“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.” – Psalm 4:2
Selah. A word that calls us to stop for just a moment and contemplate what we’ve just read. This morning pause and consider the glory of God.
It is important that we realize first that when David writes these words it is not only about himself. This is one of those verses which have a double meaning: one that is meant for the time it was written, and another that implies a bigger story. In this case, it’s about the glory of God.
In case you’ve ever wondered, the word glory carries with it the idea of a “heaviness” or a “burden.” It concerns one’s “reputation.”
“Sons of men…”
David was probably writing to men whom at one point were his trusted friends, but now they were trying to kill him. These were men who made up his inner circle of government, who acted in his name. Yet now, here they were in rebellion, turning the glory of David’s reign into shame.
Sons of men was something of a title of honor and dignity.
“Vanity” and “Leasing”
Vanity is that which is hollow and worthless. Vanity is that beauty that fades, the riches that decay. Yet, what does the world love? It chases after fleeting fame and false beauty. It’s constantly trying one-up God’s creation. Yet, men “love” it; literally, they “flirt” with it. Why not seek after things that last?
“Leasing” is another word for lying. David is asking why it is that men seek after lies? I guess the answer could be found in the modern context of news. Why do we keep going to the media for truth about the world when we know they rarely tell the truth?
From Glory to Shame
God is asking His creation – the ones who bear the fingerprint of their Creator – “Why do you turn MY glory into shame?” Why do men and women constantly seek after emptiness and lies, when the Truth is right in front of them?
Why did David’s men rebell against him, knowing he was God’s annointed King of Israel? Why do men rebel against Jesus, the eternal King of Glory? After all, we are who we are because of God; we are the jewel of His creation! Why do we love to devalue ourselves, turning His glory into shame?
Tragic, isn’t it? Nevertheless, the “how long” part of this verse hints at something very important: We can’t rob God’s glory and impune His name forever.
Just think about that for a while.