorified, where He is most revealed.
Glory is not something added to Him – it is the outshining of His being. When He speaks here of keeping Israel for His own name’s sake or glory, He is not saying “so I’ll look good”. He is saying, “I AM faithful. That is my nature. And I am determined to reveal that about myself. I will not go back on my promises or let them fall to the ground. I will be glorified (revealed) that all may know Me and trust Me for who and what I am.”
God doesn’t need a public relations team to make Him look good. He just needs to be seen as He is. And as we read in Hebrews 1:3, He is seen best in Jesus Christ. Because He is the “radiance of the glory of God, and the exact imprint of His nature.” And why 2 Cor. 4:6 tells us that the knowledge of the glory of God is found in the face of Jesus Christ.
Jesus revealed the Father fully. That is how He can say in John 17 that He had glorified the Father on earth. In doing all the Father’s will – He made the Father known. All of which finds its absolute apex in the Cross. When not just the faithfulness of God is seen in the fulfillment of His promise of redemption, but His holiness is seen in judging sin, His mercy in the atonement made in Jesus’ blood, and His grace in requiring it to be proclaimed to the world.
Glorify Him today Christian – make Him known. Declare His goodness and glory in the cross of Christ.
I’ll be away until next Thursday. Until then, keep reading!