Have you ever wondered, ‘Why did God create people?’ or ‘Why did he want us to develop a relationship with him?’
The answer to these questions is the same. It has to do with the desire that God has for Christians to enjoy him – not only to enjoy a relationship with him but also to enjoy him. Life after death won’t be long enough to fully appreciate God but, at least, it’ll provide us with the opportunity to explore and enjoy him – forever. The seventeenth century writer Jeremy Taylor wrote, “religion without mystery is a religion without God”. God is full of mystery but, and here’s the miracle, he helps us to feel our way to him – now.
One of the miracles of Christianity is that it’s grounded in the belief that God, who is far beyond us, wants us to focus on him – intimately. It expresses a fundamental purpose of God creating humanity in the first place – so that he can welcome believers into a relationship with him that commences – in this life.
And let’s remember who it is we’re talking about. The Bible speaks about God being glorious. What’s ‘glorious’ about God? The concept of ‘glory’ isn’t easy to define. Often the Bible speaks of people seeing God’s glory – in other words, they’ve become aware of God manifesting himself in a particular way to them.
The word ‘glory’ itself means ‘splendour, majesty’ or ‘magnificence’. It’s best used as a superlative when attempting to describe something or someone superior to all others. The NT Greek word is doxa, from which the English word ‘doxology’ is derived. In the Greek version of the OT, this word is often translated from the Hebrew word kabod which describes someone who has influence, riches or power.
It’s used to refer to someone or something that makes an impression. God’s impressive – and the term ‘glory’ is used to indicate this. As the cloud that manifested God’s presence weighed down upon the tabernacle (Exod. 40:34), the message was that someone substantially important was there. He has presence. He has weight, influence, authority. In this regard, the word ‘glory’ is best used of God; it defines his godness – it’s what makes him God. Wherever he is, it’s glorious and he manifests himself gloriously.
Spurgeon, the nineteenth century preacher, wrote, “There is nothing little in God”. Everything about him is best described in superlatives for he’s awesome. He’s different, set apart, incomparable, unique – he’s glorious.
This opportunity to gaze upon our glorious God is to be our eternal destiny. And the invitation that our glorious God whispers to us today and every day is “take pleasure in knowing me”.