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I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. (Isaiah 42:8 KJV)
For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another. (Isaiah 48:11 KJV)
And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. (Acts 12:21-23 KJV)
A few weeks ago, a man at our church had a devotional on this subject and I thought it was worth writing about. From the verses in Isaiah, we know that God takes His glory very seriously. If we truly had an understanding of just how much glory God has, we would better understand how blasphemous it is for us to take any of that glory for ourselves. When we are selfish and proud, focusing on ourselves (oh, how often we do this!), we are stealing God’s glory. Any time that we do not direct attention to God instead of ourselves, we are stealing God’s glory. This can happen not just through actions and words, but by the way we dress and comport ourselves. The minute that we dress to look good and gain admiring glances, we are taking glory from God and putting it onto ourselves. There is nothing wrong with looking nice and neatly put together, but we should be doing this to humbly direct attention to our Creator, not ourselves. We should measure our actions and mannerisms by the same standards. Yes, you could do something really nice for someone and it would be complete sin if done to draw attention to yourself! Harsh? No – it’s really that serious. Stealing God’s glory is not something that can be taken lightly! For a case in point, let’s look at the verses in Acts.
Josephus says that Herod’s royal robes were shining silver, and when they were struck by the light of the rising sun, the effect was stunning enough to cause the people watching to proclaim him as something more than a mortal being. Herod ate the attention up…and was punished for not transferring the glory he was being given to God. How ironic that the man who was proclaimed to be immortal died only days later.
Are you guilty of stealing God’s glory? I know I am, and unfortunately, it gets to be a habit. This week, let’s focus on being aware of this problem and strive to publicly acknowledge the glory of our God! He deserves so much more than we could ever give Him.