[Jesus enthroned in glory. Nikon D40. Notre Dame, Paris. May, 2013]
“Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!”— a prayer of King Solomon (Psalm 72:19, ESV)
It seems to me that this is the ultimate prayer because, in it, we pray for God’s ultimate goal in all His dealings with us. Along with this, we should also pray that in Christ’s name we would be allowed to enter into an earth that is filled with His glory, not driven from it as Adam and Eve were.
But why doesn’t His glory fill the earth now?
We should not think that His glory has been restrained by evil and that we pray for God to break that restraint. No. Rather, God has removed His glory by sovereign choice, by His curse (Genesis 3:14-19), and therefore evil reigns on the earth. We were driven out of the garden; His glory was taken up from the earth.
But later, God manifested His glory through divine gestures that typified his purpose to save a people for Himself: His promise to Abraham, Noah’s ark, the pillar of fire and cloud leading Israel in the wilderness, the ark of the covenant and tabernacle, the temple, the glory cloud that filled it…
and finally, fully: Jesus.
“…and we beheld His glory… full of grace and truth.”—John 1:14
One day God will fill the whole earth with His glory through the grace and truth of His Son. The redeemed who have this hope bear witness now, and will enter in then. This is His unchanging purpose, and our hope of glory.
The grace and truth of God in Christ is our hope to be received, not driven out, not consumed by fire, but led back into His glorious victory over our own inglorious evil.