Friday, April 27, 2012

God Making His Glory Known...

John Piper, in "Let the Nations Be Glad", has a quote that is often seen from mission authors...

"Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn't."

To me, Piper is saying that God desires missions because He deserves worship. He deserves the worship of every person that ever was and ever will be. He deserves the worship of all principalities and all of creation. In essence, because He is God and is perfectly holy, nothing is completely right until every living, breathing person and thing worships Him and gives Him his due glory.

He is even a self-promoting God in that there is none other to promote save Himself. All of history is about Him making His glory known. In the OT, it is the "shekinah" glory seen in the presence of the Ark and the mercy seat. In the NT, it is the "doxa" glory which culminates with, "...a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb...And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the the throne, and to the Lamb!...Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen." (Rev 7:9-12 HCSB)

As I am reading through the middle chapters of Ezekiel 25 to 32 and God's judgement on the nations, I am once again struck by the fact of why God says He is bringing His judgement. Over and over He says regarding the coming judgement...

(Ammon) "...and you will know that I am Yaweh." (25:7)

(Moab) "...and the will know that I am Yaweh." (25:11)

(Edom) "...They will know that I am Yaweh..." (25:17)

(Tyre) "...Then they will know that I am Yahweh." (26:6)

(Sidon) "...Then they will know that I am Yaweh their God." (28:26)

I could go on (because Ezekiel does) but I think the point is made. Even in destruction and punishment, whether it is a result of consequences of choices or not, God is in the business of making Himself, His way and His Name known to the nations.

Application? I am a bit naive to think that my greatest efforts to make God known are even a grain on the sand of the seashore of God's self-proclamation. However, I do tend to think of myself as the fly on the chariot wheel running across the desert who observes the great dust cloud generated (by the chariot) and say, "My! Look at what a great dust cloud I am creating!"

In truth, everyone of us, at best, are most fortunate to be a small part of God's great plan to make His glory known among the nations. You and I "joining" in the work of God is far less benefit for God than it is for us. To be in His stream of goodness and obedience has much more affect on our lives that what we have on the Kingdom. In short, God doesn't need us, but He does desire us. His Kingdom doesn't depend on us to go forth but He invites us to go with Him.

He is an awesome God who is in the business of making His Name known among the nations. I am glad, for some unknown reason, He has called me to be a part of His purpose.

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