Jeremiah chapter 2 begins with a recount of Israel’s early relationship with God as evidenced by her devotion and willingness to follow him anywhere, even in the wilderness. God then asks, what wrong did your fathers find in me? There was no fault to be found in Him and yet the people went after other gods. And we continue to read in verse 5 that they “went after worthlessness and became worthless”.
This chapter entails Israel’s faithlessness. As we read through this we learn that despite the multitude of sins and the stubbornness of the Israelites, God still calls them ‘my people’. God does not want to simply punish the people and ensure that the relationship between them and Him are no more but rather he works to restore the people back to Him.
For us: Yes, Hope remains, if you are praying for a loved one who is yet to correct their ways and turn to the Lord, know that the Lord’s greatest desire is for all to know Him and so we too cling to hope because the Lord does not give up and neither should we. Our hope is rooted not in our efforts or anyone else’s but in who God is.
In Jeremiah 2:11 we read “Has a nation ever changed its gods? (yet they are not gods at all). But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols.”
We see God described as the ‘Glory of His people’ here. It intrigued me.
In 1 Samuel 15:29 we again see God described as the Glory of Israel “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind.”
In Luke 2:32 we read “The Lord is a light of revelation to the gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.”
Who are the people of God?
In Genesis 12:2, God says to Abraham “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” This nation becomes Israel and they were recognised as the people of God. So, are any others considered people of God? Yes, Jesus came for each and every one of us and those that put their faith in Him are His. Those that follow Him, identify Him as their Lord and saviour and those who belong to Him through faith become part of the people of God.
The word Glory in Hebrew is ‘Kobad’, it is used to describe the weight or heaviness of something. The more important something is, the more Glory ascribed to it. It is something that is impressive and demands recognition.
We often ascribe Glory to God. He is worthy of it. Glory radiates from God. It is the beauty of His Spirit. It is who He is, His nature and character. It is His infinite worth. God’s glory has been described as His manifested presence, and also as the weightiness of His qualities such as His might, beauty, goodness, justice, love, grace and honour. This does not completely encompass it, as we with our finite minds cannot comprehend or describe what His glory is in its entirety.
God made everything to reveal His glory, all of nature exhibits His Glory “the heavens declare His glory (Psalm 19:1-4). All of His actions on earth reveal His glory, His glory was revealed to us in Jesus, John 1:14 says “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
But when we look at God being described as the ‘Glory of his people’, what does that mean for us? Do we as a part of His people view Him as our Glory.
What is your glory? What in your life holds the weight of being the most important thing to which Glory (praise and honour) is ascribed?
In Isaiah 43:7 we read “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Yes, we are created for His glory – our ways, our walk and our words are to bring Him Glory. That is our purpose but how can we do that well if we do not primarily identify with the fact that He is our Glory, that He should be the cause for any of our praise, the most magnificent part of our life, the reason for every honour.
What are we recognised by in our time here? Is it intelligence, fame, power, beauty, prestige or money?
Where do we find our worth or weight in – is it that which is in the temporary or that which is eternal.
When we reflect on the above two questions it makes us realise that ‘What we choose to find our worth in will often be what we will be identified by.’
And what we are identified by in the world is what we often dedicate most of our time and energy towards and it can take the place of pre-eminence in our lives.
God never says things lightly or just for the whim of it. When He says that I am the Gory of my people, He wants that to be a reality for each one of us who call ourselves followers of Him.
The spirit in us will enable us to live in a manner that shapes us to be more like Christ every day but the questions is, if that is what we desire too? We have the knowledge that we should live a life pleasing to God but do the desires of the flesh and temptations of the world snuff out that desire before it becomes intended action. Are our desires aligned with that of God? Or like the verse in Jeremiah says, do we exchange God for worthless idols?
Our glory, that which our heart and our actions reveal what we give the most worth to in our lives, when not found to be God, but in things of the flesh, result in us not giving God His due place in our lives. And when there is less of God in our lives, we inadvertently make room for something else to take His place.
God says that He is the glory of His people, but ultimately it is a choice for us to ensure that it remains a lived-out reality every single day of our lives.
May God be the centre point around which everything else finds its position and place. May He be the most magnificent part of our lives and may God indeed be our Glory, the one who is ascribed a place of pre-eminence in our lives, the one who holds the most weight in the why and how of everything we do.