“Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. (Rev. 14: 7)
On initial examination, God’s demand for mankind to render Him glory has all the appearance of an impossible request. All would feel an empathy with Paul’s admission, “I have nothing to glory of” (1Cor. 9:16)
God is all-glorious and we have no innate glory whatsoever. When imperfectly understood, God’s demand would appear more unreasonable that a demand by a billionaire for a million dollars from a penniless pauper. Yet God’s people are commanded to give voice to this command, - “give glory to Him” (Revelation 14:7)
Such a command is not new. This has ever been God’s requirement of His people. Israel was often reminded of this duty.
“Let them give glory unto the Lord” (Isaiah 42:12)
“Give glory to the Lord your God” (Jeremiah 13:16)
“If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you” (Malachi 2:2)
That God’s people have fulfilled and will continue to fulfil this command of the Eternal One is promised by the psalmist thus removing any ground to believe that our heavenly Father has commanded the impossible.
‘The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him and all the upright in heart shall glory (Psalm 64:10)
As so often is the case, the key to this scriptural mystery is to be found in the Hebrew hymns collected in the Book of Psalms.
“In God is my salvation and my glory” (Psalm 62:7)
Unquestionably the source of the glory which we give God is the Lord Himself. This is logical, for if God possesses all the glory, then He alone can provide the glory which He requires us to return to Him. It will be remembered that in David’s hymn, which incorporates the three commands of the first angel’s message, the giving of glory is associated with the bringing of an offering.
How much can man do for his own salvation?
(John 15:5). - “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
We can’t do anything worthwhile by ourselves. One writer has appropriately said that justification by faith is the work of God in laying man’s glory in the dust, and doing for man that which he can’t do for himself.
The verse says, “Give glory to Him.” Who would get the glory, if we could save ourselves? Definitely not God! Before we can give glory to God we must lay our pride, self-exaltation and self-glorification aside and recognize that we are nothing but dust.
When we fear God we will automatically give glory to Him. To fear God is to know and understand who God is, and what He will do for us, but to give glory to God is to show in action that we fear, and reverence Him.
What are some of the practical aspects of giving glory to God?
(1Cor. 10:31) - “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
We give glory to God when all that we do is done to glorify Him rather then ourselves. Giving glory to God involves the total man, - the health and well being of his body, mind and spirit, producing the fruits of the Holy Spirit. We are also to give glory to God in our eating and drinking. Many people think that God is not concerned about little things as to what we put inside our bodies. But it is very clear that God takes notice of even the smallest things in our lives. Our health should not be treated lightly, for to destroy our health is to limit our usefulness for God.
While this text is not limited to our habits of eating and drinking, nevertheless, they are obviously important part of giving glory to God. It also extends to the clothes we wear, the things we do when we are alone, how we respond to others, including those who might offend us, to how diligent we are in doing the work that we find at hand.
(1Cor. 6:19, 20.) - “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.”
Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and God doesn’t live in an unclean and polluted temple. That is why we must watch what we eat and drink. If we want Christ to dwell in our hearts, we must cleanse the soul temple of all defilement.
How else can we glorify God?
(1Tim. 2:9, 10). - “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
We must also glorify God in our behaviour, and not seek to attract attention in any way to ourselves. We need to wear only those things which will reflect Christ, and of which God would approve. We must also glorify God by the use we make of the time, talents, and the finances that He has bestowed upon us. So fearing God and giving glory to Him covers a wide range of things in life.
(Genesis 1:27) – “So God created man in His own image in the image of God created he him male and female created he them”
Note: We are created to reflect God’s image. An image is the reflection of the original.
What is God’s glory?
(Exodus 33:18-19) – “and he said I beseech thee show me thy glory and he said I will make all my goodness pass before thee and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and ill show mercy on whom I will show mercy”
Note: Moses asked God to show his glory and God responded:
- I will make all my goodness pass before thee
- And I will proclaim the name of the Lord
- And I will be gracious on whom I will be gracious
- And show mercy on whom I will show mercy
God’s glory is his character (Exodus 34:5-6). - “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,”
The first angel calls the people of God to give glory to him which means reflect His glory [character].
Who makes it possible to reflect God's character?
(Colossians 1:27) – "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Note: Only Christ!
Every child of God is created to do His will. Those who truly claim Christ’s promises are filled with His Spirit, walk in His ways, and render glory to Him. Thus God can truly say of all such men and those who today accept the first angel’s message.
“Even every one that is called by my name for I have created him for my glory yea I have formed him yea I have made him” - (Isaiah 43:7)