Sunday Considerations: Glory Seen

In the Old Testament, God displayed his glory in typical, visual form as an awe-inspiring expanse of bright light (the shekinah, as later Judaism called it). This was the sign of his beneficent presence in both the tabernacle and the temple (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10ff.). The essential and abiding revelation of God’s glory, however, was given by his great acts of merited judgment and unmerited love, and in his “name”—which was no mere label, as our names are, but a disclosure of God’s nature and character. Jehovah (Yahweh, as modern scholars render it) means “I am (and will be) what I am (and will be)” (see Exodus 3:13–15), and the full statement of God’s “name” declares precisely what he is and will be. This statement was made to Moses; when Moses asked God, “show me thy glory,” God responded not only by a visual manifestation, but also by declaring “my name ‘the LORD’ (Yahweh) … a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty …” (Exodus 33:18–34:7). This moral character is the essential glory of God.

So, when the Word was made flesh in lowliness, having emptied himself of the glory he shared with the Father before creation, the breathtaking brilliance of the shekinah was hidden, save for the one isolated moment of transfiguration; yet Jesus’ disciples could testify, “we beheld his glory,” the glory of personal deity “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14; cf. 17:5; Philippians 2:7). Great as is the physical glory of shekinah light, the moral glory of God’s redeeming love is greater. Those today whom God enlightens to understand the gospel never see the shekinah, but they behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6).1

  1. Packer, J. I. (1994). Growing in Christ (pp. 210–212). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
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tagged as , in Christianity,Gospel,Worship

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DavidCandel July 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Be holding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ we are transformed into that image as by the Spirit. Praise God We’re reflecting Him! Glory to God..

2 Geno July 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

I’d like to flesh out the 2 Corinthians 4  passage you ended with.

6 For
God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in
our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For
we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the
life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
I believe, to a large extent, that we modern day believers have lost sight of what follows verse 6, and the purpose we are called to… and that is to carry forth the treasure in our earthen vessels, and be willing to die, that His life might come forth.


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