“I am the Lord; that is my name!
I will not yield my glory to another
or my praise to idols.
Observation – What does it say?
God is speaking through Isaiah, prophesying to the people of Judah and Jerusalem about the coming Messiah, Jesus. In the midst of this prophecy God declares who he is: Yahweh. And, he is a jealous God who refuses to share the glory and praise that belongs to him with anyone else.
Understanding – What does it mean?
Has anyone ever wrongfully taken credit or praise for something good that you did? If so, then you will be able to somewhat identify with what God deals with all the time. In this verse, God is declaring at least two things:
- God deserves all the credit, glory and praise for everything good!
When you see “LORD” in all caps it is the translation of the Hebrew word יהוה (Yahweh). He is not just a god, he is Yahweh! Yahweh is the title God gave himself in the Old Testament and is built out of the word for “I am.” It reminds us each time we read it that God absolutely is. He had no beginning, he will have no end, he is absolutely reality, he is utterly independent, everything that is not God is completely dependent upon God, he is constant and cannot be improved and he is the absolute standard of truth and goodness and beauty.
That being true makes God the most important and most valuable reality and person in the universe. He is more worthy of glory, praise, interest, attention, admiration and enjoyment than all other realities, including the entire universe.
2. God isn’t ok with that credit, glory and praise being attributed to anyone or anything else.
If God was asking for something he didn’t deserve, this demand would be unjustified. But because he is worthy of what he is asking for, it is a huge injustice to God for us to take credit for anything good. This is all about giving credit where credit is due.
The Bible is calling for us to behold the glory of God, which is manifested in a variety of ways, to prize and love and rejoice and stand in awe of the glory of God, and then, with glad and sincere hearts, to declare the beauty of what we have seen, first to God and then to others. In other words, the Bible is calling for deep, heart-felt, authentic, grateful, humble responses to the surpassing greatness of the glory of God we behold. It’s calling for the kind of honor that is completely enamored of the person being honored.
What other verses explain it?
One of my favorites is:
1 Corinthians 10:31
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Life Application – In light of what this verse says about God what am I going to do about it?
Stop taking credit. When I do something I’m proud of like treating my wife well or choosing to spend an extended time in prayer, I want to pat myself on the back. But the truth is that God is the only one deserving credit or glory. I may have chosen rightly, but it was God who filled me with desire to love my wife and desire to pray, and it was God who gave me the strength to carry out those desires. Even when I do what is right, God deserves the credit!