Summary: God of Wonders, Pt. 5
THE KING OF GLORY (PSALMS 24:7-10)
A fifth grade teacher in a Christian school asked her class to look at TV commercials and see if they could use them in some way to communicate ideas about God. Here are some of the results from the kids:
God is like BAYER ASPIRIN ... He works miracles.
God is like a FORD ... He’s got a better idea.
God is like COKE ... He’s the real thing.
God is like HALLMARK CARDS ... He cares enough to send His very best.
God is like TIDE ... He gets the stains out that others leave behind.
God is like GENERAL ELECTRIC ... He brings good things to life.
God is like SEARS ... He has everything.
God is like ALKA-SELTZER ... Try Him, you’ll like Him.
God is like SCOTCH TAPE ... You can’t see him, but you know He’s there.
God is like DELTA ... He’s ready when you are.
God is like ALLSTATE ... You’re in good hands with Him.
God is like VO-5 HAIR SPRAY ... He holds through all kinds of weather.
God is like DIAL SOAP ... Aren’t you glad you have Him. Don’t you wish everybody did.
The Hebrew word “glory” is most exclusive to God and yet an ordinary word describing earthly things. The Hebrew word for glory or “kabod” is used to describe Aaron’s priestly robes (Ex 28:2), the reign of kings such as David (1 Chron 17:18, 29:28), Jehoshaphat (2 Chron 17:5), Hezekiah (2 Chron 32:27) and even Gentile king Xerxes (Est 1:4), and the splendor of countries such as Moab (Isa 16:14), Israel (Isa 17:3) and Lebanon (Isa 35:2). The same word for man’s glory is used of God’s glory. But God’s glory is unlike man’s glory.
What is God’s glory like? How is it different from man’s glory? Why is His glory eternal?
He is Majestic and His Glory Cannot be Shared
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (Ps 24:7)
One of the most enigmatic and controversial figures in Chinese church history is Watchman Nee, who had such a stranglehold on his church and denomination that it became unhealthy, overbearing and even cult-like. His nephew Stephen Chan, son of Nee’s eldest sister, a prolific writer whose commentaries are widely read and used in Chinese churches, tells of his experience with the group in his Chinese book “My Uncle Watchman Nee.” He said in 1948 he was inclined upon his seminary graduation to join the “Little Flock” group because he enjoyed reading his uncle’s books, since he had bought and read all the books, magazines and tracts his uncle had wrote, but decided otherwise upon contact with the group.
Chan said, “When I returned to Fuzhou that year my greatest disappointment was that I felt some in the group worshipped God but many there definitely “worshipped” their idol. We would regularly hear ‘Brother Nee said’ and not ‘God said.’ It seems that ‘Brother Nee said’ had more authority than ‘The Bible said.’”
He continued, “If I have to write all I heard of the ‘mythical stories’ of Brother Nee, these little booklets would immediately become a giant volume, but praise God I forget them all because they make people’s stomachs upset (fan wei). To turn someone just like us in condition to be like God is outright sin.” (My Uncle Watchmen Nee 50, Alliance Press)
One of the most unique attributes of God, more unique than the word “holy,” is the word “glory.” Few words are as exclusive to God as the word “glory.” Kings and queens call themselves “Your majesty” and “Your Highness.” The Catholic church has claimed many; the Pope has the title “Your Holiness,” the bishop is called “Your Grace” and the Cardinal “Your Eminence.” Earthly judges are called “Your Honor.” No one, however, is his right frame of mind demands to be addressed as “Your Glory.” Why?
The Bible tells us that man’s glory come from God and is given or bestowed by God (1 Chron 29:12, Ps 3:3), but it cannot be shared. Man is the beneficiary of God’s glory but God alone is the benefactor. We reap life’s bounteous benefits but God is life’s Benevolent Benefactor. The Bible tells us that while others freely use the word “glory,” only God’s name is glorious, holy or praiseworthy (Neh 9:5, Ps 66:2, 72:19, 145:21).
Not only is our God glorious and praiseworthy, He is the King of glory. In fact, to my surprise from my study, there are only a few kingly names God outright agrees to, admits to and acquiesce to. The Hebrew word for “king” is used 2523 times in the Old Testament but it is not popular with God - not at all, because of the limited scope of the word in ancient settings and in Old Testament times. The word “king” was used of rulers from local chiefs to national leaders and Gentile monarchs. The king we worship is not the king of a secular country or earthly domain, but of eternal and never-ending glory.