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Only God Is Great

June 14, 2018
Dr. J.B. Hixson
Only God is Great blog

I am the LORD, that is My name; and My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images. (Isaiah 42:8)

The year was 1715 and Louis XIV of France had died.  Louis, who called himself, “The Great,” was the monarch who made the infamous statement “I am the State!”  His court was the most magnificent in Europe, and his funeral was correspondingly spectacular.

His corpse lay in a golden coffin.  No expense was spared.  To magnify the deceased king’s greatness, orders were given that the cathedral should be very dimly lighted, with only one special candle set above his coffin creating a sort of halo affect for the king’s body as he lay in state.

Thousands gathered for the service and waited in hushed silence as the Bishop Massilon, presiding over the service, began to speak.  To the astonishment of all, he began his funeral message by slowly reaching down, snuffing out the candle, and proclaiming, “Only God is great!”

I do not know whether or not Bishop Massilon was a believer.  In all likelihood he was not, as the Gospel was usually overshadowed by the state church in those days.  But I do know this:  Massilon got it right in this instance.  Only God is great!

God’s glory outshines all others.  The word “glory” in Scripture means “beauty, splendor and majesty.”  The Hebrew word is kavod, which means literally “heavy.”  The Greek equivalent is doxa, which among other nuances means “power, greatness, and amazing might.”  God’s glory is how we describe the intrinsic effect of all of His attributes.  The greatest expression of God’s glory is His eternal Son and our Savior.  Jesus Christ is “the brightness of God’s glory and the express image of His person.” (Heb. 1:3)

Seven hundred years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah reminded God’s people that God will never share His glory with another (Isa. 42:8).  He also recorded the words of the seraphim as they cried out, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)

Have you ever wondered, where has all the glory gone?  When I look at the world at large, it does not appear to be very glorious.  Yet we can be confident that some day, like never before, God’s glory will fill this earth.  “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:6–9) What a day that will be!

What about you?  Is God’s glory missing from your life?  You do not have to wait until Christ returns to experience the fullness of God’s glory.  You can experience it right now through a relationship with the King of Glory—Jesus Christ.  He died for your sins and rose from the dead.  Have you trusted Him, and Him alone, for salvation?



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