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  • Writer's pictureTodd Render

getting glory

photo by yvette de wit on unsplash

GLORY - Sounds awesome, but what is it?

When applied to people from history, the Bible describes glory as accumulating possessions and wealth, like Jacob who had saved for years working for his relative, Laban (Genesis 31:1).

Glory is the word used for Joseph who earned status and authority over the country of Egypt (Genesis 45:13).

It means looking good: "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” (Exo 28:2 NAS) Think also of Jesus’ words: "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory did not clothe himself like one of these.” (Luke 12:27 NAS).

Glory gets translated from Hebrew as ‘honor,’ to be noble and to sit amongst those who are esteemed and in charge (e.g. 1Samuel 2:6-8), and to be so recognized in death (2Chronicles 32:33).

Glory is apparent and made manifest as people practice real virtue: “Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land. Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth springs from the earth; And righteousness looks down from heaven. Indeed, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its produce. (Psalms 85:9-12 NAS) Glory and goodness are intertwined, both as cause and result.

Glory is to be blessed by a gracious God with these as gifts, and to be allowed in the presence of God, who is Himself all good and the source of glory (e.g. Leviticus 9:6, 1Ch 29: 11-12).

We see that human glory is only temporary, and given by God’s grace: “Do not be afraid when a man becomes rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dies he will carry nothing away; His glory will not descend after him.” (Psalms 49:16-17 NAS) Also, “The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor [same word translated ‘glory’] and life.” (Proverbs 22:4 NAS)

We can try to sum these things. Human glory is wealth and power to make things happen, being honored by others when we are prized or promoted, to have wisdom and to speak and act well, saying and doing what is right. Glory means beauty, freedom from oppression; it means life for ourselves and having children with whom to enjoy these things and pass them on.