Glory Thieves

Michael Beck

“And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:21-23)

If there is one thing that will set us up as God’s adversary it is our willingness to receive from others the praise that is only due Him. Lucifer must have been quite a sight. “… Thus saith the Lord GOD; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:11) But it was this very beauty that caused his downfall. “Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.” (Ezekiel 28:17)

The greater the gifts bestowed upon us the humbler we must be. True humility recognizes that: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights …” (James 1:17). God finds us as He found Jerusalem – naked, wretched, and miserable – having no glory, only shame. And then He beautifies us:

“Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 16:13)

When any form of beauty or glory is upon us, God must be credited. “And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us” (Psalm 90:17) He calls us to disavow any good or glory apart from Him. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.” (Psalm 115:1)

God will do so much for us if we are careful to give Him all the glory. He gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud. He doesn’t need the praise, He simply deserves it. He is worthy, we are not.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.