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Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let Your glory (Heb. KABOWD: glory, honor, greatness) be above all the earth. Ps 57:11 NKJV
What makes a person’s life ‘great’? Is greatness a worthy ideal to be pursued by a believer? Does ‘greatness’ relate to ‘glory’, and how so? It’s been said that a generation is defined by its heroes. One can easily say that people follow leaders, especially the informal or natural leader. Should a believer rise up to be a leader, or an ideal or hero to others, especially if in so doing greatness or glory is imparted to them? Is meekness the same as weakness, or can meekness and glory walk hand in hand?
By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor (Heb. KABOWD) and life. Prov 22:4 NKJV
I’ve changed what I believe so many times over the years that its almost embarrassing.
The same word that’s used of the glory of God is used of men and women who pursue God in the fear of the Lord with all their hearts. It may shake some people’s faith to realize that God gives to certain ones wealth building anointings which they then are to steward for the greatness, the glory of the Kingdom. One of the great fallacies of traditional Christian thought is that poverty equals humility while wealth equals pride. Poverty does not equal humility, nor does wealth equal pride.
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory (Grk. DOXA: greatness, honor, glory). Matt 4:8-9 NKJV
DOXA in Greek is very closely related to KABOWD in Hebrew. Both refer to glory that comes from or is related to men, and glory that comes from or is related to God. There is a glory that comes from the world which is to be avoided, and a glory which comes from God WHICH IS TO BE PURSUED. This idea that we can live on love alone is one pursued by those on a honeymoon.
Let’s look at KABOWD and then we’ll look at DOXA, to get answers to our questions.
Now Jacob heard the words of Laban’s sons, saying, “Jacob has taken away all that was our father’s, and from what was our father’s he has acquired all this wealth (Heb. KABOWD)” Gen 31:1-2 NKJV
This is the first usage of KABOWD. Was God involved in Jacob receiving this wealth, this glory or greatness? And, if so, what can we learn from that?
One thing to keep in mind is that the Bible can distill in a few chapters, some times in a few words, what can happen over years and even decades. So, we have to learn the principles here and see how they can be walked out over the days of our lives. God can speed things up, but generally He is a ‘process’ God as much as He may be a ‘suddenlies’ God, especially when the suddenlies come at the end of a long process. Are you with me?
Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Gen 28:3 NKJV
After the incident with Isaac and the blessing, Isaac and Rebekah send Jacob to live with Laban the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah. Along the way he rests at a place he will call Beth-El, and there he has a dream…
And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants… Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.” Gen 28:13-15 NKJV
Jacob gets a RHEMA word that God will bless, protect and prosper him wherever he goes. He meets Laban, decides he is in love with Rachel his daughter, and works for Laban for seven years to get Rachel. Everything is good so far! Laban begins to prosper because of Jacob so he plots to keep Jacob around by giving the oldest daughter, Leah, to Jacob instead of Rachel, for whom he has to work another seven years. Jacob has children through Leah and Rachel and their two concubines, twelve sons in all, and Dinah the daughter.
…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory (Grk. DOXA) of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power… Eph 1:17-20 NKJV
Then the Lord gives Jacob a word of wisdom on how to get all the wealth of Laban because Laban had been cheating him, and all the increase and prosperity were due to Jacob, anyway. Jacob seemingly has supernatural understanding of plants and animal husbandry to produce the speckled cattle that he can put into his flocks and away from Laban’s. This is an operation of the word of wisdom! Finally, Laban proves to be a covetous man who thinks that anything he can’t have is being taken from him, as Matthew Henry pointed out.
By the way, Jacob was described as a mild young man, beloved of his mother, who cooked stew, but he proves to be hardworking, honest and shrewd but still vulnerable and open to God.
One thing you see in almost all successful people is a huge capacity to excel. By their faith and capacity, they draw KABOWD to themselves, either from the world or from the Lord. Understand this…when the gifts of the Spirit are wedded with great natural ability in a man or woman you are going to see great fruit, thirty – sixty – hundredfold, whether it’s in ministry or business or the arts or any realm of life. When the Super (God and His gifts) and the Natural (abilities) mesh, something supernatural happens!
The spirit of wisdom and revelation, gifts of the Spirit, work in every category of life where believers love God and pursue Him in the fear of the Lord. They work in you 24/7, dear one!
…which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Grk. DOXA). Col 1:27 NKJV
Greatness dwells in you, dear one! You were made for greatness, and you will dwell in greatness for all eternity. Rise up in your soul and refuse mediocrity, refuse inferiority, refuse conformity with the world and all of its deadening poorness of spirit. Refuse the crumbs of the world, and seek the greatness of our God and what He has for you. Christ in you and the limitlessness of our God is your capacity. You were made for glory!
Remember dear one, we must be about our Father’s business…