The Glory of God, Why We Worship
The glory of God is the essence and the fullness of His presence and His being. God cannot be separated from His glory. Where He abides there is His glory also.
The Ark of the Covenant with Israel was called the Ark of the Presence because it was there that God made His glory to dwell with Israel. The Ark was fashioned with wood overlaid with gold. The lid or cover of the Ark, with the Cherubim, was called the Mercy Seat and was fashioned of pure gold. When it was placed in the Tabernacle behind the veil in the Holiest Place, (also called the Holy of Holies), God told Moses that He would meet with Him there at the Mercy Seat. There would be the place where His glory would dwell among the people.
“And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.” Exodus 30:6
As long as the Ark dwelt with the people the favor of God was with them to defeat the nations around them because the presence of God went with them into battle. But in the days of Eli the prophet the people lost their allegiance to God and went after the gods and ways of the nations they went in to possess.
Eventually, the Philistines came against Israel and defeated them including the sons of the prophet, Eli. They also stole the Ark taking it back to their camp, believing it possessed some magic power that made Israel so strong against nations and armies many times greater than them. Now when word came to Eli, the prophet that the Ark had been stolen and his sons were dead, he was an old man and he had a stroke in the moment and died.
Now the wife of his son, Phinehas, was pregnant at the time. (1 Samuel 4) When she heard that Israel had been defeated by the Philistines, the Ark had been stolen and that her husband and father-in-law were dead she immediately went into labor and gave birth to a son. When the people asked what shall he be called she said, call him Ichabod. But the people said, no do not name him that. She nevertheless insisted emphatically, call him Ichabod because today the glory of the Lord has departed from Israel. This is the meaning of Ichabod. The Kabod, glory has departed.
The glory of God is directly tied to the obedience and worship of the people. The glory of God is not a “good luck” charm as the Philistines thought it would be for them, nor was it for Israel who took it into battle thinking it would bring them a victory over the Philistines despite God’s displeasure with them and their wanton disobedience to His Word.
It is fundamental to the nature of the human soul to feel the need for something that will give substance and significance to their lives. The word Glory is tied to the sense of, substance and significance, of weight splendor, majesty and power.
There is a weight of “glory” of man that is tied to wealth and power, to influence and achievement, to fame and fortune in the eyes of men, but it is far exceeded by the weight of Glory of God working for us. The weight of “glory” of man is always wasting away but the weight of God’s Glory is eternal.
“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Now, this “Glory” is born in the midst of affliction and the natural course of physically perishing. There is yet another Glory that Jesus prayed to the Father that we would share in with Him. In fact, He declared that it has already been given to us. It is the oneness of access and of provision from the Father, of oneness with Him in all things.
“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:22-24
It is a glory of intimate family relationship and inseparability from The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit forever.
“Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Romans 8:30-34
When we worship the Father in Sprit and in truth we open a pathway to receive the fullness of that Glory of God in the midst of our praises and in our hearts the transformational power of God to be conformed to the image of Christ, to be possessors and children of the Glory of the Father.
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
Our spiritual “DNA” is set in motion by our worship. In worship The Spirit of God works in us a miraculous work of grace that results in us looking like, thinking like, talking like, giving like, forgiving like, loving like and in every way being like our Father, God.
When God is glorified in our lives we glorify Him to the world.