“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.”
Another view on this concept of the Lord being our glory and our honor —and one that is more relative to our era—is that He is our renown, our fame, and our identity. Our culture tells us to promote ourselves, pursue notoriety and popularity, and make our name known. However, David, the most famous and well-known man in Israel during his day, declared that the Lord was his glory. It wasn’t his wealth, fame, accomplishments, abilities, victories, wives, children, or popularity; David’s glory was the Lord.
We live in a world that lifts up certain people and places them on god-like pedestals, showering them with glory, accolade, and attention. However, these individuals are merely ordinary people raised to celebrity status typically for non-impressive accomplishments. Would you agree that almost all celebrities are actors, athletes, and royalty? So think about this: famous actors are actually just really good liars and hypocrites; sports stars are just people who are really good at getting a ball across/around a field or over a net; royals and aristocrats are simply people who were born into a family who are still living on the wealth and glory of the accomplishments of a distant ancestor. Nevertheless, we all, in some way or other, seek to gain some of the world’s recognition and desire to attain at least a semblance of notoriety. Our selfish human nature is all about promoting self and wants everyone else to notice. But the world’s glory and applause is fickle and extremely temporary.
The 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games recently came to a close, and there many young people received international attention, applause, glory, and honor. They will be featured in sports magazines and pointed out as role models for aspiring athletes; however, all this recognition and fame is very temporal. By the time the 2020 Olympics comes around, most people will have forgotten the names of the 2016 winners, and none of the gold, silver, or bronze metals will last into eternity.
All these people—actors, Olympic athletes, professional sports stars, celebrities—are just ordinary human beings like you and I; however, the world likes to hang their pictures as posters on a wall or feature them on TV and in magazines as extraordinary individuals. But once you take the acting and script away from the movie star, the agility and game from the famous athlete, or the title from an aristocrat you’re left with an average, run-of-the-mill person that the media would never notice. Once the celebrity starts to age or lose their popularity, the world drops them like a ripped garment.
However, if we make the Lord our glory, we no longer desire the world’s recognition because it’s all about God and making His name known. He alone has been from the beginning and will remain throughout eternity. His name and glory will never diminish, grow old, or pass away, but will remain while all else fades into distant memory. He becomes the lifter of our heads because in Him we find true and lasting identity. When we make the Lord our glory, whether the world takes notice of us or not is of no consequence, because our eyes are fixed upon the One who knows our name and calls us His accepted and dearly loved children. What more could we want or need?
Therefore, let us join David in declaring that the Lord is our glory and make these words of Isaiah our anthem:
“Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you;
your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”
~Isaiah 26:8 (NIV 84)
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