More Desired? Works or Glory?

by Frank Jones

Although we know that one cannot ultimately distinguish between the glory of God and His works, man does seek God's works over His glory by first birth. We want prosperity, monies, position, lands, houses, health, power, comfort, safety, etc.

Yet, in the Person of Jesus Christ, there is a glory beyond all provisions of fleshy desires. It is the glory of God in the face of Christ which provides light of this same knowledge. There is no comparison. The glory of His Person infinitely exceeds the puny provisions of bread, meat, and clothing. To see His glory is eternal life for the believer. It is a terror to the unbeliever.

So to see him [Jesus Christ] as to see God in him, is to behold his glory; for herein he is eternally glorious. And this is that glory whose view we ought to long for and labour after. And if we see it not, we are yet in darkness; yea, though we say we see, we are blind like others. So David longed and prayed for it, when yet he could behold it only in types and shadows, Ps. 63:1, 2, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee;—to see thy power and the glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” For there was in the sanctuary an obscure representation of the glory of God in Christ. How much more should we prize that view of it which we may have with open face, though yet “as in a glass!” 2 Cor. 3:18. Moses, when he had seen the works of God, which were great and marvellous, yet found not himself satisfied therewith; wherefore, after all, he prays that God “would show him his glory,” Exod. 33:18. He knew that the ultimate rest, blessedness, and satisfaction of the soul, is not in seeing the works of God, but the glory of God himself. Therefore did he desire some immediate dawnings of it upon him in this world: “I beseech thee, show me thy glory.” And if we have right apprehensions of the future state of blessedness, we cannot but have the same desire of seeing more of his glory in this life (John Owen, vol. 1, The Works of John Owen., ed. William H. Goold (Edinburg: T&T Clark), 299.).