God of Glory – Part 1

As society increasingly looks inward for meaning and purpose, so its obsession with self becomes all-consuming. Consequently, mankind’s ability to perceive transcendent glory diminishes into spiritual darkness which pervades their hearts. But for those with open eyes and hearts, who look not for earthly satisfaction, but for heavenly glory, they shall discover it through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

David proclaimed, “the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). Any examination of the cosmos shows the impossibility of this infinitely complex universe coming into existence by any means other than by the intelligence and almighty power of God. The created universe is God’s testimony of Himself. Romans 1:19-20 explains; “for what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So, they are without excuse.”

We get a greater sense of God’s glory as we consider His divine attributes; His triune personhood, His creative and governing sovereignty, His holiness, His infinite power (Omnipotence), His infinite knowledge  (Omniscience), His presence everywhere (Omnipresence), His truth, His mercy and grace, His loving kindness, and His wrath against injustice and sin. All these combined, display God’s majestic glory.

Exodus chapter 33 records a discussion between God and Moses, where Moses asks; “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). Moses had already been exposed to God in more ways than any other person, he had heard God’s voice, and he had seen God’s great and miraculous power at work. Yet Moses desperately wanted to know the very BEST of God, His glory. In response to Moses’ bold request, the Lord explains that He would need to protect him, as this exposure could kill him. God explained in Exodus 33:22-23; “while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” “You cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live” (Exodus 33:20).

The point was, God wanted to be known more fully by Moses, just as Moses wanted to know God more fully.

And so it happened, “the LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, 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, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:6-7). Here, as spectators, we catch a glimpse of Yahweh’s condensed self-revelation to Moses.

The LORD parades himself before Moses, declaring a summation of His character while protecting fragile Moses from being consumed by His glory. Of all that God could have said about Himself, He reveals the holiness of His heart. Divine mercy, grace, patience, love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and justice are revealed.

Moses’ immediate response was appropriate, and matched this momentous revelation, “Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped” (Exodus 34:8). David also reminds us that worship is the only right  response to any exposure to God; ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendour of holiness (Psalm 29:2).

To be continued…

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