“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. …” 1 Chronicles 29:11. Amen!!! This is what I hope we can agree upon this day. This service, our worship, these structures, the things we do in this building, this state, this nation, the earth and all the created order—-it’s is all about Him and His glory—-not me….or my sons…or any of you…or Vladimir Putin…or the USA. Almighty God is the focus, the epicenter, the summation of all that is majestic and glorious!
David said it this way: “The LORD is king! He is robed in majesty. Indeed, the LORD is robed in majesty and armed with strength. The world stands firm and cannot be shaken."Psalm 93:1 NIV. David’s not talking about what is to come, but what has always been and what will always be. Once you get a glimpse of that glory, you’re not the same. There’s no going back to the old way of thinking about God.
We all have an opinion, I suppose, about what God's majesty is. It has to do with His strength and magnificence, obviously. Kings and queens are called "Your Majesty” in recognition of their sovereignty their kingdoms. And God's majesty includes his authority, but it’s so much more! His unparalleled power and presence compels us to fall down and worship Him. The English word "majesty" comes to us from the Latin word maiestas, which means "greatness or dignity.”
Chris Tomlin wrote a song about this:
We fall down We lay our crowns At the feet of Jesus The greatness of Mercy and love At the feet of Jesus And we cry holy, holy, holy We cry holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
Is the lamb
He is indescribably ‘holy”. Think of this, God created nature itself to give us a hint about how awesome He is. That’s another reason to put the iPad and iPhone down and look around at what He has made. He and His nature are incredibly beyond our imagination. We need to turn off the TVs and computers at night and walk outside and behold just a sliver how massive the sky is! Because, as you know, we can only see one-trillion percent of the universe when we look at the stars. There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy, and each one has planets that orbit it. But there are billions of other galaxies bigger than ours with 100’s of billions of stars in their galaxies as well. Do you get the idea? Trillions upon trillions of stars and planets and moons—-and God called them all into existence by simply speaking them into existence! Listen to this: Psalm 147:4 says: “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (I can’t even get my sons names right some days!)
So when we say that God is “robed in majesty”, we proclaim His power, strength and His right to be praised and worshipped.. God's great strength calls forth honor and admiration. God's glory demands praise and our humility. But in a way, we share in the glory of God when we worship Him. We would call this the “Shekinah Glory”—-it’s a visible manifestation of God’s glory on earth…His presence is portrayed through a natural occurrence of what He has made, but most profoundly, through you and me! The word shekinah is a Hebrew name meaning “dwelling” or “one who dwells.” Shekinah glory means “He caused to dwell,” referring to the divine presence of God. Do you have the Skekinah glory in your life? Are you beginning to experience it right now—even as you are reading this devotion?
Paul reminds us that, “To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.” 1 Timothy 1:17. NIV We bow to no other god or created being—only the one true God. And yes, we are to show respect to those that God has placed in authority over us, and we’re to pray for our rulers regularly. But honor for humans placed over us is temporary and one thing, glory is not something we should reserve for the One —-and the only One —-that deserves it.
When we pray to God or talk about God, we need to recall that He is nothing like us or any other imagined god in the history of mankind. None compare to Him—-and we should speak about Him accordingly. “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” Exodus 15:11, NIV. Moses understood this! He talked to God…. and God did never-before-seen-things through Moses. But despite that intimacy, (or because of that intimacy) Moses had a heightened understanding of just how awesome God was; and the more he knew God, the more Moses’ opinion of God grew——it never diminished! And because of this, his faith is unequaled in the Old Testament. Moses was not a man to be trifled with, and pity the man that tried to get in Moses’ way when He was following God.
The writers of the Old Testament testified this to us: “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.” 1 Chronicles 29:11….. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1. Do we wake up in the mornings with this in our hearts? Are we here to celebrate His greatness ….or to flaunt our pettiness? I am not pointing my finger at you, but my fist at me! It’s not about me when I stand behind a pulpit, or those that sing praises to God—-regardless of how cute, perfect-pitched or gifted they are. It’s not about the Christian singer that brags about “his song” on “K-LOVE”——it’s about the majestic God of the Universe that’s called us to account for HOW we’re using that perfect pitch, that pretty face, or that gift of writing a song for HIS GLORY.
When David said: “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. …” Psalm 24:7 NIV, is there any doubt who was the focus of the glory? We MUST ask ourselves, who it is that we seek to honor, love, serve and revere. Be clear of this: The enemy does not tempt us to serve evil rulers, or to entertain disgusting habits, or waste money on ruined causes. No, he temps us to serve good rulers—some which go by the name “our children” or “our spouses”—- or reputable causes and crusades—-like saving the planet, green energy, or recycling; or glorious causes, like world peace, the eradication of hunger and poverty, or the equality of mankind.
But noble as all these things are—-they must not become the point of our worship or existence. We were created to praise Him and marvel at His glory. It’a been said that “a man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.” Giving God the glory, majesty and worship that is due Him do not make God—-God. He’s God regardless of what we give Him. But our proper worship and recognition of His majesty opens the door for a us to enter into the eternal, never-ending journey of the pursuit of God—- something that is totally beyond our grasp and comprehension—-and yet something we are able to experience when we humble ourselves and worship Him. There’s no other way!
The created world tells us about the imaginative, creative power of God——but never of His glory and of infinite majesty. We come to know that when He miraculously breaks into our lives and opens our eyes—-perhaps as His is doing this morning—when we decide to seek Him.
We see a sunset or the magic of snow falling all night, or the awesomeness of the heavens, and we get a sampling of glory. But to receive the full weight of His glory we must humbly come to Him and ask Him to fill us.
As you reading this, please hear this: “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.” Psalm 97:1-6, NIV
Are you experiencing the majesty and glory of God? It is life sustaining and puts things into perspective in our lives. It will dominate your imagination and your plans! You, in fact, become more of a reflection of that glory the more you focus upon His glory——and are less inclined to seek your own.
When you think about it, one of the ironies of God’s majesty is that when God came here in the form of Jesus, it was the blind, the ones that couldn’t see majesty and glory, that saw Jesus, and the religious folks , the ones that could see, that were blind to the reality of who Jesus was. “Jesus saves the weak and the childlike even as he condemns the proud” (James Hamilton).
There are echoes in all of reality, even in our daily lives, declare to us who God is, and what He is like. Are you listening?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said that the way the devil works in our daily lives, is that he doesn’t try to make Christians hate God but he tries to make them forget God. We need to be reminded, as David says time and time again in the Psalms, to open our eyes to the glory of God around us, to be aware of his reality all around us and to. be awakened to his presence.