“The glory of God”
On an unnamed hill, surrounded by sheep contentedly munching their grass, a handful of shepherds witnessed the greatest sound and light show ever staged. God’s birth announcement filled the front page of the sky that night. The only ones He found that were in tune were the humble shepherds. There watching lambs destined for sacrifice came word of the ultimate lamb. And when it came how did God word it? Look with me at Luke 2:7-15.
But why did God do that? What is all this Glory to God about?
Our precious portion of scripture to meditate upon in our study this evening is Ps. 19:8. Note the second half. This is the fourth of six sets of divine snapshots of the perfect sufficiency of God’s word. Each focuses on a special facet of God’s written revelation.
Our text says the commandment of the Lord or His divine decrees are so pure they enlighten our eyes.
- The divine teacher touching all of life turning the whole person to God
- The divine witness absolutely trustworthy making us skilled in the art of holy living
- Divine directions causing great joy because we know what is absolutely right
- Divine decrees without any flaw bringing the light of God on every area of life.
But what do we mean by divine decrees? You see this word commandments of decrees speaks of: “those things that are binding and non-optional”. They are “authoritative and impervious”. They are decrees from God; His divine commands. This morning we need to consider the chief command of God – that He be glorified.
Chuck Swindoll captures the nature of this aspect of God’s word in his book, Rise and Shine. Let me quote from him on one of God’s decrees. Our purpose in existence is to please Him, singing glory to His name!
“The primary purpose of our lives is to glorify God. That, in a nutshell, is the reason we have been left on this planet. We haven’t long to live. In our brief span of sixty or seventy years, God graciously allows us breath in our lungs, a heart that beats over a hundred thousand times a day, and sufficient mental and physical strength to carry on. In the process of our earthly existence, His most primary purpose for our lives is not that we make a name for ourselves or accumulate a pile of dough or push people around like a hot shot. Pure and simple, it is to bring glory to His name. If in the process He permits us a measure of success or a few joys and benefits for our labor, no problem. But due to the brevity of life, we must keep first things first.”
Wow! What a clear view of life! Turn to Isaiah 42:5-7.
“Our God is a jealous God. He shares His glory with no one else. From this day forward, do not allow yourself to forget the importance of glorifying His great name, regardless of your age, your status, your financial portfolio, or your sphere of influence. Read the following divine decrees through two ancient prophets. They represent words of warning for every generation.
“Thus says God the LORD,
Who created the heavens and stretched them out,
Who spread out the earth and its offspring,
Who gives breath to the people on it,
And spirit to those who walk in it,
‘I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,
I will also hold you by the hand and watch over you,
And I will appoint you as a covenant to the people,
As a light to the nations,
To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the dungeon,
And those who dwell in darkness from the prison.’”
“‘“But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them…”’”(Jeremiah 45:5).
God says: Seek Me first and My ruling of your life before all else! (My paraphrase Mt. 6:33).
Again: Whether therefore ye eat, drink or whatever, do it for My glory. (1 Cor. 10:31).
Those are divine decrees. They are the authoritative, binding, non-optionals of God’s word…. Ps. 19:8. Note the commandments on divine decrees of the Lord are clear…
– This word is literally “bright like the sun”
– It speaks of that which is clear, easy to see and understand.
– It makes our duty to God’s decrees plain!
Sometimes people long to know what to do. If someone could just tell me…. God already has! He said glorify Me while you have time. That’s a non-optional command, the only reason we are here is to do that.
The story is told of the man who, while walking on the beach, found washed up on the sand a used magic lamp. When the genie answered his rub, he told him that the lamp contained but one remaining wish. The man pondered for a moment, and then requested a copy of the stock page from the local newspaper, dated exactly one year later. In a puff of smoke, the genie was gone, and in his place was the financial news. Gleefully, the man sat down to peruse his trophy; he could invest with certainty, knowing the winners one year hence. As the paper fell to his lap, it turned over to the obituary column found on the reverse of the page, and the name on the top of the listing caught his attention: it was his! We need to invest in the glory of God while we can.
- light that eminates from God. This light is as inescapable as the searing rays bursting from an exploding atomis blast, brighter than a supernova in the skies, brighter than the Sun in its strength.
- in eden light flowed from god 1 Timothy 6:15-16 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. (NKJV)
- in the sinai flowed from god Exodus 19:18-19 Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 And when the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. (NKJV)
- in the tabernacle flowed from god Exodus 40:34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. (NKJV)
- in the temple flowed from god 1 Kings 8:10-11 And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD. (NKJV)
- in Christ flowed from God
- at his birth John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (NKJV)
- at his baptism Matthew 3:16-17 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.
- 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (NKJV)
- throughout his ministry 2 Corinthians 4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (NKJV);
- at his transfiguration Matthew 17:2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. (NKJV)
- at the cross and empty tomb Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, (NKJV)
- now in heaven Revelation 1:15-16 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; 16 He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. (NKJV)
- truth that eminates from the created universe. Pulsating in different ways from the heavenly bodies out in space, downto the least known creature on earth, all reveal and display the glory of their Creator. 1 Corinthians 15:39-41 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. (NKJV)
- Psalm 29:3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters. (NKJV)
- Psalm 19:1 To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. (NKJV)
- magnification and reflection that eminate from the redeemed. This is the praise of God’s people. This is the testimony of the saints. This is the purpose of the church and each member of the body of Christ. God isn’t sending out the heavenly hosts to put on a cosmic sound and light show this Christmas. He has you and me instaed. What are some ways we can glorify and magnify God?
- regularly Confess your sins (Joshua 7:19 Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.” (NKJV))
- regularly Praise God (Psalm 50:23 Whoever offers praise glorifies Me; And to him who orders his conduct aright I will show the salvation of God.” (NKJV)).
- include the Lord in every part of your life! Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (NKJV);
- seek him above all else in your life! Matthew 10:37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. (NKJV).
- constantly Pray (John 14:13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (NKJV))
- abundantly Bear fruit (John 15:8 “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (NKJV))
- gratefully thank him for everything! Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (NKJV); 1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV). This is another great test of life. If you can’t say aloud with sincerity: “Thank you dear Father in Heaven for that
- date I just returned from,
- movie I just watched,
- outing I just participated in,
- TV show I just opened your holy dwelling place to [your mind is where He lives remember!],
- video game I was just mesmerized by,
- book I just read,
- magazine I just looked at, purchased or read
- sporting activity I just invested one, two or three hours of the most precious commodity in the world my time! And so on!