God is like a Peacock
God’s glory is his character
“Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the Lord. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.”Exodus 34:5-7
In Exodus 34 Moses asks God to show him his glory, so God tells him to go up a mountain and puts him in a cleft in the rock. God then walks by Moses, but whilst doing so he proclaims the kind of God that he is – compassionate, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, loving, forgiving, just and holy.
It turns out God’s glory is not his visible brightness, it is his character, his nature, the way that he is! God’s glory is that he is eternally and infinitely graceful, loving and just. Since the beginning, God has been revealing and declaring the kind of God that he is, that we should marvel at his glory.
This is why John describes in his gospel that in Jesus we ‘saw his glory’ (John 1:14). It wasn’t a visible brightness that he was talking about but how Jesus displayed the character and nature of God, being the very ‘image of the invisible God’ (Col 1:15).
God is jealous for our worship
Shortly after describing his glorious character to Moses, God also says the these words; “Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14). He describes himself as a jealous God…who even gives himself the name ‘Jealous’. What is he jealous for? – our worship.
This is not because God is insecure and needy of our worship, but that he intends and desires for us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created – to worship. Just as we would intend to receive pleasure from the things we create, so God intends the same from us. We buy a house to rest in it, we purchase a car to take us places, we watch a film to be entertained, we dine at a restaurant intending to be satisfied with the meal we eat. So in the same way, God intends to receive worship, praise and glory from the objects of his creation, namely us.
God wants to show his grace
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”Ephesians 2:6-7
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians describes how even though we were dead in our sins and trespasses, God made us alive in Christ and seated us with him the heavenly realms…but for a purpose. What purpose? – ‘in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace’. Put simply, God wants to show his grace.
God’s agenda in saving us from sin is not only for our own sake, but that he might show the riches of his grace and glory. Read Ephesians 1:1-14 and you will discover that the purpose of all our spiritual blessings in Christ is for the ‘praise of his glory’. So even in our salvation, God’s ultimate agenda is to be praised and glorified.
Why the rainbow?
“I have set My rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”Genesis 9:13-15
God placing a rainbow in the sky after the great flood of Noah’s day was his promise that he would never flood the earth again. Really it was a promise that he was going to deal with the issue of sin, which is why he flooded the earth in the first place, and God’s answer was the gospel.
It is fitting then that a rainbow displays every single colour within the spectrum of visible light (not just the 7 colours that we know it by!), just as the gospel displays his glorious character in wondrous splendour.
God’s 30,000 foot plan for all of history is to reveal the full splendour of his character to humanity that he might receive praise and glory as we marvel at his goodness. Just as a peacock fans out its tail feathers to display their wondrous colour and pattern, so throughout the pages of scripture and ages of history, God has put his glorious character on display for us to marvel at.
God is like a peacock – and we behold his glory.
“What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory”Romans 9:22-23