“Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name.” (Isaiah 63:14)
“… so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
“For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.”” (Romans 9:17)
“They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.” (Psalm 145:7)
I must admit I get uncomfortable with people who seek glory. In my mind they run perilously close to being show-offs, or what when I was growing up were known as “nuisances”. The whole “look at me, aren’t I great” culture grates, and one only has to look back to those who were truly great to put the whole thing into perspective. I guess it was my upbringing, but I have always thought that glory should be something other people give you. Not something you try and grab for yourself.
As a result of this, the idea of God doing something to bring himself glory did not sit easy. Why would God do that? Why would God seek to give himself a glorious name? Why would God harden Pharaoh’s heart to bring about the Exodus.
Of course God gains nothing from being glorified, but it does nonetheless serve a purpose. The Exodus grabbed the attention, and was a foundation of the Jewish understanding of both God and themselves. To give God glory is to understand that he is full of a weighty holiness. To give him his due. It is also to recognise God for his goodness, wisdom and power.
When God seeks a glorious name, it is not as if he doesn’t already possess it. Rather, he wants us to recognise his glory so that we might rely upon it. It is rather like the certificates which are hung on the wall of a doctor’s surgery. It gives confidence to the patient, and is not just the doctor showing off. It says, you can trust me.
So it is that God’s acts for his own glory. It shows his dependability.