â€œNot unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truthâ€™s sake.â€ (Psalm 115:1)
One of the great words of the Bible is the word â€œglory,â€ and it should be evident that glory belongs to God, not man. Indeed, the very â€œheavens declare the glory of Godâ€ (Psalm 19:1). Not only do the heavens declare His glory, but â€œhis glory [is] above the heavensâ€ (113:4), and â€œthe glory of the LORD shall endure for everâ€ (104:31). In heaven the mighty hosts of angels â€œgive unto the LORD the glory due unto his nameâ€ (29:2).
It is thus singularly inappropriate for Godâ€™s servants on Earth to seek glory for themselves. â€œThus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORDâ€ (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
This Old Testament exhortation is echoed in the New. â€œGod hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; . . . That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lordâ€ (1 Corinthians 1:27, 29-31).
As our text reminds us, God manifests His glory to us today in both mercy and truth, mercifully saving us in Christ, who is Himself Godâ€™s truth (John 14:6). Thus, in Christ â€œmercy and truth are met togetherâ€ (Psalm 85:10), and we shall â€œpraise thy name for thy lovingkindness [same word as â€˜mercyâ€™] and for thy truthâ€ (Psalm 138:2). HMM