“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness. ” ~ Psalm 29:2
Many people have traced the story-line of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, showing God’s great plan to redeem His people. But, what if that’s not God’s ultimate mission? What if He has a bigger plan in mind than saving us? What if, His plan is to glorify Himself?
“Wait a minute!” you say. “What do you mean? Do you mean to say that God’s sole purpose is to glorify Himself?” Here are a few verses in which God says this:
“For my name’s sake I defer my anger; for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” ~ Isaiah 48:9-11
(When God talks about His namesake, He is referring to the glory given to Himself. This can also be thought of as making His name great or famous.)
Ok. But, what about all those stories in the Bible? What about the ten plagues – especially the tenth one? What about Pharaoh and all his men who drowned in the Red Sea?
“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.” ~ Exodus 14:4
“Israel saw the great power that the Lord used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the Lord, and they believed in the Lord and in his servant Moses.” ~ Exodus 14:31
Through the exile of the Jewish nation, God was also glorified. How did this happen? God tells Ezekiel why He was ending the Jewish exile …
“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: ‘It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land.” ~Ezekiel 36:22-24
All the miracles Jesus did – those brought God glory as well. We can’t forget how God was ultimately glorified: through Jesus Christ in his death and resurrection.
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” ~John 12: 27-28
So, now we have come full circle. Why did God save us and is that His ultimate mission? Why did God save sinners and adopt us into His family?
Was it to save us from hell? Was it to restore our fellowship with Him? Or to allow us to live with Him forever? No. Although these things do happen when we trust in Christ, He saved us to bring Himself Glory!
“Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” ~ Ephesians 1: 4-6
Now, you might be thinking, “Is God being selfish in wanting all this glory? Is it wrong for this to be His mission?” The answer to both of those questions is NO. He is God. He is holy. He is perfect. So, first of all, He can’t do anything wrong.
And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!” ~ Isaiah 6:8
Second, He deserves all the glory and praise we can ever give Him. He created the world out of nothing! He is the rightful ruler of all.
“Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.” ~ 1 Chronicles 29:10-13
What do we do about this? He has saved us in order that we might bring Him glory. What a responsibility that gives us. We should live our lives with the purpose to glorify Him and to make His name great! Our reaction to God’s grace should be a deep desire to tell others about Him and to spread His fame around the world. Jesus said …
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20
What a huge and brilliant task! How will we ever get this job done?
Thankfully, God has not given us an impossible task. I left off the last part of the verse from Matthew 28:20. It says,
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:20
God will give us the strength to finish the race He has set before us. He will always be with us no matter what. We can trust Him! He will win!
“They [the beast and the ten kings] will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” ~Revelation 17:14
“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” ~ Philippians 2:10-11.
Alyssa Hubbard is a fifteen year old homeschooler who loves her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and desires for His name to be made great. When she is not doing school, she enjoys exploring in the woods with her siblings, reading, writing, and sewing. She is also a member the YWW (Young Writers Workshop). You can find more of her work on forhisgreatname.org
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