I’m not sure where I got the hare-brained idea to take on this topic, but I’ve invested enough time in research not to not do something with it. What I’m saying that this is a brain-dump, so excuse the loose ends.
God’s glory isn’t something He has, it is something He is. (Just like He doesn’t have love or holiness, He is love and He is holy. I don’t understand it either; if I did, He wouldn’t be God, would He?). He is the Glory of Israel, the King of glory , the God of glory, the Lord of glory and the Father of glory who doesn’t share His glory .
I don’t know the significance of this, but some of the physical manifestations of God’s glory in the OT were in relation to judgment. During the wilderness wanderings, God showed His glory in response to grumbling and rebellion. But by far, the most spectacular displays of glory came at pivotal moments of Israel’s history:
- At the confirmation of the covenant, the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire at the top of Mt Sinai;
- At the dedication of the tabernacle, Moses couldn’t enter;
- At the dedication of the Temple centuries later, the glory of God was so overwhelming that the priests couldn’t minister.
What was the response of those present? The Israelites feared for their lives at the sight of the fire and the sound of God’s voice at the mountain. At the Tabernacle they shouted for joy and fell facedown ; at the Temple they worshipped and gave thanks on their knees.
It is noteworthy that at the post-exilic dedication of the Temple in Ezra 6, no mention is made of God’s glory. Between Solomon and Ezra, Ezekiel saw the visions of the glory of God leaving (Ezekiel 10-11)and then returning to (Ezekiel 43) the Temple. Again, I don’t know the significance of this.
Another theme that runs through the OT is that the whole earth be filled with the glory of God, which starts with a declaration from God Himself . It is taken up in the Psalms , and by the prophets Isaiah and Habakkuk.
In the NT, the Apostle John tells us that Jesus’ signs reveal His glory. In his prologue, he states having been a witness to the glory of the Word incarnate who was also the radiance of the glory of God. As John wrote that he may have been vividly taken back to that day on the mountain as he pondered Jesus’ words that He would return in glory. In Gethsemane, Christ prayed that the Father would glorify Him with the glory He had before the creation of the world, and that we who have believed in Him may see this same glory. After His resurrection, He was taken up into glory . And now there is a greater glory that awaits us who believe. Until then, we can join the 24 elders in declaring that God is worthy to receive glory as we anticipate being enveloped in the brilliant radiance of God’s glory.
Sing along with the unembeddable video here below: