For Glory and Glorification: Part 2
November 18, 2019
by David Ward, DDS
“Everyone who is called by name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7, NIV 1984).
In Part 1 of this blog series, a search for the meaning of life was presented. That was due to observations of recent events suggesting a concern for humanity’s appreciation for life. In that search, a scientific basis for the meaning of life was presented, but then it was argued to be self-limiting. In contrast, a Christian worldview was presented, and a clearer meaning for why God created us was introduced. Simply, God created us for His glory. As I mentioned in Part 1, being informed that our existence is for some known or unknown God’s glory may instill negative emotions. However, the purpose of this blog is to grow in greater understanding of what it means to be created for God’s glory. To better understand that meaning, let us first look at the biblical meaning of the word “glory.”
In the above verse of Isaiah 43:7, and according to Strong’s Concordance, the Hebrew word for glory is Kabod or Kabowd. To preface the following, I am relying on biblical commentaries to help understand the meaning of the word. Therefore, my understanding of the word is likely to be less than accurate when compared to a native speaker or a Hebrew scholar. However, I am a great fan of etymology (i.e. the study of the root meaning of words). This was an exceptionally beneficial teaching modality while serving as a gross anatomy instructor. According to Strong’s Concordance, the root meaning of kabod is heavy or weightiness. Where it becomes difficult to truly understand its meaning is when we learn of the different usages and versatility. A good resource to better understand that is through the writings of Dr. Jim McClure. As he explains, Kabod has several different meanings, including a reference to the liver. For that reason, the literal translation is most beneficial for this blog.
That literal translation of kabod (i.e. weight or heaviness) resonated in me the many times God stated, in one word or another, the phrase, “Then you shall know that I am God.” For example, when God brought His people out of Egypt, He told them, “…Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians” (Exodus 6:7, NIV 1984). When taking into account the fullness of that meaning, we can appreciate the great power and meticulous planning God demonstrated when He brought His people out of Egypt. Everything from the relocation of Jacob’s family to the parting of the Red Sea. It is an incredible account of our Mighty God, and our awe of God’s role in that story is what brings Him glory. Those types of verses have a relative contextual meaning, as do other verses that use the word glory such as, “The heavens declare the glory of God…” (Psalm 19:1, NIV 1984). In our current understanding of the “heavens” today, to know that our God created this vast and complex universe, it should again instill the same awe and wonder; it brings Him glory. Collectively, God reveals Himself over and over again through His mighty works. These works give us greater knowledge, love, admiration, etc. of Him. Therefore, in turn, with this greater knowledge through His works and revelation, He is bringing Himself glory. Moreover, as described in Isaiah 43:7, we are a part of His mighty works and this revelation brings Him glory. What is more, to know the magnitude of the works that bring God glory will inevitably lead to God’s glorification. In other words, it will lead to worship. These topics will be discussed in Part 3.