Why is the glory of God so pervasive in the Bible?

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When the Bible talks about the whole earth being filled with the glory of God, it's really talking about the endpoint of its story. The divine story is not a tragedy, it's a comedy. And the way that we know that is because one day the whole earth will be filled with God's radiance. It will fill it in every nook and cranny so that, according to the symbolic imagery of the book of Revelation, there won't even need to be a sun because God's glory will light, it will radiate throughout all of the cosmos. We see that plan introduced in Genesis 1 where God creates man and woman in his image, and then he goes and tells them to fill the earth and subdue it, showing us that even all the way back in Genesis 1, God's plan was not merely to fill the garden but to fill the whole earth with his image, a worshiping image, reflecting back to him his glory. We see it take place in the call for in the call of the Psalter for not merely the nation of Israel but all nations, all kings, to worship the Lord. That's a global vision that we see all the way back in the Old Testament. And then, of course, the modus operandi for the gospel, which will be the Great Commission—the going out and proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ to the whole world, making disciples amongst the nations—is the means by which we have been given to fill the earth with God's glory now. In our lives today, we are called to go proclaim the good news about Jesus Christ all over the face of the earth. But again, we should take deep hope. This story is a comedy, and it will end with God's glory, his radiance lighting the whole world.

Answer by Dr. Scott Redd

Dr. Scott Redd Jr. (Ph.D., The Catholic University of America) is the President and Stephen B. Elmer Professor of Old Testament at the Washington, D.C. campus of Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS).