On Reflections

I am often amazed at how bright the moon can get at night. But the moons glory is not its own for its light is given to it by another. In nature, we see examples or shadows of what is going on spiritually. The sun is the source of the light we see being reflected by the moon. The moon is simply pointing us to the sun as if to say, “there is one greater, who is the true source of light”. We may be captivated by the moon, but it is only reflecting what is being shined on it. As Christians, we only reflect the glory of God, it does not originate with us or in us.

John Owen touches on this here (emphasis mine) :

It is evident, therefore, that our conceptions of God, and of the glorious properties of his nature, are both ingenerated in us and regulated, under the conduct of divine revelation, by reflections of his glory on other things, and representations of his divine excellencies in the effects of them. So the invisible things of God, even his eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen, being manifested and understood by the things that are made : Rom. i. 20. Yet must it be granted, that no mere creature, not the angels above, not the heaven of heavens, are meet or able to receive upon them such characters of the divine excellencies, as to be a complete, satisfactory representation of the being and properties of God unto us. They are all finite and limited, and so cannot properly represent that which is infinite and immense. And this is the true reason why all worship or religious adoration of them is idolatry. Yet are there such effects of God’s glory in them, such impressions of divine excellencies upon them, as we cannot comprehend nor search out unto perfection. How little do we conceive of the nature, glory, and power of angels! So remote are we from an immediate comprehension of the uncreated glory of God, as that we cannot fully apprehend, nor conceive aright, the reflection of it on creatures in themselves finite and limited. Hence, they thought of old, when they had seen an angel, that so much of the divine perfections had been manifested into them that thereon they must die: Judges xiii. 21, 22. Howbeit, they [the angels] come infinitely short of making any complete representation of God; nor is it otherwise with any creature whatever.

When we catch a glimpse of the glory of God in things created by Him, we should be that much more amazed and captivated by Him. Owen offers a warning: “And this is the true reason why all worship or religious adoration of them is idolatry.” What do we worship or idolize before God? What has caught our attention away from Him? We look at the finite only to catch a glimpse of the infinite. We cannot endure looking at the sun, but we can look at the moon catching a glimpse of the suns glory.

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