Exodus 33:17-18, “17 So the LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” 18 And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”
The very famous verse quoted in reaching the lost, Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Have you ever wondered how short we have fallen? Also the verse does not say, “…fall short of God’s moral standard” This verse has no weight and loses its meaning if you don’t first read and understand Romans 1,2&3. Now think about Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”, it does not finish with what it started. If it started with “holy” repeated three times, you would expect Isaiah to conclude by saying, “the whole earth is full of His holiness” instead he says, “The whole earth is full of His glory”. There is something about “HIS GLORY”; I hope we can get a little glimpse of this word “glory”, the revelation of God.
“The Glory of God” is an important theme in the book of exodus, and it is the first time I see it introduced in the books of the bible. It appears in relation to the deliverance and wandering in the wilderness, the ratification of the covenant and the tabernacle. It could be concluded that a discussion on this theme should be related to a discussion on the being and attributes of God. In the OT, however, “glory” is the visible and supernatural manifestation of the supreme and incomparable majesty of God. According to the commentary I read, the Hebrew word for “glory” is (kabod), which means “weight” or “substance” and comes to mean the honor stemming from the manifestation of the sum total of God’s attributes, and also from the AWE which such a revelation inspires those who behold it. Pastor John Piper describes it this way, “The glory of God is the manifestation of His holiness. God’s holiness is the incomparable perfection and greatness of His divine nature; His glory is the display of that holiness. His glory is the open revelation of the secret of His holiness. When God shows Himself to be holy, what we see is His glory—the beauty of holiness. The holiness of God is His concealed glory. The glory of God is His revealed holiness.” In summary, “The glory of God is the infinite beauty and greatness of His manifold perfections”, John Piper
And here we see that Moses is asking God, “Please, show me Your glory”, the glory we all fall short of. Having a little bit described the “glory of God”; I can understand why in preaching the gospel we need to start with the glory of God. Imagine you are told of a very important person you are going to meet. You may have despised his name when you heard it. You have heard of bad things that have happened while he was in leadership, and you came up with every thought you could imagine about this person as being such a bad person compared to you. But as they continue to describe this important person you have to stand before, his qualities, his attributes, his likes, his preference, what has been concealed to you is being revealed and displayed. Would that not drive you to start thinking of how unworthy you are to stand before such an important person? You look at who you are, where you’ve been, what you’ve done etc and everything good you thought about yourself falls short having heard a description of this important person? That was Isaiah’s experience in Isaiah 6, no one told Isaiah of his sins, he saw the holiness of God, His righteousness, His majesty, how great He is, how marvelous, how powerful, His omnipotence, His sovereignty etc, all summed up in two words, “HIS GLORY”. I can imagine him saying, “how can I stand in a glory like that in my state? I’m unworthy”. He is not like me, He deserves more than this, I’ve fallen short of His requirement to stand before Him. Isaiah did not start with himself as the measuring standard (sinners do), He started with God in His glory, “please, show me Your glory”.
Then these questions as posted by Voddie Baucham comes to us 1. Who am I? answer, the crowning glory of the creation of God, 2. Why I’m I here?, “to bring glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ”, 3. What is wrong with the world?, ME. Why? I don’t do what I was meant to do, Romans 1:21, “…although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” We glorify God because we have seen Him in His glory and His glory has revealed to us our unworthiness and how in our state we would not stand before Him. We have seen the beauty of His holiness revealing to us that in our life we are not bringing him the glory and honor He deserves and only Christ can redeem us, restore us and clothe us in His righteousness. Now our only motivation, our drive, our desire, our passion is, “BE THOU GLORIFIED”. Thank you Lord for showing me Your glory. Blessings Ev