'God tells us to praise and to glorify Him, but my question is: Why does God want all the glory? Is He insecure? Isn't this opposed to how He teaches us to behave?'
Why does God want praise?? The first thing we have to attempt in order to answer this question is to completely rid ourselves of a purely human understanding and response.
For human beings (who are purely a creation of God) to want and to demand praise is silly and foolish. Why would a single one of us consider ourselves worthy of any glory or praise when death could be just around the corner? In other words, being supremely mortal and physical casts huge limitations upon us. Moreover, we can all see that every single human being is just as transitory and vulnerable as we are. Life is truly 'but a vapour.' Now I am not saying that we should never praise anybody at any time; we would all praise the composer of a beautiful piece of music, the painter of a great painting or even an outstanding sports star - but it should be kept within bounds; it is praise, but praise within limits. The difference is that God supremely deserves ongoing praise and adoration for Who He is and what He has done; moreover, He deserves it, actually, even well beyond the praise which it is humanly possible for us to give Him. In contrast, I am convinced that even the most highly talented member of the human race has no reason to expect or demand great praise or outstanding glory. Therefore, for us to expect the ongoing praise of others is ultimately silly and foolish. I would go further: I have seen it proven that receiving outstanding and ongoing praise from others can pervert and distort the mind; most people just cannot handle it, we may witness examples of many lives of those who received unreasonable adoration and they could not handle it, turning to drugs, depression and sexual immorality. This has happened to many famous celebrities in the world of entertainment.
God tells us in the Holy Bible (through the pen of His true servants inspired by the Holy Spirit) that he has all-power; He is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (everywhere), omniscient (all-knowing), immutable (unchanging), and eternal (everlasting). Those things make God very unique indeed.
So since God is the Creator of every creature, and the Father of the entire human race, to say nothing of His being the upholder and sustainer of the entire universe, His position is obviously utterly unique. Every single one of us would not exist but for Him. Therefore we should all be able to see that God deserves great praise, honour and glory. Moreover, the eternal destiny of every single one of us rests in His hands - It is in the hands, power and ultimate decision of Almighty God alone whether any one of us finally inherits eternal life! Therefore, God is, to put it mildly, pretty special!
But God's major and supreme reason in demanding glory and praise from us goes far beyond this; it is because it is spiritually developing for us to praise Him. Praising God, whether through singing great and inspiring hymns or by reading the words of the Holy Bible (yes, that too is praising God), moves us forwards spiritually. That is: The Holy Spirit within every true Christian seems to be energized and re-activated whenever we praise our Maker. We become more like Christ and, indeed, the act of praise and worship refreshes our understanding that becoming more like Christ is what the life-journey of the true believer is largely all about, this coupled with our willingness to provide a Christian witness wherever we are able.
Robin A. Brace, June, 2008.