I would imagine that you have seen glory a few times. Webster ( https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/glory ) defines it as “great beauty and splendor; magnificence”. You can probably recall some things you have seen that fit that definition, but I wonder: do we walk around every day as if we are in the midst of something glorious?
David and others thought so, and expressed it in the Book of Psalms. They looked around, and looked up, and there it was.
“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.” (Psalm 8:1, NIV) “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19:1, NIV) “O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.” (Psalm 26:8, NIV)
Just Look Up
The average ancient man had a far greater insight to astronomy than we do today. After all, they didn’t have electricity so there was no earthly competition to impede starlight and no corruption of the view. Sailors navigated by the stars, and religions built observation temples to track their pathways in the night skies. Wise men spent hours contemplating the heavens and tracking their movement. The average person’s perception of how the moon and the stars moved through the heavens was far more acute than most of ours is today…
David shared that understanding of the night skies, but he also had a wonderful sense of spiritual perception. Just because people behold the same majesty, it doesn’t mean they are affected the same way, and they don’t always see the same thing. David’s heart was moved by what he saw.
It’s not totally surprising, when you think about all of the nights he spent out in the countryside tending sheep, sleeping beneath the canopy of space. There were no city lights, there was no TV and no glowing media to distract him—just the vastness of the universe spread overhead as far as he could see! David beheld the infinite richness of light in the darkness, the movement of the constellations in the heavens, and he had hours of time to reflect on what it must mean.
The Power and the Glory
He apparently came to the conclusion that the universe was amazing, and so was The One who made it. He saw glory, and attributed that glory to God. David carried that impression throughout his entire life, whether he was a shepherd, a hero, a fugitive, a king, or a sinner. God was amazing and glorious, and David’s humility and awe before Him set the foundation for a lifetime love affair.
The evidence David saw about the Creator’s majesty affected his heart as well, and he lived his life with a profound understanding that God’s glory was not just around him but was also within him. When he said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made”, he was acknowledging the Creator’s work not just around him, but within him as well.
All of us have had moments like that, when we got a glimpse of God’s majesty and re-calibrated our place in the universe. Maybe it happened to you when you saw an amazing sunset, approached snow-capped mountains rising from the plains, or lay out on a hillside at night and gazed into the dazzling vastness of the Milky Way: God’s presence surrounded and astounded you, and called you to worship the Creator. Perhaps you even felt God’s glory in the midst of a church service, singing a song or lost in worship…Most of us live ordinary lives touched by splashes of glory.
What if we had the chance to live glorious lives touched daily by God? What if it were possible to see miracles everywhere? When was the last time God was glorious to you? When was the last time you felt the awesomeness of God, and felt humbled and reverent before Him? How long has it been since you saw God for who he is and fell in love with Him a little more?
I’ve toured some amazing cathedrals in Europe, and I know they were built on a magnificent scale to try to capture a smidgen of God’s glory. When you enter them you feel a sense of awe and wonder. Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth details the blood, sweat, and effort that went into building some of them, and it’s a good read. The intent behind them was similar to the passion behind the Temple in Jerusalem, to show worshipers a glimpse of glory.
In our casual world of flip-flops and coffee in church, I sometimes long for worship where we encounter God in his glory. In our world of busy-ness and distraction, I long for reflection and reverence. If, like me, you struggle sometimes with seeing God in His glory, then remember this: the most important place we encounter God is not in nature, and not even in His house, but in the sanctuary of our hearts.
Under His New Covenant, we are the temple where He resides. You are fearfully and wonderfully made–not just physically, but spiritually as well. God’s glory is not limited to what is above you, but is resident within you, and seeks to express itself through you.
Where do you find God’s glory? Look up. Look around. Then, look within. Re-calibrate. God’s glory all around you may also be the glory shining through you.
The heavens display the glory of God! We see his presence there,
Far-flung among the galaxies and painted everywhere.
The palette of the sunsets blazes forth in every hue
As pink and gold are splashed across the heaven’s perfect blue.
The mountains rise majestically beyond us from afar
Reminding us how big God is, and just how small we are.
We all know His glory in the grandest things abides,
But there’s a place much closer where His presence still resides;
To truly see God’s glory, here’s the place where you should start:
Don’t gaze at the horizon, take a look inside your heart.
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For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
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