top of page

The Glory of God: Amazing Truth, Power, and Love

The glory of god: amazing truth, power, and love
The Glory of God appeared to Moses when God gave the Law. It filled the Tabernacle and Temple. Later it was incarnate in Jesus Christ.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. – Psalm 19:1

“Glory” defined.

Glory is more easily seen than defined. Perhaps “sensed” is a better word than seen. Here’s what tHE DICTIONARY has to say:


1 of 3 NOUN glo·​ry ˈGLȮR-Ē 1a: praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent : RENOWN b: worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving –giving glory to God, the glory of God 2a : something that secures praise or renown: the glory of a brilliant career b: a distinguished quality or asset: The glory of the city is its Gothic cathedral. 3a: a state of great gratification or exaltation: When she’s acting, she’s in her glory. b: a height of prosperity or achievement: ancient Rome in its glory 4a(1): great beauty and splendor : MAGNIFICENCE: … the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome.—E. A. Poe (2): something marked by beauty or resplendence: a perfect glory of a day. b: the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven: broadly : ETERNITY 5: a ring or spot of light: such as a: AUREOLE b: a halo appearing around the shadow of an object

Glory of God in my life

My first awareness of glory was in my father’s reading to me of King Arthur and his knights of the round table and their quests to attain it. My first exposure to glory was via Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953.

The word appears in the King James Bible 402 times, 225 in the Old Testament, and 177 in the New. Moses’ first uses of it in Genesis and Exodus refer to the wealth and riches, of Jacob and of Joseph. Even in these early references, there is a sense of power and authority.

The first reference to the “Glory of God “comes just as the children of Israel begin their exodus from Egypt, and the glory of God appears in the cloud that went before them. It presents itself as a physical, observable entity while at the same time being mysterious. John Gill observes:

there was a more than common brightness in it, an effulgence and beam of light and glory shining in it. Christ, the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person appeared in it, in some visible displays of his majesty, which made it very observable to them.

Then the cloud rested on the mountain and the glory of the Lord was present and invisible at first but later very evident:

And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.- Exodus 24:17

The Israelites were frightened of this and asked Moses to be their mediator with the LORD which he became and went up the mountain to speak with Him “face to face” metaphorically, but when Moses asked Him to “show me Thy glory,” the LORD said:

Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. -Exodus 33:20

Nonetheless, the LORD honored Moses’ desire and placed him in a hollow in the mountain when he could see God’s back when He passed by. What is meant by “back parts” is unclear, and purposefully so. John Gill thinks it means His humanity, i.e., Jesus, and MATTHEW HENRY agrees but points out that

Now Moses was allowed to see only the back-parts; but long afterwards, when he was a witness to Christ’s transfiguration, he saw his face shine as the sun.

From this we may conclude that the glory of God s not in seeing His person but in experiencing His presence.

This is the central portion of scripture dealing with the glory of God and its impact on an individual, a congregation, a people, and a culture. God’s glory was awesome and frightening to everyone who witnessed it displayed in fiery smoke on Mt. Sinai. It inspired dread in all but one man, Moses.

The people begged him to protect them from the LORD, and he agreed. What was the difference? Holiness. John Piper says that the Glory of God is the revelation of His holiness.

Glory and holiness

That holiness is defined by separation, separation from the world as outlined in the Torah and later by St. Paul who give the Corinthians the word of the Lord to:

come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; 2 Corinthians 6:17

The Lord’s brother James puts it like this:

Don’t you know that to be the world’s friend means to be God’s enemy? If you want to be the world’s friend, you make yourself God’s enemy. – James 4:4

But Moses was not only separated from the world, but he was also separated unto the LORD. St. Paul was the same way: called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Romans 1:1).

This holiness brought both men into God’s presence where they experienced the Glory of God, Moses for 40 days and nights on the mountain, and Paul for an indeterminate time in the 3rd heaven. The result was personal transformation. In Moses’ case, his face shone so that he had to wear a veil to cover it, in Paul’s a thorn in his flesh was assigned to, him as a constant reminder of that Glory.

Glory and worship

Central to Moses’ exposure to the Glory of God as worship, beginning with him personally, there in the cleft of the rock, and extending to the tabernacle, designed for the people to worship, according to directions dictated by God. These directions are detailed in Leviticus, aptly called “Be Holy,” by Warren Wiersbe, the operational conditions not only for worship but for daily life.

