And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” Exodus 33:17-18
The Biblical concept of ‘glory’ is threaded throughout the Word of God appearing more than 350 times. Glory brings forth the idea of the splendor, honor, worship, and divine presence and attributes of God.
When Moses and the Israelites miraculously escaped from Egypt they were filled with awe and thankfulness for God showing His glory and power to set them free. After crossing the Red Sea they celebrated as a nation singing a song in Exodus 15. The song expresses the magnitude of God’s power expressed in His attributes and actions that brought freedom. In verse 11 they sang: Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory working wonders? (Exodus 15:11 NIV) Israel acknowledged a transaction between heaven and earth as God’s glory was manifest.
The Hebrew word-‘kabod’, literally meaning weight, and the Greek word ‘doxa’, meaning dignity, glory, honor, worship bring forth this weighty concept of glory. When expressed in the context of God, it reveals His divine presence, nature and activity among His people. Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains it this way; glory is the exercise and display of what constitutes the distinctive excellence of the subject to which it is spoken. God’s glory is manifestation of His divine attributes and perfections, or such visible splendor as indicates the possession and presence of these attributes and perfections.
God’s glory is more than a theoretical idea. It is His very presence!! Our position through faith in Jesus is that God’s glory is always present. Grace makes a way for the presence of His glory. But there are times when it is more easily perceived. There are times when it is tangible among God’s people. When our worship moves beyond a surface transaction we begin to experience His glory as the ‘will of heaven coming to earth’. In deep worship we open ourselves to this heavenly transaction because we choose, as Moses did, to enter deeply and boldly into the throne of grace.
God’s glory appeared as a cloud at the entrance to the tent of meeting when Moses worshipped Yahweh. It was resident on the Mercy Seat between the cherubim upon the Ark of the Covenant. It appeared as a presence along with angels announcing the birth of the Messiah. It appears on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses, Elijah and Jesus. It is expressed in the person of Christ as the son of God. It manifested through the resurrection. It is revealed in John’s revelation of the New Jerusalem as light for the heavenly city.
God’s presence and glory always manifest for a purpose beyond feeling good. He is intentional in His glory. We can tangibly sense His presence when our worship goes deeper than a surface transaction. The gifts of the Spirit begin to manifest as worship ascends to the throne in corporate gatherings. God comes to show himself just as He showed himself to Moses after Moses said ‘show me your glory’. He has purpose in His glory. His glory was manifest to bring God’s people into a promised land. Today He desires to bring us into a promised land. The glory will come as believers enter into deeper worship in Spirit and in Truth. Our Father wants to show himself to you, to His church! He desires to accomplish something greater than a surface transaction devoid of power. He desires a transaction for transformation unto advancing His kingdom in us and through us. Lord, we say to you ‘show us your glory’!