If you just had a few moments to call out a warning to people you love, what would you say and how would you say it? What would you be willing to risk? If you knew that the warning would be scoffed at and ignored, would you still give it? I ask you to consider these questions and more in a series called, “The Three.”
In the last letter of the Bible, there’s a lot of symbolism; a story being told with vivid imagery. In that letter we find an urgent message in Revelation 14:6-11.
What does it mean to give God glory?
Several commentators have noted that John pulls a great deal of content from the Old Testament so he can give context to and describe the visions he is given. When it comes to glory and it’s relationship to respecting God (what is often translated as “fear God”) it looks like John was thinking of Moses’ appeal to the Israelites as they were about to enter Canaan.
Here’s one example: Deuteronomy 10:12-13
Repeatedly, Moses connects being in a close relationship with God with keeping the commandments, obeying him, walking in his ways. This is the promise repeated throughout the Bible: When we are in a relationship with God he transforms us into people who don’t make things into little gods in our lives, we let our yes be yes and our no be no, we rest in him as Creator and Redeemer, we become respectful towards others and we release contempt and our desire to destroy others, we become faithful, don’t take what’s not ours, live with honesty, and be content with what we have.
In other words, when we allow God to transform us and restore his image in us, we give glory to God: who he is, what he is like, and what he can do.
If you’ve been around Christian communities for a while, I likely haven’t told you something you don’t know. And yet, just making this a matter of doing some things right is not seeing just how deep giving glory to God really goes.