365 days with Newton

21 MAY

The God of glory

‘The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia.’ Acts 7:2
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Acts 7:1–8

When Abraham was in a state of ignorance, and probably an idolater, God revealed himself unto him (Acts 7:2) as the God of glory. Thus the work begins in all his people. If not idolaters in the gross sense, yet in a spiritual sense we are all idolaters—self-worshippers, lovers of the world, lovers of pleasure more than of God, and this is idolatry. The Lord finds his people when they seek him not—indeed they seek him, and sometimes for a long space and under many discouragements before they know him to their comfort, but he begins with them before they can seek him at all. This is universally true whatever advantages they may have of outward means, yet till he speaks to their hearts they know him not, nor have any true desire after him. The Lord begins by revealing himself to the soul as the God of glory. When the Lord appeared, then Abraham saw the vanity of idols. Even the notions we have of God by nature, are so unsuitable to the representation he has made of himself by his Word and Spirit, that while we pretend to worship him, we may be said to worship an idol. If we do not apprehend him as the God of glory, glorious in holiness, justice and truth, we worship not the true God but an imagination of our own hearts. Many, if they would examine their own hearts, might be convinced they have in a manner thought him such a one as themselves; they deny his most essential attributes, or they could not presume on his favour while they live in their sins.

FOR MEDITATION: In those early days there was no written word. But now we have the Scriptures complete we are not to expect to hear a voice or see a glory with our bodily eyes. He makes himself known by his Word and Spirit. And this, though a silent way and unperceived by others, is accompanied with no less certain evidences of his presence and power than if he was to speak in thunder and appear to us in the awful manner he did to Israel at Mount Sinai. Such an outward display of majesty might indeed overawe the carnal heart for a season, but would not change it. The glory of God can only be seen to good purpose by the eyes of the mind (2 Corinthians 4).

SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 22 [2/3], GENESIS 12:1ff.

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