God has dedicated Himself to His Worship. That is what He is Holy for.
Which is why He elevates His Word above His Name, when necessary. Ps 138:2 (the KJV get’s it right here as RT Kendall points out).
I’d put it this way, God has devoted Himself entirely to the cause of gathering and receiving for Himself all Praise, Honor, Glory and Worship.
Which is why every knee will bow and every tongue will confess and also why the Universe is so big, so that it may with some measure of success “declare the praises of God.”
This may seem to you a trifle irrelevant or even a little arrogant on God’s behalf. Well think about if with me for a while. Why His Word above His Name? Surely His name is the object of His worship, yes but His Word is the means of His worship. His Word is the exponential factor…
The plan is a whole bible plan, but it is presented in a condensed form in Revelations four through seven. I’m just going to look at Revelations four and five here.
God is in heaven. Four angelic beings declare His Holiness, His perfect purpose.
Whenever they do so (which is always) there are these 24 elders who get off their thrones, which they never sit on; take off their crowns, which they never wear because the angels are always singing, and declare the worthiness of God to receive praise because He created all things.
Nice, But the picture is way too small, given the holiness of God and the extent of His creation, it is dangerously out of balance.
God is worthy to receive all power, glory and honor, but He has not received it yet (in this picture). There are a mere 28 creatures in a closed circle giving Him worship.
But He is Holy, and He will not rest until the declaration of the four beings, His Holiness has wrought for Himself all the Worship and the Honor that all of creation can give, living and dead, matter and spirit, men and rocks. All will cry out, because God is Holy!
And what about the Power and the Glory? No accumulation of creation can give God Glory – creation merely acknowledges the Glory God already is. Power He get’s for Himself. Power over death was the last to return to Him (in truth it never left Him).
In Chapter 5 we are faced with a dilemma. This worthy and Holy God is holding in His hands something which even He is not worthy to open. He is doubtlessly able
to open it, but not worthy
? The Cosmos is perplexed the great crescendo of all crescendo’s is left hanging in an unbearable pregnant pause, all that is natural, metaphysical and heaven itself waits for a virgin girl to give birth, talk about a pregnant pause!
The one she carries is worthy; worthy to open this scroll. Why, because He was slain – God, the Father, the Almighty Creator was never slain, nor could He be. This new person is only worthy because He became human while remaining Holy. It was not His name which made his Word Holy, it was His Word which made His Name holy.
And so, at His entry, the 28 sing a new song, as they carry the prayers of a few billion others to amplify their new song.
Not all of the prayers they carry are nice prayers, worship prayers. Many are desperate, pitiful, weak prayers. But they are carried because He also was desperate, pitiful, weak; even slain. The first murmuring of the tsunami of worship demanded by the Holiness of God is beginning to build. These human prayers, these teeny grains of sand are beginning to influence the thresholds of the temple in heaven.
Then all the angels in heaven catch on to what’s happening. And they begin to sing of the worthiness of this Man-God. They add wealth, wisdom, strength and praise to the attributes already ascribed to the Holy God.
Then every creature that ever there was joins in midway through the angel song.
And the four angles agree and the 24 elders fall down again and worship!
There is more, but it’s a good place to stop in this article.
This is a big plan, it is way beyond the scope of any collection of men to comprehend. My son came up with a word when he was about 3, “Hunormous.” This is a Hunormous scheme, a massive all encompassing purpose of everything. There is no Yin and Yang. There is no competition between Good and Evil, there is no universal annihilation. There is no collective consciousness, because each voice will be heard, each reward given. All is not God because God will exact praise from everything that is not God; that is what makes Him Holy. God could not be holy if God was everything, there would be nothing for Him to be holy from. We could not even say that ‘everything‘ would be holy – because against what could everything be holy? It would just be.
Somewhere in this scheme you are, you exist, with your fears, and your doubts and your strivings and your pride and all of your prayers, and every one of a myriad of purposes and feelings and temptations and victories that distract you and make you more than a little unholy.
The purpose of God for you is to extract your self from all of that stuff, from all of those other purposes. And to make you Holy too. It is a great eternal invitation. The Holiness of God is the purpose of relationship and the reason why the universe is relational. It is the reason why love and marriage and sex and gravity and procreation exist at all. God invites us to help Him be Holy. He is Holy whether we help Him or not, every child no matter how pagan or poor their birth, no matter how good or wicked their destiny, will ultimately worship God. Some out of fear and dread, some out of duty and some in an absolute, mutual devotion. Some eternally and some temporarily. “I am holy,” He says, “who makes you holy.” Man, if I could just get to be holy I would want to stay that way forever!
We will Praise God, says the Psalmist in Psalm 138, because His loving-kindness is above all truth. Why? because He has magnified His Word above all of His Names. Why?
Because God is Holy.