Hello, My Name Is: Glory
What is the ultimate purpose for being all we are and doing all that we do as believers? Why do we serve, love and worship?
One single concept in particular is tied to God’s great name and God’s purpose in revealing himself to creation. This big idea, big revelation is the Glory of God. Tied to His name and His nature is God’s glory, His renown, the recognition of Him as creator God.
Glorifying God is the ultimate, absolute, all-pervasive reason for being everything we are, and doing everything we do.
An excellent example of this is found in Exodus 14. In verse 2, God says to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel to turn back and encamp in front of Pi-hahiroth.” Now this sounded crazy. It was backward. They were almost free, why go backward? God’s answer: Because it will trick Pharaoh into thinking they are lost in the wilderness. He will be hardened against them and against God and will go out to capture them. And God will get one more opportunity to show the glory of his name by utterly defeating the arrogant Egyptians in the Red Sea.
In Exodus 14:16-18 God says: “Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. The Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
Notice the use of “LORD” in verse 18? “The Egyptians will know that I am Yahweh…” But this doesn’t mean merely that they will know that God’s name is Yahweh. They may or may not have heard of His name. What they know, when they see His glory, is something about what it means to be called Yahweh, the God who is. It means He has great glory. Greater glory than the greatest empires of the world. To be Yahweh is to be supremely glorious – great, awesome, beautiful.
God is passionate to be known for the glorious, personal God that He is. This has huge implications for how we live our lives and do our ministry. John Piper wrote: “God has revealed himself to us as a God who is passionate to make known the glory of his name – not the pronunciation of it, as if this were magic, but the reality of it – the God who absolutely is, the God who is personal and the God who is supremely glorious.”
This God of the Exodus is worshipped and celebrated in the Psalms. “Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,… rebelled at the Red Sea. Yet God saved them for his name’s sake, that might make known his mighty power.” Psalm 106:7-8.
This God of the Exodus is worshipped and celebrated in the prophets. “Where is he who caused his glorious arm to go at the right hand of Moses, who divided the waters before them to make for himself and everlasting name?” Isaiah 63:11-12. “I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me. and besides me there is no saviour” Hosea 13:4 “I made myself known to them in the land of Egypt; I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God…. I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt.” Ezekiel 20:5,9.
And the God of the Exodus has come into history in the person of Jesus Christ.
That’s why the baby fled to Egypt – so that Hosea’s prophecy would be fulfilled, as Matthew put it in Matthew 2:15 “This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
So this Jesus fulfills the destiny of his people as the new Israel and the new Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) and the new Deliver who would make a new Exodus for his people out of the bondage of sin.
We see a glimpse of His coming Glory on the mount of transfiguration in Luke 9:30-31.
And when it came to that night in Gethsemane when Jesus was about to be betrayed and crucified, he was in great distress. In his crying out to God he reveals to us that the original passion of the exodus has never changed: God the Son and God the Father are unwaveringly passionate for making known the glory of God. John 12:27-28 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
Everyone of us who has been delivered from bondage through what happened that next day on the cross owes our life to the passion of Jesus for the glory of the name of God.
God the father and God the Son covenanted together to bring God’s people out of sin and slavery into freedom for the very same reason. That He might get glory over sin and Satan and Hell. That He might get glory over all the principalities and powers that brought Jesus to the cross and all the world systems that rise up against His people. That He might get glory over them and all the world might know that Jesus, the crucified and risen one is Yahweh, the glorious, personal God who is.
As followers of Jesus, His passion must be our passion. We should glorify God in everything because Jesus glorified God in everything.
“Glorifying” means: feeling and thinking and acting in ways that reflect His greatness, making much of God.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whether you pour your life out to reach this lost world, or whatever you do – in everything you do – do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31).