Does the Sovereignty of God earn Him the right to all the glory?
Some say that God deserves all the glory because He is Sovereign. God is indeed supremely sovereign, but does His position alone warrant Him receiving all the glory?
If the devil reigned supremely, should he get all the glory? No?
There is glory in everything.
The sun, moon and stars have their glory (1Co 15:41). The heavenly and earthly have their own respective glory (1Co 15:40). There is the glory of man and woman (1Co 11:7). Everything has glory according to its own intrinsic value. This value is not credited to something for its stature only, but also for its relationship with everything else.
There are two types of glory:
- The glory of eminence – This is the glory that is demanded and expected due to position of power or eminence. A king has glory as the sovereign ruler of his people. Whether the people want to give it or not, externally, they must give the glory that is due him whilst in his kingdom. This is their obligation, and to refuse to recognize the glory that belongs to that king would be regarded as treason.
- Then there is the glory of merit – Even though everyone has glory according to one’s stature in creation, no one has glory of merit unless that merit is earned. A king’s sovereignty may warrant him glory as to his eminence in society, and this glory may be evident among his subjects in external behaviour, but do they glorify him in their hearts? The glory due to someone according to merit is what he deserves as a person and not for his position.
Why God gets all the glory
* Because of His Sovereignty
God is ruler over all that He created, and He created everything! There is no place we can go that does not belong to God. Our very existence belongs to Him. Everything has its own glory, yes; but that glory comes from the hand of God and for God. So, whether we like it or not, God created us all in subjection to His domain. Hence we all belong to God. Therefore, according to His eminence as creator, God deserves all the glory that is due His high sovereignty as ruler Supreme.
* Because of His Merit
God is infinitely good. All virtue stems from the heart of God. This means that everything He does is done in righteousness for the good of Himself and for the universal benevolence of His kingdom. He never created us to live for ourselves, but for us to be entwined as partakers of the Divine nature (2Pe 1:4). God is love – He is also infinitely holy, which means that He is good in every aspect of the word. When He created everything it was for His good pleasure (Gen 1:31); and because He takes supreme pleasure in righteousness (Ps 11:7) He made all things to contribute to, and benefit from that righteousness. He is therefore worthy of all glory due to His goodness.
* Because He is life
He has created all things after the likeness of His own heart of righteousness and He lives to support that goodness for all. All things were made to co-exist in perfect harmony with His very own nature. Further; not only did He create everything, but God continues to uphold the existence of all creation, natural and spiritual, by the Word of His power (Heb 1:3).
Everything that is, is because of God. He gives us our every breath, and keeps our heart mysteriously beating in its rhythmic cadence of life.
All matter is made up of molecular structures of life. These in turn are composed of complex atoms, which, in themselves are not the smallest units of life. Each atom has a nucleus made up of protons and neutrons with electrons revolving around them.
But what makes electrons fly in their respective orbits? And, like the the planets in a solar system, what prevents them from shooting out of orbit with centripetal force, or centrifugally crashing into the nucleus; for the nuclei and electrons of all atoms exist as opposite poles of electrical charge? It is the life of God that upholds all things in perfect balance, and in symbiotic harmony with everything else.
The sum of God’s glory
If the devil was supremely sovereign (as he would like to be) we would be obliged to obey him, at least in outward obedience – such as in communistic or tyrannical societies. But, even if he were to have legal reign over us to give him outward obedience, he would not deserve our loving obedience. This is because he isn’t worthy of it.
Our Lord God the Almighty, on the other hand, commands and rightfully expects our absolute loving obedience to glorify Him not just because He is supremely sovereign, but because He moulds the work of goodness into everything He does. The matrix of His kingdom rule is love, and He lives to support that love for all who wish to enter as benefactors and contributors. He gives life and existence to everything by the power of His own life. Without God there is nothing! He is life and the source of all existence.
Therefore, God gets all the glory not because of His sovereignty alone, but because by merit, He is worthy. We owe Him all honor, glory and praise from our hearts because of Who and How He is. Those who choose to deprive Him of all glory cannot become partakers of eternal life with Him. For they would be strangers to the loving benevolence that reigns universally in His heavenly domain. But those who recognize His infinite goodness and worth from the heart by thought, word and deed, He welcomes into His eternal kingdom to be partakers of His infinite goodness forever.
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