The first instances of the Glory of God filling the tabernacle occurred in Exodus with Moses and Aaron. And we see this again in 1 Kings when Solomon dedicated the Temple and later still when Haggai prophesied,

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. (Haggai 2:9)

The manifestation of the Glory of Godin the place of worship impacted the congregation, the nation, and the people. From the book of Joshua on through the books of Judges and Kings, we see when God’s people honored the LORD His Glory and power blessed them.

Glory of God has another side.

On the other hand, when they sinned, i.e., stepped away from Holiness and into the world, disaster struck. John G. Lake observed, “The glory of God is as destructive of evil as it is creative of good.” We see this with the Philistines when they put the Ark of the Covenant in the temple of Dagon and when the blasphemy of Sennacherib sent the angel of the LORD to destroy his host of 185,000.

Sadly, this turns out to be the end of God’s unholy people, with both Israel and Judah being destroyed and their people carried into bondage. But the Glory of God did not disappear. He displayed it personally to those who sought holiness, Isaiah, Jerimiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, not simply sanctifying them but giving them visions of Glory still to come.

Glory of God incarnate.

That Glory was to be manifested in the LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, the Messiah of the Old Testament, the “King of Glory” of Psalm 24. Jesus was the fulfillment of Haggai’s prophecy that the Glory of the 2nd Temple would be greater than the first both on the Spiritual and physical levels as He did indeed walk in that temple built by Zerubbabel in 576 BC.

Through Him access to the Glory of God became accessible to us all. When His birth was announced to the shepherds, the glory of the Lord shone around about them: and they were sore afraid. (Luke 2:9). But there was nothing to fear as the angels proclaimed, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men. (Luke 2:14)

That glory was hidden from the world for 30 years, but when Jesus began His ministry, baptized by John and affirmed from heaven by God the Father and the Holy Ghost, His Glory became visible to His disciples:

(and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14).

They witnessed His glory in person miraculously when He stood with Moses and Elijah who also appeared “in glory” in person on the mount of transfiguration.

This was His mission, to save His people from their sin and sanctify them to see His glory. When His friend Lazarus died, Jesus raised him from the dead and told his sister Mary,

Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” John 11:40

Glory of God and the cross

The envious worldly leaders who sought their own glory tried to snuff His out by Crucifying him at Calvary, but while He was on the cross, He opened our access to the glory of God by by splitting the thick Temple veil to the Holy of Holies so we might enter in. His enemies thought He was finished but He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, (Romans 6:4) so that we might share in His resurrection life.

Before Jesus ascended to heaven He promised: to come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. (Matthew 25:31)

St. Paul echoes this theme: when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, (2 Thessalonians 1:10)

On that day we will see the fullness of the glory of God and its almighty power for blessing and damnation.

Glory now

Until then, God’s people must be holy and separate from the world. St. Paul’s role in receiving teaching in God’s glory in the third heaven parallels Moses’ in the Old Covenant. To experience the glory of God we begin with worship, praise, and thanksgiving, living in and by the word of God as given us in the New Testament, washed in the blood of the Lamb and filled with the Holy Ghost.

As we worship Jesus in holiness, His glory will be manifest. I have seen it in partaking of the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, the processional/choral liturgy of Easter, and the Pentecostal baptism of tongues. The practice of such holy worship will lead to a holy church, a glorious powerful church that can change our culture.

The ultimate realization of glory is in that meaning stated above in 4(2): b: the splendor and beatific happiness of heaven: broadly: ETERNITY

The Bible gives us this great promise regarding this:

And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the glorious crown which will never lose its brightness. –1 Peter 5:4

We are not alone in this the Scriptures remind us, and St. Jude commends us to Jesus’ care:

To him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence— Jude 1:24

Closing thoughts on the Glory of God

Here we have seen the ultimate perfect power, truth, and good. All are expressed in beauty and born of divine love. It is overwhelming, and we stand amazed.

Beyond human comprehension is its availability to us, to everyone who believes in the Son of God. He loves us so much that He willingly gave His blood to wash away our sins.

He left Glory to come to earth for us, you and me. He came to save us, to give us eternal life! He wants us and offers two short directions, Only believe, and Come unto Me.

Hear Him today and begin your entry into the Glory of God.

5 views0 comments


bottom of page