God alone is worthy of all glory. He is the self-sufficient, holy, infinitely glorious Creator and sustainer of all things. He created all, and all He created was for His glory, and most of all—man. Man was created to be the glory of God. He was made in the image of God. And he was made for the purpose of imaging God, to accurately represent His beauty and majesty—to glorify Him.
But sin entered our world and that glory has been damaged and distorted—so much so that the accurate diagnosis is that we all fall short of being the glory of God. The glory for which we were created has been diminished by the darkening effects of sin. We who were originally created to be God’s willing image-bearers have willfully become His enemies. By nature, we now compete with God for glory.
Genesis 11 contains one main idea: Man rebelled against God’s creation mandate, and sought glorify themselves instead of God. This is the opposite of what God deserves.
When the prophet Isaiah saw a vision of God, he heard this truth proclaimed by angels. “And one called out to another and said, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory’” (Isa. 6:1). The angels are passionate about God’s glory because God is passionate about His glory. By filling the earth with His glory, God shares His goodness with us who have been made in His image.
Genesis 11:1-9 brings to our attention three realities we must embrace if we are to understand the passion God has for His own glory.
- Realize that man, by nature, is a rebellious glory-robber (11:1-4).
- Realize that mankind, united in pride, is capable of anything (11:5-6).
- Realize that God scatters image-bearers over the earth for His glory (11:7-9).
We live in a world of great confusion. Though we were created to glorify God, sin continually tempts us to make more of ourselves than we should. It tempts us to take complete control of our lives, rather than surrender in humble faith before our Creator. But the good news is that God sent His son to reverse the effects of the fall. Now, through the preaching of the gospel, the damned are saved, and the lost are brought into God’s family.
There is a day coming when God’s first intention will be realized, as Psalm 66:4 declares: “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.” And through the evangelistic work of the church, God is gathering in men, women, and children from every nation, tribe, and tongue to worship Jesus for all eternity (Rev. 5:13).
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
[Adapted from last Sunday’s sermon, Fill the Earth with God’s Glory.]