O for a thousand tongues to sing
My Great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumph of His grace!
There is only one thing that we all should be living for, namely, the glory of God! Every man or woman should constantly be seeking the glory of God in his/her life and in the lives of others (family members, friends, co-workers and even those people whom we do not know). In other words, we must desire the glory of God among all the nations of the earth! The reason for this is that God is so passionate about His glory among the nations! There is nothing that God delights in more than His own glory! As one theologian has put it, “God is radically God-centered.” While we may not fully understand the depth of this and all its implications, we must receive it as good news! Seeing the glory of God and marveling in it is a wonderful blessing. Not everybody gets to see the glory of God and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. “The God of this world has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ…” (see 2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
A vision of the glory of God causes us to loathe ourselves, our sins and anything that is other or less than God Himself. In other words, seeing the glory of God stirs up within us an unquenchable desire for God. While perhaps for a time we might have rested in our own goodness/righteousness, we discover that we come to discover that our righteousness is “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) in comparison to the glory of God. Then we are given the grace to rest in His righteousness and be content with Him alone. While perhaps we might have had a tendency to cover up our sins in order that we might be viewed as morally perfect individuals before others, we come under the heavy conviction of the Holy Spirit and we are given the grace to confess our sins to God Who alone can forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) through the blood of Jesus Christ. While we may have delighted in the fleeting pleasures of sin in this world, our hearts are changed and all earthly pleasures (including the good ones), lose their lure and attraction to us in light of the glory of God. We then begin, by the grace of God, to live a God-ward life (a life of worship and service to Him). This was the experience of the prophet Isaiah (recorded in Isaiah 6:1-8). Isaiah saw the glory of God in His perfect holiness and he cried, “Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). God is His mercy cleansed Isaiah from his sin and sent him on a mission to declare the glory of God to the nation of Israel. The LORD God desires that we see His glory so that we might clearly see our sins and our need for His mercy and grace by which we are cleansed from our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ.
A vision of the glory of God transports us to another Kingdom, a heavenly Kingdom. It transfers us from the kingdom of darkness into God’s marvelous Kingdom of light (1 Peter 2:9). When we are given a vision of the glory of God (as was the case with Isaiah), the window of heaven is opened to us and we get to see a glimpse (dimly) what the cherubim and the seraphim gaze at each and every day. This is why the Psalmist expresses this as his ultimate desire and longing when he writes, “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
A vision of the glory of God stirs us up to call and challenge the nations to join us in praising the LORD God. The Psalmist further writes, “O magnify the LORD with me, let us exalt His Name together!” (Psalm 34:3). This call of course seen throughout Scripture in passages like:
- · Psalm 99:5, “Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His footstool! Holy is He.”
- · Psalm 107:32, “Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise Him in the council of the elders.”
- · Psalm 67:4, “Let the peoples praise You, O God; let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for You judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah! Let the peoples praise You, O God; let all the peoples praise You!
The glory of God among the nations is (and should) be the utmost desire for the redeemed (those who have been saved from sin and its punishment through the merits of Jesus Christ, the Son of God). Thus, Christians are called to live God-ward lives – lives which are committed to nothing other than and nothing less than the glory of God!
God Himself has declared in Malachi 1:11, “For from the rising of the sun to its setting My Name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to My Name, and a pure offering. For My Name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.” Although we don’t see this yet, we know that it will happen because the LORD God has decreed it in His Word: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14). May we plead more earnestly with the LORD that He may give us a clear vision of Himself in His glory; may we long for more of His glory in our lives as we go from day to day; and may we therefore be moved by the Holy Spirit to pray that His glory may fill the whole earth even as the waters cover the sea!
A vision of the glory of God, points us to the Lord Jesus Christ. “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…” (Hebrews 1:3). Those who have seen God’s glory as revealed in Christ His Son, will one day be gathered together before the Holy Throne of God with people from every tribe, kindred, nation and tongue! They will be presented by Christ before the Father, pure and blameless, without any spot or wrinkle – “clothed in His righteousness alone and faultless to stand before His Throne”! They will join together in song along with the angels in worship and adoration of God the Father and the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world saying: Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11). O, may that day come quickly!
My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy Name