Hebrew Highlights 50 - GLORY
Shalom. This is Yuval Shomron, coming to you from Jerusalem.
EPH 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” The phrase “to Him be the glory in the church”, goes like this in Hebrew, “Lo hakavod bekerev hakehila”. Although the English translation is technically correct, it has possibly lost some of it’s meaning, simply because we have become used to using spiritual language without really thinking about what we are saying. A more literal rendition would be, “to Him be the honor in the midst of the congregation”.
Let’s look at this more closely. The word “kavod”, which is, in English, variously translated as honor, or respect, or glory, is in fact, all three of these rolled into one. All of these characteristics come to mind when you say “kavod” in Hebrew. It is used 147 times in the Old Testament, and 155 in the New. In a certain way, I prefer to emphasize the aspect of “honor”. In this generation of pyrotechnics, special effects, and computer generated worlds, the idea of glory has taken on a different role, more akin to sight than attitude.
Maybe we can put it into perspective by reading ROM 11:36, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” So, we are talking about the God who created all of the glorious universe we see, and keeps it alive and prospering. In comparison, anything man-made, however spectacular it may seem at the moment, is dwarfed to mere silliness. It’s sort of like comparing a finger painting made by a 3 year old, to Michelangelo’s Creation on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, only infinitely greater in difference.
To continue, why does this scripture say “to Him be the honor, and glory, and respect in the midst of the congregation”? We might think, “where else”? After all, if those of us in the church haven’t learned to honor God, who will. To better understand this emphasis on the “midst of the congregation”, let’s look at 1PE 4:10-11, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God; whoever serves, let him do so as by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
So, we see by this passage, that it is exactly in the church, when we are carrying out God’s work, that we encounter the pit-fall of taking the glory ourselves. It is particularly among our brethren that we tend to boast, show off, and revel in the manifestation of our gifts.
We need to remind ourselves daily of JOH 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” In case you’re wondering, there is no mistranslation here. Nothing means nothing.
In Heaven, we will continue to give Him glory, honor, and respect forever, as we see in REV 5:11-13 “And I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing. And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."
Shalom, Shalom, from Jerusalem.