The Glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of his manifold perfections.
16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
6 They set a net for my steps;
my soul was bowed down.
They dug a pit in my way,
but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!
8 Awake, my glory![a]
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!
9 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth!
Before John Piper defined God’s glory in the statement that began our devotion, he said this, “Defining the glory of God is impossible…because it is more like the word beauty than the word basketball.”
A basketball is “a round piece of rubber covered with leather and inflated to a diameter of 9.5 inches.” Beauty? “Um, well—it’s… like… hmmm.” There is a sense in which God’s glory defies definition. Yet its centrality to all that is (yesterday’s devotion) requires a definition, a thoroughly biblical definition. We will hold our definition with a great deal of humility recognizing that our finiteness limits our understanding of God’s glory until the day, we see Him face to face.
The word glory in the OT is the Hebrew kavod. Its most basic and fundamental use is to describe that which is “heavy in weight.” When used as a verb, it means to “give weight to or to honor.” In the New Testament the word for God’s glory is doxa and it carries the same Old Testament meaning of “weightiness and honor.” Biblical authors used “glory” as a description of one’s elevated position (Genesis 45:13), all that one possessed (Genesis 31:1), and the abundance of one’s power (Ephesians 3:20).
Thus we can say that God’s glory is tied to His position in creation, all that He possesses, and the fullness of His power. Said another way, God’s glory is all that He is and all that He expresses Himself to be.
God is Sovereign, Holy, All Knowing, All Powerful, All Present, Unchangeable, Truthful, Wise, Good, Gracious, Loving, Kind, Just, Merciful, Eternal, Creative, Compassionate, Pure, Beautiful—and He is all of these in infinite perfection and fullness.
Imagine taking all that God is and expresses Himself to be and cramming it into one word. That word…is GLORY.
Thankfully God’s Word gives us the language we need to speak about His glory. Let’s allow portions of Psalm 145 t to be our prayer today…
1 I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.
5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
8 The Lord is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 The Lord is good to all,
and his mercy is over all that he has made.
10 All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord,
and all your saints shall bless you!
11 They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom
and tell of your power,
12 to make known to the children of man your[b] mighty deeds,
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Before closing this devotion, take a moment and bring to mind one thing—at this moment—that you are thankful for. And thank God for it.