Glory to God

Luke 2: 14             1599 Geneva Bible

Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace in earth, and toward men good will.

Before we jump into verse 14, let us recall what happened in verses one through thirteen. Shepherds were near the town of Bethlehem keeping the night watch over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the Sh’khinah glory of the Lord shone all about the angel and the shepherds. The angel’s purpose was to announce the birth of the Lord. Immediately upon telling the shepherds the good news of the Messianic coming, a multitude of heavenly beings appeared with the angel and began singing and praising God. Verse 14 is what they sang.

Glory be to God in the highest! So, the angels’ song first describes the condition in heaven since the Savior is born. This is the angels’ declaration of how things are now that the holy birth has occurred. In heaven, angels sing praises to God. Glory is to be shouted unto the Lord and praises lifted up into the highest reaches of heaven. It sounds lovely.

On earth, a different result was realized. The Lord, our God, sent the Prince of Peace to earth, to us. Therefore, peace had finally come to the earth. The Tree of Life Version rings with Jewish revelation, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth shalom to men of good will.” Shalom was sent to earth. Shalom is wholeness. It is perfect peace. It means that everything that was broken, is now repaired. Every shortage or lack has been filled. Nothing is missing, nothing broken. It does not mean “lack of wars” although that is what some people read into this verse. War is a man-made conflict. God sent His peace, His Shalom, but people do not have to receive it and they certainly do not have to reflect that love and acceptance to other humans. It does mean, though, that God has accepted us, that He loves us and that He has provided everything we need to heal, first, our own hearts, then our relationships, and even eventually our land. If we let God’s peace and love, which has been shed abroad in our hearts, multiply then there could be peace among men. Father God sent restoration, wholeness. The word Shalom brings to our understanding that in the baby’s birth God sent His peace to us on earth. He has given us the ability to be whole in every aspect of life and to be at peace in our hearts; no lack, no unrepaired emotions or bodies, just perfect, quiet completeness in all things.

The last phrase may be the greatest news of all for it tells us that the Messiah’s insertion into the earth carried with it God’s good will towards humanity. The Messiah came to restore us to God. We were estranged with no way to reach God and no way for God to live with us. We were separated, but He sent Jesus so that we could be restored to Him, so that He could have His kids back. The birth of the baby savior heralded God’s good will towards humanity. Because of Jesus, God was able to reunite with people. He was restored to us; His good will and good intentions having come to reside on the earth.

That is what the angelic host sang. Hallelujah in the heavens! All praise and Glory to the Great One. And, on earth – peace, Shalom, and God’s good will, love and good plans for all humanity.