Microscopes, Telescopes and the Glory of God

God’s greatest glory is in your passionate gladness in him– Sam Storm

Perhaps an analogy will help illustrate what this means.

Consider the difference between a microscope and a telescope and how it relates to our relates to our knowledge and enjoyment of God and what it means to glorify him. Both a microscope and a telescope are designed to magnify objects. So, too, are we. The Bible repeatedly calls on us, especially in the Psalms, to magnify the Lord: ‘Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together’ (Ps. 34:3; cf. 35:27). ‘I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving’ (Ps. 69:30). My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour ‘ (Luke 1:46-47)

But there are two entirely different ways of magnifying God , one of which exalts him and the other which demeans him.

First, you can magnify God the way a microscope would. First, you can magnify God the way a microscope would, A microscope magnifies by focusing on something quite small, most often invisible to the naked eye, and causing it to look much, much bigger than it really is. This is magnification by distortion! This is not how we are to magnify God! Tragically, though, that’s how many Christians think of God and how they are to worship him. they think that in their lives and in their praise they are causing God to look bigger and greater and more glorious than he really is, in and of himself.


Worship is not like blowing up a balloon. God is not honored by human inflation , as if the breath of our praise enhances and expands his visibility and worth. To think that apart from our praise, God remains shrunken and shriveled is to dishonor him who ‘gives to all mankind life and breath and everything’ (Acts 17:25)

But you can also magnify God the way a telescope would. A telescope magnifies by focusing on something indescribably huge and massive and causing it to appear as it really and truly is. A telescope peers into the distant realms of our universe and displays before our eyes the massive, unfathomable, indescribable dimensions of what is there. only in this latter sense we are called to magnify the Lord. Of course, the analogy breaks down, as all analogies eventually do, because God is infinitely greater than anything you can see through a telescope. Indeed, he created and fashioned everything you can see through a telescope.


Sam Storm, One Thing (Scotland, Great Britain; Christian Focus Publications Limited, 2004),pp. 32-33.

I choose to magnify God like the telescope, that I may see Him as He truly is, The Lord God Almighty – worthy of all my praise.



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