“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” – Isaiah 42:8
God is God. And God will not share His glory or praise with anyone or anything else. Why is this so important for us to understand? Why is the Lord so adamant in telling us that He will not give His glory or praise to another? Because God loves us.
God’s love for us is fiercely protective of us. Fiercely desiring us to live in relationship with Him, right now and for all eternity. God’s love for us moves Him to speak His truth, which is always intertwined and perfectly balanced with His grace, so that we will know what will set us free and keep us free. And when we human beings glorify or honor or praise anyone or anything else above the Lord of all creation, we are in imminent danger of losing ourselves to a lesser god. We are in danger of being entrapped and enslaved by idols – whether people or things or wealth or beauty or power or possessions or activities or habits or even self-righteous works of service. These idols, whatever they are, have no true power to meet our deepest soul needs. Only God does. God knows this. And our God passionately wants us to know His deep love for us. But, to truly know and experience God’s unfailing, eternal love for us, we must understand, and respond to, the truth that God alone deserves the fullness of our love. That God alone deserves to be glorified, honored and praised above everyone and everything else in our lives.
Only God is…
Love. Creator. Giver of Life. Eternal One. Beginning and End – Alpha and Omega. Holy. Rescuer. Redeemer. Deliverer. Healer. Hope of Nations. Ancient of Days. Sovereign One. Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. Righteous Judge. Immanuel. The Father. The Son. The Spirit. Our only Savior. Messiah. The Word made flesh. The Way. The Truth. The Life. The Resurrection. King of kings and Lord of lords.
No one and nothing else deserve to be honored as we are to honor the Lord. Our God gave this loving and fiercely protective truth to us as the very first of the Ten Commandments:
“You shall have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:3
This direct and seemingly simple – and certainly righteous and holy – command, that we put nothing else, glorify and honor and praise nothing else, before our God, is God’s loving and fiercely protective Word to keep us safe, to save our lives – to save our minds and our hearts, to save our souls and our relationships.
Take time, reflective time, to think about what place God has in your life. Is God your first and your highest? Your first and highest love? Your first and highest One to trust? Your first and highest joy? Your first and highest peace? Your first and highest security? Your first and highest satisfaction for your soul? Do you give God your first and highest praise and honor? Or must God share all of these with someone or something else in your life?
God is God. Out of God’s fiercely protective love for us, He will never give His glory and praise to anyone or anything else. And out of our love for Him, neither should we. Ever.