Friday, May 20, 2022

God Glorifies Himself (Psalm 57)

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth" (Psalm 57:11).

David exposes a truth in Psalm 57 that often goes unnoticed. While David knows that the Lord delights in delivering His people, God’s motivation is not merely to benefit His people but primarily to advance His own glory. All we are, all we do, is for the glory of God. When God acts in human history, we must not be captivated by ourselves, but we must lift our thoughts to the transcendent, recognizing that God’s purposes advance His glory. David acknowledged this when He prayed, “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory be above all the earth.” God’s glory is the motivation, the reason behind His actions in delivering David from the hands of his enemies.

It brings great comfort to consider that God “in appearing for the help of His people, at the same time advances His own glory. Against it … is the opposition of the wicked directed, and He will never suffer His glory to be obscured, or His holy name to be polluted with their blasphemies,” Calvin wrote. God will not share His glory with anyone. Knowing that God will vindicate and exalt Himself brings consolation to the Christian.

Our complete dependence on God for life and happiness glorifies Him. Only when God is glorified will the saints find true happiness. Jonathan Edwards wrote an insightful sermon entitled “God glorified in Man’s Dependence.” There he explained that our weaknesses exalt God’s strength; our finitude His infinite majesty. Our utter dependence on Him for life, sustenance, and salvation brings glory to Him in whom we live and move and have our being. God is the source of our existence, our happiness, and salvation; our trust appropriately resides in Him alone.

Like David we should pray that God glorify Himself no matter what comes of us. Matthew Henry wrote, “God’s glory should lie nearer our hearts, and we should be more concerned for it, than for any particular interests of our own. When David was in the greatest distress and disgrace he did not pray, Lord, exalt me, but, Lord, exalt thy own name.” We find this example not only in David, but in Christ Himself who said, “for this purpose I came to this hour. Father glorify Your name” (John 12:27–28).

Read John 15:8. How do you glorify God? Identify areas in your life where you are more concerned with your own interests than with the advancement of God’s glory. When you pray, ask that God would glorify Himself and advance His kingdom through your fruit.