196. GOD IS JEALOUS FOR HIS GLORY
(The Information & Edification Series – Batch 4)
We have a tendency as human beings, to like to exalt and glorify ourselves, those in our circle, our family members, a spouse, a person that we may be in a relationship with or hope to one day be in a relationship with or someone that we admire greatly or consider to be influential, powerful or popular.
YET, glory belongs to no man but God. This means that:
- No man or woman must boast;
- No human being is worthy of our worship;
- We must not have respecter of persons (which God hates); and
- No gift, talent, accomplishment, status, position, popularity, prestige, promotion or our own deluded sense of our own ‘goodness’, ‘importance’, ‘righteousness’, ‘invincibility’, ‘grandeur’, ‘intelligence’, ‘beauty’ or ‘success’, must fill our heads and hearts with pride.
For, truth be told, this is “…Vanity of vanities. ALL is vanity.” (Ecclesiastes 1:2)
Instead, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt us in due time (1 Peter 5:6). In ALL THINGS, we must humbly bow and allow HIM TO HAVE THE PREEMINENCE (Colossians 1:18).
As John the Baptist stated in the Bible, HE (Jesus) must INCREASE but we must decrease (John 3:30). For, we are not as important as we may think we are. The people that we hold in high regard and esteem and even revere or deeply admire are not as significant as we believe them to be. We may have put them on a pedestal but in God’s eyes, all human beings are as NOTHING. He loves us but we have nothing of which to boast. For, even among the best of us, God’s Word tells us that all our best works are as filthy rags in his sight. The same holds true for everything else we like to take pride in.
Truth be told, this is not our show and this life is not about us or the people we consider to be so special. We merely have a little part to play for a season, in HIS whole scheme of things. We come therefore for a while and then we leave, like countless others who went before us and the show goes on, until God is ready to bring this world to an end, at the time that HE has appointed.
Proverbs 16:4 states that “The Lord hath made all things for himself…”
Isaiah 40:12-18 also says of God’s GREATNESS and of our NOTHINGNESS:
- “Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding?
- BEHOLD, the nations are as A DROP OF A BUCKET, and are counted as THE SMALL DUST of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles AS A VERY LITTLE THING. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him ARE AS NOTHING; and they are counted to him LESS THAN NOTHING, and VANITY. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?”
In light of this truth, Galatians 6:3 tells us, that “…if a man think himself to be something, when he is NOTHING, he deceiveth himself.”
No matter who it is, there is one thing we need to get clear and it is this: God will NEVER be willing to share HIS GLORY with any human being, no matter how seemingly noble. It belongs to HIM wholly and solely. To give any measure of it to another or to ourselves therefore is to cheat him and to take away from what is rightly due unto HIS NAME ALONE.
With this in mind, in humility, our life’s motto should be: “But God forbid that I should GLORY, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world..” (Galatians 6:4)
The Word of God tells us that:
- “…God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: THAT NO FLESH SHOULD GLORY IN HIS PRESENCE. But OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus, who OF GOD is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, HE THAT GLORIETH, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD.” (1 Cor. 1:27-31)
Anything good in us is from the Lord and therefore must be attributed to the Lord. For, we have no goodness in ourselves apart from HIM. If we are Christians, it is HE that has given us wisdom and made us righteous. It is he that sanctifieth us and has redeemed us.
Indeed, recognizing his NOTHINGNESS in God’s grand scheme of things and that it was an honour to be allowed to serve him (not boast or become puffed up in pride), Paul, who devoted his life to doing God’s work, understood that it was not about him but about him being used to promote the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He therefore stated:
- “For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:2-5)
- “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you…
- But he that GLORIETH, LET HIM GLORY IN THE LORD. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” (2 Corinthians 10:12-13,17-18)
In the same vein, in Jeremiah 9:23-24, the Prophet Jeremiah, communicating what God had said, stated:
- “Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man GLORY in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man GLORY in his might, let not the rich man GLORY in his riches: But let him that GLORIETH GLORY in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.”
God further stated in three other scriptures:
- “I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I HAVE CREATED HIM FOR MY GLORY, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:6-7)
- “I am the Lord: that is my name: and MY GLORY WILL I NOT GIVE TO ANOTHER, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)
- “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: FOR I THE LORD THY GOD AM A JEALOUS GOD…” (Exodus 20:2-5)
When it comes to you, your ego, your loved ones, those in your ‘circle’, your family or people you tend to elevate as special and important therefore, you must be careful to not steal from God’s glory, so as to give some to yourself or to them. You must be careful not to worship any human being or anything and not to elevate him or her or it to a place in your heart and life, over and above God.
You may say that you’re not doing this but sometimes, our actions, the things we say, how we treat or regard people, the decisions we make, how we treat with situations and how we think, reveal otherwise.
This was true of Eli the Priest in the Bible, who, in his love for his sons, allowed them to do whatever they wanted, to the point where he put them even before God and what he knew God wanted. He had heard of the evil that they were doing when it came to the Lord’s sacrifice and the Lord’s tabernacle and knew that they were sons of Belial, meaning that they had no relationship with God or any regard for him. They had a godly Father but they were men of the world and so cared nothing for the things of God.
