Today’s reading: II Chronicles 4-6; John 12:20-50
“…when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,
“For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,”
the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.” II Chronicles 5:13b-14
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. John 12:41-43
Every person is faced with a choice of which glory to seek and to love, the glory that comes from man or the glory that comes from God. We cannot remain ambivalent.
In our reading in II Chronicles, Solomon inaugurates the temple with the placement of the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The celebration was accompanied by a host of musicians and singers who lifted praise to God for His goodness and His steadfast love that endures forever. The Lord showed His acceptance of their worship by a cloud that filled the house. That was no normal cloud but the very glory of God Himself. Even the priests could not stand to minister before this display of God’s majesty.
In John, we find Jesus proclaiming that the hour has come for Him to be glorified (vs. 23). He prays for the Father’s name to be glorified (vs. 28), and the Father audibly responds that He has and will glorify it. On a related note, John comments that many of the authorities believed in Jesus but would not confess this for fear of the Pharisees and of being put out of the synagogue. John concludes with these telling words, “for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”
Scripture from start to finish, from creation to final judgment, reveals the glory of God. The universe itself does the same. “The heavens declare the glory of God,” wrote David (Psalm 19:1a). But never has the glory of God been seen more powerfully than in the person of Jesus Christ. “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6)
Which glory do you seek, the glory from God or the glory from people? The choice is clear. We were made in His image for His glory. Flee the empty glory of man. Seek His glory.