After Jesus came down from his Transfiguration, he cast out an unclean spirit (Luke 9:37-43). “And all were astonished at the majesty of God…they were all marveling at everything he was doing….” In his actions they saw the majesty, the greatness, the glory of God, and they marveled, they were astonished, they wondered, they were amazed. We too should marvel at the glory of God. So why don’t we marvel more? Let me suggest two reasons.
First, we are distracted by idols. Our world is full of stuff marketed in shining wrappings that make it look glorious. The glory often fades as soon as you buy it, and it eventually ends up in the trash heap, and yet it still allures us, attracts us, distracts us. We fill our homes and lives with this stuff that distracts us from the true glory of God.
And it is not just stuff. Power, sex, fame, popularity, and on the list goes. All these things present themselves as glorious. And indeed there is nothing wrong with them in their proper contexts. But we are attracted by the empty promises that these things will satisfy, will fulfill, and they distract us from the one who truly does. They are idols distracting us from the true glory of God.
Second, we don’t marvel more because we fail to see the glory of God. His glory is all around us, but we miss it in the hurry of life. We need to slow down and open our eyes.
We need to open our eyes to his glory revealed in the Bible. We get so used to the stories, we miss the glory of the one who is acting in incredible ways. See his glory in the miracles of Jesus, in the proclamations of Isaiah, the glimpse of heaven in Revelation, the praises in Psalms, and on and on it could go.
We need to open our eyes to his glory revealed in creation. I love to camp on the shores of Lake Superior each summer. As I see the powerful waves of the big lake, as I see the incredible sunsets over the lake, I am struck with the glory of God. But is his glory not revealed where I live the rest of the year? Of course it is, but I miss it. I miss it because I am in too much of a hurry. I miss it because we have manufactured our own indoor world that keeps me away from his creation. I miss it because I spend too much time on man’s ultimate creation to date – what we are on right now as I write this and you read it. I need to go outside and see the sunset outside my home. I need to open my eyes to the wonder of the towering trees in my backyard, the incredible variety of flowers, and the way the garden grows. I need to see the glory of God’s image in my family, and my co-workers, and my church. I need to open my eyes and see his glory all around me in his creation.
We need to open our eyes to his glory revealed in his providential working in our lives. The ways he answers prayer. The ways he guides our lives, protects us, cares for us, strengthens us, provides for us.
We need to open our eyes to his glory revealed in our salvation. That he would come to earth as a man. That he would suffer and die in my place. That he powerfully rose from the dead. That the Spirit of God would choose to come into my life and transform me. That my sins are washed away. That I have a new life in Christ. That I am righteous in his sight. That I am his child. That I have an inheritance. That I will spend eternity with God. We just need to open our eyes to see his glory.
Father, you reveal your glory all around us. Help us to topple the idols that distract us. Help us to open our eyes to see your glory. Help us to be a people that marvel at your glory. Amen.