They were therefore greedily abusing the provisions made for priests when it came to people offering sacrifices unto the Lord and were sleeping with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. Yet, although Eli heard all that his sons were doing, he merely questioned them about their deplorable behaviour, voiced his dissent and because they were his sons, did nothing further.
He thought that God was satisfied that he was doing his part and that that would suffice. Yet, God was not pleased. He was not satisfied that Eli had done enough and knowing Eli’s heart, he knew that at the heart of the issue was that Eli had elevated his sons in importance (due to him being blinded by his love for them) over Him. He, God was not being glorified in his sons’ reprehensible conduct and Eli ought to have seen to it that his sons, who were unrepentant in their actions were removed from any dealings with that which pertained to God’s offerings and tabernacle.
Yet Eli did not. He allowed them to continue on in their folly. In 1 Samuel 2:29 therefore, before God told him of the demise that was about to befall himself and his family, God asked him:
- “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?”
Similarly to Eli, blinded by your love, devotion and loyalty to a family member, spouse, significant other, person or even yourself, you may have elevated that person or yourself in such importance, that you have put them or yourself on par with God or even above God.
You may think it cute or noble to think of yourself or a particular person or persons as quite important, deserving of special treatment, favouritism and your undivided loyalty no matter what. You may consider yourself or such a person or persons as worthy of constant praise, attention and adoration, to the point where you are no longer capable of even thinking clearly, rationally and biblically. You expect everyone around you to just do what the person wants and likes because of your love and excessive devotion to that person and you may even be quick to make excuses for that person’s behaviour, expect everyone to oblige him or her and turn a blind eye to that person’s wrongs (even against God). You may find ways to minimize the sins of him or her because you love him or her so much and hold such a person in such high esteem, that you expect God to be okay with it too.
In your mind, maybe without you even realizing it, you may have elevated him or her to the point of worship, where you have demoted God to second place and put that person at the fore. You may have changed up all the rules to facilitate this person, compromised all your values and put blinders over your eyes deliberately to facilitate this person because in your eyes (not necessarily the Lord’s), he or she has accomplished so much in life, is so popular, you are so proud of him or her and love and admire him or her so much. You delude yourself into thinking that this person is so awesome, that surely God must understand?
NEVERTHELESS, whatever you may have done or may still be doing, you would do well to remember that God’s Word remains. To put anything or anyone on par with God or before God or above God is to worship or idolize that thing or person and the conclusion of the whole matter is this: “…thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is JEALOUS, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14)
If God says to separate, you are not supposed to join because of your affinity to someone, no matter who he or she is and to even have him or her involved in the things that pertain to God because of that affinity. If he says to denounce, you are not supposed to accept because of who he or she is.
Of divided loyalties, where we try to work out a formula or strategy in our heads, to give some of our worship (not all) to God and some to another (which amounts to idolatry), whether this be the world’s system, a person, a love interest, a family member, people that we have put on the pedestal or otherwise, when it comes to God’s honour and his rightful place as number one, when it comes to his glory which he refuses to share with another, I believe 1 Corinthians 10:22 to be relevant where it asks the question “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?”
It is so easy to erect an altar in our hearts, where we worship something or someone other than God or over and above God or put him or her on par with God. This can happen subtly, us not even realizing what we have done. When it comes to our loved ones for example, it is easy to delude ourselves into a false reality, us convincing ourselves, like Eli did, that God is pleased with our conduct. Yet, in Deuteronomy 4:23-24, Moses, knowing God’s character and that he is jealous for HIS GLORY, told the Israelites:
- “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee. For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”
At the end of the day, we would do good to remember that God is jealous for HIS GLORY. It belongs to no other, not to ourselves and certainly not to any human being or thing. As Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 10:31 therefore, we must be careful, that all of our actions bring glory to God and none else. We must cling to truth and reject all lies, even if the lie is found in those we think so highly of and have such high regard or love for. We must live our lives in such a way that, whether we eat or drink or whatsoever we do, we do ALL, not to the glory of self or of man or of family members or a spouse or that person that we so admire but “…TO THE GLORY OF GOD.”
(Written on 7th and 8th October, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying, beneficial or convicting, you may also be interested in reading the following:
- Note 33 – ‘Four Brief Lessons For The Body Of Christ’
- Note 35 – ‘Look At What ‘I’ Have Done’
- Note 41 – ‘In Me Dwelleth No Good Thing’
- Note 157 – ‘Cliques – An Enemy Of Unity In The Church’
- Note 108 – ‘Favouritism Comes From Man But Favour Comes From God‘
- Note 172 – ‘Are You Trying To Establish Your Own Righteousness?’
Additionally, under the ‘MARRIED Daughters’ Page:
- Note 2 – ‘The Danger Of Worshipping Your Spouse’
Also, under the ‘SINGLE Daughters’ Page:
- Note 95 – ‘Are You Too Puffed Up, Full Of Yourself Or Prideful?
- Note 233 – ‘Where Are All The People Who Were On Earth 130 Years Ago?’
- ’Note 286 – ‘The Stronghold Of Self’
- Note 288 – ‘Sure Signs Of Pride In The Church’
- Note 301 – ‘Born In Frailty, Died In Foolishness And Futility’