You have set your glory above the heavens. (Psalm 8:1 ESV)
Without using the word “green” describe green. Without using words that are colors, describe color. We know what colors are because we can see them and because we are taught the names of certain colors. How do you describe color to someone who is blind? You cannot taste or feel or smell a color. You can taste and feel and smell objects that are a certain color. Can sounds accurately describe and define a color? Can a feeling truly describe a color? Without sight, color means whatever the imagination assigns to it. Yet, color is a real thing. God created an unimaginable number of colors. Just because we cannot see them does not mean they are not real. Our imagination cannot conceive the breadth and depth of the colors God created.
Now, try to describe God’s glory. Our senses can perceive the glory of God only after those senses are trained and exposed to His glory. We are blind people trying to see His glory. We are deaf and mute trying to hear and describe Him with inadequate words. We, who have no true sense of smell, taste Him only in a small, almost insignificant way. If we are to know His glory, He must reveal Himself to us in a way we can understand and comprehend.
He has revealed Himself in creation. He has given us the tools needed to know Him in the given image of God. He has expressed His glory in the Hebrew Scripture and the New Testament writings. He has shown Himself in the person of Jesus Christ. God’s glory surrounds us and fills us and is the environment that sustains our lives. Yet, we are blind and deaf and dumb, unfeeling, with no sense of taste or smell. We miss Him because we make ourselves unaware of Him. Our being cries out to intimately know Him while our bent and corrupt sin nature recoils at the thought and presence of God and His righteousness.
“For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:22-24 ESV)
God wants everyone to know Him, so He makes obvious the evidence of His glory. In this Psalm, the word glory means grandeur, splendor, and beauty. We can see with our eyes a small part of the physical universe. On a clear night, in a darkened area, stars seem to fill and overflow the sky. God has set His glory above the stars. His glory surrounds all creation and is infused in creation. God’s glory is there for all to see and experience.
But all do not see and experience God’s glory. “You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1 ESV). The words, have set means to put, to assign or grant, to designate and appoint. It is the desire of the Son of God that all recognize the glory of God and that they assign His glory the highest place in their view and perception.
God drives home this requirement that all give Him the highest glory by sending His Son. People saw Jesus, witnessed His work and heard His words. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14 ESV). His life points people to God, directing them away from sin, the world, their own flesh and the Deceiver, toward the Giver of Life and the Creator of all creation. God reveals Himself and His glory in the historical person of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again” (John 12:27-28 ESV).
We will see and experience the glory of God. Right now, those who are His see and experience the glory of God. Ultimately, everyone created in the image of God will stand before Him in judgment. Those who take refuge in Him will find themselves in His glorious presence for eternity. Those who continue rebelling against Him find themselves separated from the eternal source of life. All will recognize Him and His glory.
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11 ESV)