My Glory I Give to No Other (Part 1)

Plagiarism is a serious offense in literary and academic environments. According to the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary plagiarism is “the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.”[1] We tend to limit plagiarism to the academic or professional arenas, but we find it in all spheres of life. I imagine most of us have had the experience of someone “stealing our thunder.” We have exciting news that we tell someone and they reply, “So and so already told me,” even though you told “so and so” not to repeat the news. That experience leaves us feeling a bit deflated. Also, a major problem today is identity theft. In this electronic age our personal information is always at risk of being stolen and used by someone else. This is the ultimate form of plagiarism, someone pretending to be me. So plagiarism runs the gamut from the minor repeating of family news to the more serious non-credited use of information or ideas to the take over of an identity. We are very scrupulous when it comes to making sure we get credit when credit is due, and we are outraged when someone else gets the recognition that is due us.

God is concerned with plagiarism as well. He is much more concerned about it since for him it is the most serious offense. In particular, God is concerned with guarding his glory since God’s glory is his and his alone. He will not allow his glory to be shared or stolen. God says so in Isaiah chapters 42 and 48.

            I am the LORD; that is my name;
                        my glory I give to no other,
                        nor my praise to carved idols.
            (Isaiah 42:8 ESV)

            For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
                        for how should my name be profaned?
                        My glory I will not give to another.
            (Isaiah 48:11 ESV)

God will not share is glory with other so-called gods, and all he does brings him glory. Scripture declares God is the King of glory.

            Lift up your heads, O gates!
                        And be lifted up, O ancient doors,
                        that the King of glory may come in.
            Who is this King of glory?
                        The LORD, strong and mighty,
                        the LORD, mighty in battle!
            Lift up your heads, O gates!
                        And lift them up, O ancient doors,
                        that the King of glory may come in.
            Who is this King of glory?
                        The LORD of hosts,
                        he is the King of glory! Selah
            (Psalm 24:7-10 ESV)

Being King of glory means there is no one or nothing more glorious. However, Scripture also says we do not give God the glory he deserves. We fall very short of his glory.

            For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23 ESV)

What does “fall short of the glory of God” mean? Does this mean we are meant to be as glorious as God but just can’t get it done? Hardly. Note that falling short is tied to sin. Adam and Eve were created in an exalted position: in the image of God and sinless. As Psalm 8:5 (ESV) says, referring to man, “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” God gave man glory that he gave to no other part of his creation. In this state Adam and Eve recognized the clear distinction between their glory and the glory of the Creator, but the tempter came and offered to eliminate that distinction. The serpent said if they disobeyed God and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would be “like God.” No one other than God can be like God, though. Adam foolishly thought he could have the same glory as God. From the moment Adam and Eve ate from the tree until now man has refused to acknowledge God as God. Man looks to glorify himself at the expense of God’s glory. Paul makes this clear in chapter one of Romans.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:21-23 ESV)

Foolishly they “exchanged the glory of the immortal God.” That is, they (and by extension we) take worship and honor due God and transfer it to someone or something else. We “fall short of the glory of God.” God glorifies himself in a myriad of ways, and we seek to rob him of glory in every way he is glorified.

In Part 2 we will examine some of the ways God glorifies himself and how we seek to plagiarize his glory in each area.

[1] “Plagiarism,” Merriam-Webster Dictionary, accessed March 3, 2015,

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