(1) Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. (2) Sing to the LORD , praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. (3) Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. (4) For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods. (5) For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens. (6) Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and glory are in his sanctuary. (7) Ascribe to the LORD , O families of nations, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. (8) Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering and come into his courts. (9) Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness; tremble before him, all the earth.
What does God desire from us?
He wants us to give Him glory. He wants us to glorify Him. God didn’t create us so that we would just be good little ants that He can look down on as if we were His obedient pets. The reason He created us was to glorify Him.
Our primary purpose as a church and as individuals is to glorify God.
The Westminster Confession of Faith says that the chief end of man is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”. That’s our purpose. To glorify God. But what does it mean to glorify God? What is meant by the glory of God?
Glory is a hard word to define. It’s kind of like the word beauty. It’s hard to define beauty….you just know it when you see it. There’s beauty in a sunset over the ocean…there’s beauty in nature (the bloom of a rose, the majesty of a tall Georgia pine tree, the rush of a powerful waterfall), there’s beauty in an NBA player sinking a 30 foot jump shot, or a PGA player sinking a 30 foot putt. You can’t really define what beauty is, you just know it when you see it.
Glory is the same way. It’s hard to define, but you know it when you see it. And when you see God (particularly in the person of Jesus Christ – as John says), you have seen God’s glory.
As a noun (as in “the glory of God”), it refers to the beauty, the magnificence, the “awesome-ness” of God.
God’s glory is the sum total of His glorious attributes. God is perfection in every sense of the word. He is perfect in power, He is perfect in strength, and He is perfect in truth. He has perfect love, perfect justice, perfect wisdom, and perfect holiness.
All of that together is a picture of the glory of God.
And when we talk about glorifying God, we don’t mean that we can add to His glory in that sense. I can add nothing to God’s greatness. I can add nothing to God’s holiness and righteousness. When we worship God, we do not add to His glory….and when we sin, we do not take away from His glory. We can not change the glory of God…it is who He is.
On the other hand, the word “glory”, as a verb (as in “glorifying God”) refers to how we (His creation) esteem Him. Do we hold Him in high regard? Do we place Him as the most important person in our lives? Do we consider Him to be the most beautiful, the most powerful, the most holy? Do we “glory” in the “glory of God”? In this sense, we enlarge or magnify our perspective of who God is.
Now, in this sense, we can add to the glory of God by esteeming Him more highly in our own eyes, and by displaying His glory so that others will esteem Him more highly as well. We display and magnify God’s greatness, so that people will enlarge their view of God and see Him as greater and holier and more awesome than they used to. That’s what it means to glorify God. To consider Him to be the greatest…and to display His greatness to others, so they too can glorify Him.
So, in a sense, glorifying God is essentially the same as worship. To glorify God means to worship God. Worshipping God is ascribing to God the glory He deserves…..which is exactly what glorifying Him means also.
But, worship is not synonymous with singing to Him. Worship is much more than music. Music (and singing and praising God with our lips) is just one way in which we worship God. Worship, in its totality, is glorifying God.
So, today, let’s worship our God of glory! Let’s regard Him as greater and more lovely than anyone or anything else in our lives, and let us be courageous to do so before others that they too may esteem Him highly.