You can tell what a person loves by what he devotes himself to most passionately.
What a person values most is reflected in his actions and motivations. It is plain in the Old Testament that God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name.
From the beginning of Israel’s history to the end of the Old Testament era God was moved by this great love. He says through Isaiah that he created Israel “for his glory” (Isaiah 43:7): “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3).
Thus when God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and preserved them in the wilderness it was because he was acting for his own name’s sake, “that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations” (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22; cf Exodus 14:4). And when God drove out the other nations from the Promised Land of Canaan, he was “making himself a name” (2 Samuel 7:23). Then finally at the end of the Old Testament era, after Israel had been taken into captivity in Babylon, God plans to have mercy and save his people. He says, “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:9, 11 cf. Ezekiel 36:22, 23, 32). From these texts we can see how much God loves his own glory and how deeply committed he is to preserving the honour of his name.
This is not evil of God. On the contrary, his very righteousness depends on his maintaining a full allegiance to the infinite value of his glory. This is seen in the parallel phrases of Psalm 143:11, “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In thy righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” God would cease to be righteous if he ceased to love his own glory on which his people bank all their hope.
Since God delights so fully in his glory—the beauty of his moral perfection—it is to be expected that he delights in the reflections of this glory in the world. He loves righteousness and justice (Psalm 11:7; 33:5; 37:28; 45:7; 99:4; Isaiah 61:8); he “delights in truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6); he loves his sanctuary where he is worshipped (Malachi 2:11) and Zion, the “city of God” (Psalm 87:2, 3).
But above all in the Old Testament, God’s love for his own glory involves him in an eternal commitment to the people us Christians. The reason this is so is that an essential aspect of God’s glory is his sovereign freedom in choosing to bless the undeserving. Having freely chosen to establish a covenant with His people God glorifies himself in maintaining a loving commitment to this people.
The relationship between God’s love and his election of His people is great.
Written by Prophet Bode Lawson