Continuing our study of the glory of God, we begin today by noting that there are at least two angles from which we can approach the topic of divine glory. We have been focusing on what we might call the “divine angle.” In other words, we can talk about God’s glory from the perspective of defining what glory is and how it is manifested in our Lord’s character. But we can also talk about the glory of God from a “human angle.” Here we are thinking more about the human response to divine glory. For instance, one cannot read very far in Scripture without reading an exhortation for people to “give glory” to God (for example, Josh. 7:19).
What does it mean to give glory to our Creator? Essentially, giving glory entails treating God with the gravitas that He deserves. God possesses infinite weight, that is, infinite worth, and we must respond accordingly. Because He is infinite in His perfections (Job 37:16; Rom. 11:33), we cannot actually add glory to the Lord, so giving glory to Him does not mean that we increase His glory or supply glory that He lacks. However, we can honor God. We can approach Him with the praise He is due. That is how we give glory to God.
God is due glory for who He is, but the Scriptures tell us also to give glory to the Lord for what He has done. We see an example of this in Revelation 4:11, where the elders and creatures in heaven proclaim that God is worthy to receive glory because He created all things by His will. The Lord is the source of existence, the One who has being in Himself and therefore gives being or existence to everything else. He is self-existent, depending on nothing else for His existence, but His creation is dependent, so it would not and could not exist apart from His willing it into existence. Only God can speak to nothingness and call things to exist (Heb. 11:3).
It would take a being of unsurpassed worth, a being who is perfectly powerful—indeed, all-powerful—to bring something into existence that previously had no existence. God did not simply rearrange preexisting matter to make the universe; He called matter itself into existence. Consequently, God possesses great glory as the Creator of all things, and because He in His glory created all things, He is worthy to receive glory from us. We are His creatures; He is our Creator. Therefore, our highest honor and praise should go to Him alone. We can revere nothing greater than we revere God, for there is nothing greater than our Creator.