In a Bible study meeting, I gained some understanding of why those who serve God must give glory to God.
There is a story in the Bible: Naaman, the captain of the army of the king of Syria, developed leprosy. He accepted the advice of his wife’s servant and went to Israel to see the prophet Elisha. He went to the Jordan River to wash according to Elisha’s words. Finally, he was cured. In order to thank Elisha for curing his illness, Naaman offered gifts for Elisha, but Elisha refused to accept Naaman’s gifts and said, “As Jehovah lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” Naaman urged Elisha to take them; but he refused. Finally, Naaman asked two mule-loads of earth from Elisha and said he would only offer sacrifices to Jehovah God (see 2 Kings 5:1–27).
It can be seen that Elisha was very sensible. He knew it was the power of Jehovah God that cured Naaman’s illness, and it was not cured by him. So, he refused to accept Naaman’s gifts. By doing so, he glorified Jehovah God’s name, and also allowed people to see Jehovah God’s deeds, so that they could believe that Jehovah God truly exists, and thus could return to Jehovah God and worship Him. There are many similar stories recorded in the Bible. For example, in the Age of Law, Nehemiah personally directed the Jews to build the wall day and night. He even risked his life to build it, but he gave all the glory to Jehovah God after finishing it, saying, “And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was worked of our God” (Nehemiah 6:16). In the end, he was accepted by Jehovah God. Take another example. In the Age of Grace, John and Peter who followed the Lord Jesus healed the lame begging at the door of the temple. After seeing that, the people were greatly amazed. Peter then bore testimony to and glorified God’s name before the people and told them, “You men of Israel, why marvel you at this? or why look you so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?” (Acts 3:12). From these examples, we can see that what they did was exalting and glorifying God, and they had done what the scriptures say: “Give to Jehovah, O you mighty, give to Jehovah glory and strength. Give to Jehovah the glory due to His name; worship Jehovah in the beauty of holiness” (Psalms 29:1–2).
Compared with past generations of believers, how do we behave? Many times, we are not as sensible as they were, nor do we exalt God in everything, testify to God, or help others know God’s deeds and come before God to praise God’s name. On the contrary, we steal the glory that belongs to God. Just like when we have some light regarding some scriptures, we will immediately show off ourselves in front of others and are willing to enjoy the admiration and worship of others; when we have supported our brothers and sisters who were passive and weak, though we say, “Thank the Lord,” yet we think that it is because of our own hard work, and we will boast about how we help and support them when seeing other brothers and sisters, afraid that our own labors are neglected. When we preach, we always say how much we have suffered, how much work we have done, how far we have traveled, and how we have suffered others’ ridicule and mockery in preaching the gospel. These are just a few examples. This is evident that we are exalting and showing off ourselves, so as to make others worship and look up to us; we don’t have any sense or humility at all. We are stealing the glory of God, resisting God, and offending God’s disposition, which will cause us to be rejected and punished by God. Let’s look at another example. The Bible records that Jehovah God used the king of Assyria, as the rod of His anger, to attack people who rebelled against and offended Him. However, when the king triumphed, he was arrogant, and believed that he had won the battle with his own wisdom and stole God’s glory. Finally, he was punished and destroyed by God (see Isaiah 10:5–19). There are many such examples in the Bible. From these records, we can see that God loathes and despises people’s self-importance and arrogance, just as the Bible says, “Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck” (Psalm 75:5).
We are just the created beings who are smaller than a speck of dust. Even though we can do some work for the Lord and preach some sermons, it’s all thanks to God’s leadership and blessings, and we should of course give glory to God. We should not be arrogant and indulgent to steal God’s glory, otherwise we will easily offend God’s disposition and offend God. Realizing this, I feel that I have gained too much in this Bible study. Thank the Lord for His guidance.