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Glory to God for His Sovereignty, Manifestation, and Place of Dwelling


The Bible extensively uses the idea of God’s glory, which symbolizes His holiness, Majesty, and divine presence. Understanding God’s glory means delving into the core of who He is and how He communicates with us. This article examines God’s Majesty, place of residence, and manifestation in people’s lives throughout biblical history.

The Glory of God: An Overview

The term “glory” in the Bible often refers to the visible manifestation of God’s presence and power. It is derived from the Hebrew word “kabob,” meaning weight or heaviness, and the Greek word “doxa,” meaning splendor, brightness, or honor. God’s glory is His intrinsic worth and the outward display of His attributes. It is not an attribute of God but rather the sum of all His attributes, including His holiness, love, justice, and mercy.

God’s Dwelling Place and His Glory

God’s dwelling place is synonymous with His glory. In the Old Testament, God’s presence dwelled in the Tabernacle and the Temple. Exodus 40:34–35 describes how the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle:

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could not enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle.”

Similarly, when Solomon dedicated the Temple, the glory of the Lord filled the house of God (2 Chronicles 7:1–3).

“When Solomon finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because the glory of the Lord filled it. When all the Israelites saw the fire coming down and the glory of the Lord above the Temple, they knelt on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave thanks to the Lord, saying, ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’”

The Manifestation of God’s Glory

God’s glory is often associated with physical manifestations such as light, fire, thunder, and lightning. These manifestations emphasize His power and holiness, distinguishing Him from all creation.

In the wilderness, God led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21–22). This visible manifestation of God’s glory provided guidance and protection.

Thunder, lightning, and a substantial cloud accompanied God’s glory at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16–18).

“On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud over the mountain, and a loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was smoke-covered because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed from it like a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.”

Witnesses of God’s Glory

Throughout the Bible, several individuals were privileged to witness God’s glory. These encounters often marked significant moments in their lives and the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan.

Moses and the Elders of Israel

Moses had multiple encounters with God’s glory. In Exodus 33:18–23, Moses asked to see God’s glory. God allowed Moses to see His back but not His face, as no one could see God’s face and live. Additionally, in Exodus 24:9–11, Moses and the elders of Israel saw the God of Israel:

“Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.”

Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah had a vision of God’s glory in the Temple (Isaiah 6:1–4):

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings, they covered their faces; with two, they covered their feet; and with two, they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ The doorposts and thresholds shook at the sound of their voices, and the smoke filled the Temple.”

Ezekiel

Ezekiel also saw visions of God’s glory. Ezekiel 1:28 describes one of his visions:

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. The vision was about the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.”

Simeon

In the New Testament, Simeon recognized the glory of God in the infant Jesus. Luke 2:25–32 records this encounter:

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit clarified that he wouldn’t pass away before seeing the Lord’s Messiah. He entered the temple courts after feeling the Spirit’s move. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’”

Paul

The Apostle Paul encountered God’s glory in the person of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. This experience led to his temporary blindness and subsequent conversion (Acts 9:3–9).

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and someone there will tell you what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there, speechless. They heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground but could see nothing when he opened his eyes. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days, he was blind and did not eat or drink anything.”

The Meaning of Witnessing God’s Glory

Witnessing God’s glory is a transformative experience. It involves encountering the divine presence in a way that leaves an indelible mark on one’s life. This encounter often raises awareness of God’s holiness, Majesty, and sovereignty, leading to a more profound reverence and worship.

To see God’s glory is to glimpse His divine nature and power. It often results in a profound sense of awe and humility. For many, it is a moment of calling or commissioning, as seen in the lives of Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Paul.

God’s Sovereignty in Revealing His Glory

God reveals His glory to those He chooses according to His divine will and purpose. This selective revelation underscores His sovereignty. God is not obligated to reveal Himself to anyone; He does so out of His grace and for His purposes.

Romans 9:15–16 highlights God’s sovereign choice:

“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

Scriptures Detailing the Glory of God

The Bible is replete with references to God’s glory. Here are a few key passages:

  • Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
  • Isaiah 40:5: “And the Lord will reveal His Glory, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
  • John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
  • Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

From Glory to Glory

Christians must live lives that glorify God. We are raised from one level of glory to another as we deepen our faith and relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 describes this sanctification process:

And we are all being changed into the likeness of the Lord with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is, as we gaze upon his glory with unveiled faces.



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International Christian News publishes reports on the mission field, specifically focusing on the persecuted church and providing daily gospel news. The organization aims to fulfill the Great Commission, edify the global Christian community, and bring honor and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.