God: I AM
MEN: We Are
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. …But all things are from God. (I Corinthians 11:7, 12a)
A while back, I was reminded of a truth that has been gnawing at me for some time about God’s presence. And it gnaws at me in my darkest moments when I shouldn’t let it. Or maybe I should. We’re all guilty to some extent of thinking about our darkest moments in life. But while I’m thinking back on those things, God says to me, “I was there.” In essence, it explains (a little bit) why He is the great I AM. He just is:
When I was in darkness, He was there.
While I’m serving Him now as faithfully as I can, He is here.
And when I think about the future, He is already there.
This is glorious to me, if not downright mysterious and totally inexplicable. And it should be glorious, for God’s glory always has been, is, and always will be. His glory is a stand-alone glory. There is no question about that. But truth is, a key element of the Triune God’s glory is… are you ready for this… MEN.
The Triune God’s glory is not contingent upon MEN for its I AM status. And MEN are not mere vehicles in which the Triune God’s glory hitches a ride. Men are the reflection and image of God Himself; and in whom the Triune God chooses to make His glory known. To be clear, these are the sons of God – followers of Jesus – who are the image and glory of God. Here’s a simple example: We look into a mirror to defrump our clothes, adjust our hair (if we have any), check our complexion, and otherwise maintain and review the totality of our manhood to make sure that we are, indeed, a respectable, living, breathing, well-groomed, well-presented, ambassador of the male gender.
The Triune God, likewise, looks into His mirror – MEN – to view an expression of Himself as the perfect, righteous, holy, creative, living, breathing, eternal God that He is. Does He need this mirror? No. He doesn’t need to defrump Himself. Does He desire this mirror? Yes. MEN are God’s image-bearers and glory-bearers to all of His infinite creation.
Wow! He could have chosen any other way to glorify Himself: angels, stars, another specially created creature… anything else. But the Triune God chose, and created, MEN. From the smallest subatomic place where space does not exist to the farthest reaches of innumerable universes exponentially removed from ours, everything is subject to the truth that MEN are the image and glory of God.
God is selfish with His glory – He does not give it to another. He alone chooses the who, what, when, where, why, and how of His glory; and dare I say taste, smell, sound, look, and feel of it. In all of this, His glory cannot be measured. It is either glory or it is not. It’s like integrity: you either have integrity or you do not. There is no measure of it. But it’s incalculably bigger than integrity.
As it turns out, in eternities from now His sons will give their Father the great pleasure of glorifying Him in the glorious place He is gloriously pleased to give His glorified ones. Explore the Scriptures for yourself to discover the truth of God’s glory, that…
God: “I AM.”
MEN: “WE ARE.”