This is one of those terms we associate with religion. I suppose, to a lesser degree, we use it in regard to famous athletes or movie stars. I know it has been used to describe the reign of emperors and tyrants. When we use the term Glory in worship to God, what are we saying, and why are we saying it? When He uses the term in regards to His relationship with us, what does He mean?
In our world, glory has become synonymous with "fame" or "renown." I remember a quote from the late Erma Bombeck. She said, "Don't confuse fame and greatness. Madonna is one, Mother Theresa is the other." John Lennon dared once to say that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus. He later apologized, but think of the folly of that remark. Someone named Mark Chapman would later try to be famous at the cost of Lennon's life.
No, glory is more than name recognition or reputation. If worship means "to ascribe worth to," then glory is the reason we would do it. The Hebrew word for Glory has to do with the notion of "weight." Ancient currency was weighed to determine its worth. That is why it says, "A false scales is an abomination." To misrepresent the weight, or to defraud by means of that misrepresentation, was held to be a crime.
When I think of weight, I can't help but think of a phrase that was in vogue in the sixties. When we wanted to comment on something or someone we deemed to be special or significant we would say, "Wow, man, that was heavy." I suppose it was our attempt to say something like, this is higher, this is more significant. Pay attention to this or to him or her.
When we give glory to the Lord in our praise and worship, we are not just acknowledging His greatness. It is because we are (because He is so gracious) allowed, in some small way, to experience His glory in our worship.
Jesus, when He prayed for His disciples, specifically asked the Father, "that they might behold my glory." The older I get, the more I realize that there is nothing this side of heaven worthy of our glory. John recorded his experience, so did Peter . . . "And we beheld His Glory." They were never the same after that. How could they be? How could we?
Copyright 2005 by Jim Jenkins. All rights reserved.