God, Good, and Glory

Alexander Pope’s line about a little learning being “a dangerous thing” was never better illustrated than when a famous atheist called the God of the Old Testament a bully and a narcissist.

Leaving aside the folly of the pot insulting the Potter (Romans 9), such an accusation stems from God’s command that His creatures love and worship Him. Who but a narcissist would and could do that?

But your child may ask you a similar question. Why would God do something that He forbids you to do? The answer may not be apparent, even for an adult, especially for an unbeliever.

The answer is not complex. If God is ultimate good, all-loving and supremely righteous, then to point a creature to something other than Himself as an object of worship would be evil. He would be misguiding His own creatures and setting them up for disappointment.

On the other hand, to love and worship this One who rightly has a passion for His own glory (for the same reason), is to bank on the Eternal One for eternal joy. God seeks His glory because it is the highest and greatest possible good, and He invites every human being into that same joy. To love God is to love good and to seek glory.

Not only that, we are assured that our passion for this God contains a rightful love of ourselves as well. Would we tell anyone else to worship anyone besides the highest and greatest Good? Of course not.

Loving God is the ultimate “enlightened self-interest” with no mixture of grief or regret. This is why none who believe in Him will ever be ashamed or sorry. And it is why all those who seek their satisfaction in things or money or other people can only be finally and eternally disappointed.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. . . The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Deuteronomy 6:5; Romans 9:33

Leave a Reply