“…The whole earth is full of His glory!”
In part one of this series, we mused briefly about shadows, not pointing to themselves but rather to what they represent. We can tell a shadow by its border and boundary. But when we see shadows of things representing God, we cannot find the borders, for the glory of God covers the whole earth, the whole universe, and in fact extends infinitely. But it is evident to the creature that there is a creator, for His glory is manifest in them and in all things around them.
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 unto 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.
So What Then?…
If it seems so impossible, why are we concerning ourselves with this course of study? Why is this even worth our time and investment to consider? Also, what questions are we hoping to answer in this endeavor? As Christians, every aspect of who we are finds its worth and validation in the person of Christ, who He is, what He has done, and who we are in Him. When the Bible says in Colossians 1:15, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” and again in Hebrews 1:3, “who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,” it should be cause enough for us to stop and meditate, pondering what this means and what God is saying about Himself. If Christ is the express image of the person of God and we are conformed to the image of His Son, then we cannot find answers about ourselves by looking at ourselves, but rather by losing ourselves in an all-consumed seeking after Christ. Where is a bride to find her fulfillment except in her husband? And when she cannot see her husband, she is longing after him. Is this not the way it should be with the bride of Christ? Trying to learn about ourselves without looking at God is like trying to see what we look like without using a mirror. But we are made to be the reflection of His glory. We can only find Him when He is looking at us and we are made to seek after Him.
Until Next Time…
In the quote below, Owen begins his discourse on why man is so idolatrous, which we have touched on previously. But you can see where this leads….
Mankind seem to have always had a common apprehension that there was need of a nearer and more full representation of God unto them, than was made in any of the works of creation or providence.
The next time we will look at examples from Scripture of when God has revealed His uncreated glory. Stay tuned!