"GLORY BE TO GOD, THE FATHER; GLORY BE TO GOD, THE SON . . ."
As I write this post, the beautiful, silken voice of Kristyn Getty glides and soars ever so melodiously over those lyrics penned by her mega-talented husband, Keith.
MAN, can that Irish dude write him some killer songs! Man, can that wife of his sing the ever-living snot out of them!!
And here I go (again), brazenly BRAGGING on these two frail, mortal VESSELS of the sheer grace and mercy of God! Giving THEM boldfaced, unblushing kudos for their exceptional abilities and natural winsomeness.
In a word . . . here I am, GLORIFYING two fellow human critters.
That IS pretty much the idea of the word. To "GLORIFY" is to boast or brag. To heap adulation and accolades on someone for surpassing excellence.
Thankfully, the earnest desire of the Gettys, themselves, is far more noble-minded than that! It is their explicit intent that the very words, the inspiring melodies, and that generous helping of musical talent should always, only conspire together to redound solely to THE GLORY OF GOD (and THAT, ironically, lifts them even higher in my esteem! 😃)
[NOTE: the word, "REDOUND," is a perfectly good, but "archaic" English word found in the King James Bible in II Corinthians 4:15: "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant Grace might through the thanksgiving of many REDOUND to the glory of God."
It comes from the French word, redonder, "to overflow." According to Lawrence M. Vance, "to redound is to abound, contribute, come back as a result of, or to reflect on." ("Archaic Words and the Authorized Version").
Personally, I think the English language is shamefully impoverished in our post-modern era, in that we have arbitrarily jettisoned thousands of such rich expressions.
And what highly evolved utterances now take their place?
"Like." "Awesome." "Freakin'."
It seems hardly exaggeration to say those three words alone make up roughly 50% of today's English vernacular.]
But back to our subject:
The Puritans of Westminster absolutely CRUSHED IT when they penned THESE immortal words in their 1647 "Confession of Faith:"
"The chief end of man is TO GLORIFY GOD, and to enjoy Him forever."
They "crushed it," NOT because they pulled that out of their own craniums, but because it is straight from God's own personal Love Letter to the human race:
"Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him FOR MY GLORY" (Isaiah 43:7)
And . . .
""Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou has created all things, and for they pleasure they are and were created" (Revelation 4:11).
Amen and amen!
We were CREATED for the express purpose of bringing all glory to the Ancient of Days, the Eternal "I AM!"
Neither is this a matter of just a few token "proof-texts." The overall tenor of scripture resoundingly confirms and underscores it (see Numbers 14:21; Psalm 72:19; Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14; John 12:23, 28; Romans 11:33-36; 16:27; I Corinthians 6:20; 10:31; I Timothy 1:17, for just a few!)
"Glory" can be defined as resplendent majesty, great beauty, superlative excellence that merits high renown, adoring praise and honour without reserve.
It's been described as "the outshining of all God's infinite perfections," the sum total of all His attributes and acts; that which shows Him manifestly worthy of unbridled devotion, worship, honor and praise.
As J. Dwight Pentecost has said, "The glory of God is that within the person of God in which He can find delight, that in which He can take justifiable pride."
"JUSTIFIABLE pride," did you say?!!!
That sounds shockingly self-contradicting!
Pride, of course, is a neon blazoned "No-No" in Christian thinking! One of the "seven deadly sins," in fact!
But that's because we try to understand even God through an embarrassingly man-centered grid. And man has a very natural, yet toxic tendency to be puffed up in pride (I John 2:16), when he, as a mere, fallen creature, has truly NOTHING of substance to be proud about; no legitimate reason whatsoever to brag (Isaiah 2:22; I Corinthians 1:29).
God, on the other hand, Who has very real emotions, but Whose emotions are purity in perfection, has INFINITE cause for true, unmitigated, unabashed PRIDE.
What does it mean, then, to properly "GLORIFY" God, or to "give God the glory?"
It means either to "BRAG" all over God, (as I did of the Gettys, above), or to live, act or speak the things that proclaim him eminently worthy of such boasting.
Again, to quote Pentecost, "When God reveals Himself, a response is demanded. When man responds to that revelation of glory as befits that revelation, man is glorifying God."
It means to fill our speech and our lives with the praise, honor and splendor that is properly due the Almighty.
In specific, concrete terms, WHAT EXACTLY DOES THAT LOOK LIKE?
More on that in the next post.