How to Think about God Promoting His Own Glory

How to Think about God Promoting His Own Glory

Written by Amy K. Hall |
Saturday, February 18, 2023

Nothing God does can be rightly understood apart from his being, character, and authority. We have to start there, interpreting his actions in light of who he is, not interpreting his character in light of how we would perceive a fallen human being who illegitimately took those same actions.

Many people misinterpret God’s character when looking at his demands and actions in history because they imagine what they would think of a fallen human being who did the things God has done, and they recoil. Failing to picture God as he is, they picture instead what they’re familiar with—a sinful, human tyrant imposing his preferred laws on people by force, destroying nations, or demanding worship.

But a fallen human being who has illegitimately grabbed power over others in order to use them for his own selfish purposes and vain ego is simply not analogous to a perfectly good being—a perfectly just and righteous Creator and Judge with legitimate authority over all, a God who sought the good of his enemies at his own expense, a loving Father of his people.

God, as the perfectly good and just Creator—the very standard of morality—has the kind of authority no fallen human being could ever rightly have, and so he can rightly do things no fallen human being could ever rightly do. That might sound odd to you at first, but the idea that a particular action can be wrong for one person but right for another is not a foreign concept to us. In our everyday life, we all live according to the understanding that the acceptability of a person’s actions can depend on his authority and role. For example, if I were to lock you in a building for a decade, my action would be morally wrong—even if you were, in fact, guilty of something. But if the government were to rightly convict you of a crime and lock you in a building for a decade, its action would be good and just. The difference in the morality of our actions—though it’s the same action in both cases—is determined by the authority and role of the government and my lack of those things.

Now apply that principle to God. Just as there are ways the government can act that are good and just that would not be good and just if I were to act in those ways, so there are things the ultimate being in the universe can rightly do such that if any fallen, finite human being did those things, we would rightly recoil.

Read More

Scroll to top