Advent Flow #8 - NAME OF GOD: The Lord of Glory
Passages for today: Psalm 29:1-4, Psalm 24:7-10, James 2:1, 1Cor 2:8, Exodus 33
NAME OF GOD: The Lord of Glory
by Kris Hilgaertner
In the Old Testament, the word “glory’ is usually the Hebrew word ‘kavod’ (כָּבוֹד), as in Psalm 29 and Psalm 24. ‘Kavod’ kind of glory suggests a figurative “heaviness” or “weight” as in a weighty idea. If a person carries “weight”, he has power, influence, might, honor, and worth. The “Lord of Glory” reveals a God who is worthy of our praise, our respect, and our awe.
In the New Testament, the Greek word “glory” in the James and 1Corinthian passages is ‘doxa’ (δόξα) means an opinion resulting in praise, honour, and glory, as well as “splendor” and “brightness” as it pertains to the moon, sun and stars. To God it pertains to His “majesty”, “magnificence”, “excellence”, “dignity” and “grace”.
One of the two pivotal stories in the Bible that have been central to my coming to faith and to my staying in the faith all these years through everything is Exodus 33, which immediately came to mind contemplating this “Lord of Glory”.
God was leading his people thru the desert to come into his Promised Land, and He’d called Moses to lead His people out of slavery—a tall order for a reluctant leader who kept begging for God to use someone else. Moses was called on to have massive amounts of faith as God had put him on the most ultimate ‘need to know basis’ of all time. He was given only bits of instruction and mere pieces of the plan each day. With that had to lead hundreds of God’s chosen people through a desert wasteland, and through a spiritual desert of doubt and worry, as they learned who God was and lived in hope of one day seeing the Promised Land to live out their special covenant with their Almighty God. But since of the Israelites continued to doubt and complain, God had decided to send them along to the Promised Land without Him.
This parent was exasperated with his children and their continued bellyaching! I mean they had a miraculous cloud from God to follow by day and a pillar of fire by night, but still they wondered if they were safe, and doubted God’s goodness and providence?? Haven’t you been “that guy” at one point or another? I know I have.
Yet, through his own doubts and worries, Moses loved God. He trusted his God. He sought the Lord. He wanted to know His ways. He longed to please God, to know Him, and to be with Him. And now God was sending them off alone??
12Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ …., “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?…17And 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.”
God relented, and Moses got what he asked for. Yet he ached for more. So, he asks what I think to be the most profound request of all time:
18 “Now show me your glory.”
Five rather small words. But earth-shattering. The unadulterated nerve of Moses. The desperation of Moses. The honest, guttural yearning of the child to see his heavenly Father. The servant to presume of his Master. The courage to accept his own death for the opportunity to truly see Almighty God and Creator—for no one, to date, could be in the presence of a Being so pure and holy, and not be crushed under the “weight” of “glory”. No one could see God and live.
Yet Moses asks, “Show me your glory.” Moses can’t even begin to comprehend what he’s asking. Yet he asks. He beseeches. And God is wise. God is compassionate. He knows he cannot grant Moses exactly what he asks because Moses would not survive such “kavod” glory.
God tells Moses, I cannot show you all of my glory. But I will allow my goodness— the shadow, the reflection, the close and lesser relative of my glory— to pass near you. And I will whisper my name as I go. The powerful wind that comes from the whispering of my holy and righteous name will even be too much for you. But I love you and will always protect you. I will place you in the cleft of a rock so you will not be blown away by my supreme omnipotence and holiness. And I will protect your eyes by covering them with my hand, so you will only see my goodness thru that veil of protection. (Exodus 33:19-23).
Friends, this is our Lord of Glory! He is that mighty!! I mean, when you and I want to impress someone, we say “You better sit down for this one.” With the Lord of Glory, he has to wedge a person inside a mountain, cover their eyes, lower His voice, and pass just nearby so they only see him from behind! And the vision of just the shadow of His back changed Moses forever. It changed me. This Lord of Glory, who is that great, yet he knows each puny little one of us by name and loves us with an undying love that will never give up on us! Has His revelation changed you?
God didn’t stop there. No, he continued to reveal himself in all his “doxa” with the New Covenant thru Jesus Christ. Now there is no need for the former protections, because through the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus Christ, we can stand boldly in the presence of the Lord of Glory and not be crushed because, in Jesus, God sees us as pure, holy and acceptable.
“And we all, with unveiled face beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” (2Cor.3:18)
Take some time to praise the Lord of Glory for his greatness. Thank Him for His love, protection, salvation, compassion, kindness, faithfulness and revelation. And enjoy this song as part of your devotions today: