Glory as Purpose

When God was preparing to destroy the Egyptian army in the Red Sea, he let us know why this was happening. He showed Moses and the people of Israel exactly why it is that he chose to do what he did in the way that he did it.


Exodus 14:4, 15-18


4 And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.” And they did so.


15 The Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward. 16 Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel may go through the sea on dry ground. 17 And I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they shall go in after them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.”


Three times in Exodus 14, the Lord tells us that what he was up to in the whole incident with the Egyptian army was getting glory. The glory of God was at the bottom purpose of why the Exodus happened as it did. This is why God parted the Red Sea. This is why the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground and the Egyptian army drowned in a crush of water. This is why Pharaoh never took a hint that he was defeated. It was all for the glory of God.


Immediately, if we are not careful, we will begin to make a personal evaluation. Is it OK that God did this for his glory? Is that reason acceptable to us? Do we like it? Do we think that the glory of God is a legitimate reason for what took place?


Let me caution us with a simple reminder. The reason that the universe exists is for the glory of god. The reason that humanity came into existence is for the glory of God. The reason the sun rises, the stars shine, the moon moves through her seasons, and the earth turns is for the glory of God. The glory of God is the purpose for all things.


When you grasp that the glory of God is the purpose for all things, then you can understand why it is good that the Lord would do what he did to get glory. The morality of the Exodus cannot be measured by any greater standard than that of the glory of God. There is no other rule set out there. The glory of God is the highest good because the glory of God is why the universe exists. Thus, when god takes action for his glory, God does the highest good.


We face many things we do not understand. The Lord does things in his word that are not the way that we would do them. But we are not the Lord. Our wisdom does not match his wisdom. And, if we are not thinking well, we will forget that the reason for all things, the highest measure of right, is the glory of God. Thus, when God does what glorifies himself, he does the highest form of right.


Does your heart reject this notion? Do you think that the glory of God must not be the highest right? If not, consider this: What standard would you put in its place? How would you better measure perfection and righteousness than by a comparison with the glory of God? If you look closely, you will find that no other standard is as perfect, as high, as fitting in keeping with the purpose of the universe. No, it will not always make sense to us. Nor will it always feel right to us. But the Lord is infinitely greater than us. His holiness is something we can only begin to understand. And thus, his ways, his purposes, are things we must allow him to show us. We must trust that he is right instead of thinking we can measure his rightness by another external standard. Let the glory of God as the purpose for the universe help you surrender to his plans and purposes as perfect.