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Glory of God

(Part 2)



Moses desired to know God's "ways"; God showed him His glory.

"The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment...

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel" (Psalm 103:7).



 The Glory of God – Defined

  (Part 2)

 When Moses asked God to reveal His glory, God, exercising an attribute of His glory--Grace--gave Moses a panoramic view of His heart.  This is what God revealed to Moses as God passed before him after putting him in the cleft of the rock and covering his face until He passed by:  "And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty…’ " (Exodus 34:3-4).

The glory of God in its fullness~~~

Mercy (not receiving that which we do deserve)

"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us..." (Titus 3:5).  Without mercy, grace would not be available.  Mercy puts us in a position to receive undeserved grace from God.  Israel's rebellion would have thrust them out of God's grace, but mercy kept them in it.  Most of their history showed that they did not deserve the grace of God, rather they would have been under the facet of God's glory that required condemnation and judgment; but the mercy facet brought unconditional love as God met their every need during their journey.  "And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation" (Luke 1:50) "...to remember his holy covenant" (Luke 1:72).

God wants us to learn this feature of His glory so that we can be like Him and show mercy and be gracious to one another.  "And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory" (Romans 9:23).  We have been prepared to share in His glory; to be like our Father: "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  And of some have compassion, making a difference:  And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 1:21-23).  Since it is not God's will that any perish, He wants us to have that same kind of compassion toward those who need our loving efforts to save them.

God will be with us in time of need.  "Let us therefore come boldly into the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help [others] in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).  James tells us that wisdom from above is, among other things, “full of mercy” (James 3: 17).  Mercy saved rebellious Israel from God's judgment.  His love kept reaching out to them with discipline to draw them back.

 Grace (receiving that which we don't deserve)

God would express His grace in many ways.  One was that He would raise up rulers or He would bring them down as it served His purpose to deliver His people and bring them redemption (Exodus 33:19, Romans 9-15).  It would be grace that would send the Messiah to bring salvation to all who would accept Him.  It would be grace that would keep the redeemed and preserve them for eternity, not their meritorious works, but totally undeserved.  "For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).  Grace guided, protected and provided for the wandering Israelites in spite of their failures and lack of trust in their guiding God.


God, being merciful and full of grace toward us, is longsuffering.  He is not watching and waiting for us to fail so He can execute judgment.  Rather, He is watching and waiting for us to return to Him and be restored.  He will sometimes let us reach our lowest extremity to recognize our need for Him, then He hears the heart's faintest cry for help.  The story Jesus told of the prodigal son's father's enthusiastic welcome of his wondering boy illustrates how much He loves and wants us back in fellowship with Him.  The wandering Israelites gave God plenty of opportunities to be longsuffering.  His grace and mercy followed them for forty years through the wilderness.  That’s longsuffering!


Abundant in Goodness

God's goodness can in no way be compared with what we think of as goodness. Our goodness is inconsistent.  We will bestow it on those who are deserving of it and/or when we feel charitable in our hearts, which changes from day to day according to our circumstances and moods.  God's goodness is always consistent, always available, based on mercy and grace, not because we are deserving.  God's natural goodness emanates from His innate holiness, an attribute we don't have.  We are not naturally good, nor are we innately holy.  To be like our Father, we accept His goodness and make it ours as He bestows it upon us by His grace through His mercy motivated by love.  The Israelites couldn't even be good long enough for Moses to meet with God to receive guidelines to get them through the wilderness.  This was shortly after they had witnessed God's presence at Mt. Sinai with visible evidences.  The frail goodness we have will not hold up under life's stresses.  We must rely on the goodness of God to keep us and to work through us to display His glory.


Abundant in Truth

Jesus was the embodiment of God's truth on this earth.  To have Jesus is to have truth.  God's truth is continually being revealed to those who seek it.  Precept upon precept, line up line we learn God's truth.  "Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little" (Isaiah 28:9-10).  Truth continues to unfold and explain itself as we search for it in His Word.  Abundant in truth tells us that there is always enough and more. The more of God's truth we learn, the more we learn about his glory.  Revelations of God’s truth is unending (abundant).  Jesus said He was the truth.  To know Him is to know truth, and He will continually reveal Himself (truth) as we walk in Him.

Keeping Mercy and Forgiving Iniquity, Transgression and Sins

Without mercy there would be no forgiveness. It is because of His loving kindness that we have access to forgiveness.  "But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us…That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus" (Ephesians 2:4, 7).  Keeping mercy indicates God's faithfulness toward us.

It is not God who breaks His covenant with mankind.  He will always uphold His part of the covenant even when we walk away from it.  That is why we find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart; He is still “there” holding up the covenant.  If He were not, the covenant would be hopelessly broken, and the only way we could get back to God would be for Him to make a new covenant with us.  Jesus is the one-time covenant and God is upholding it.  The covenant is still valid because God won't break it.  “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1: 9).

It is God who faithfully keeps the covenant in force, and He made provision for us to return and be forgiven when we break it.  He is keeping mercy and freely offers forgiveness.  "...with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee..." (Isaiah 54:8).  We never need worry that God will become disillusioned with us when we fail.  "For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the Lord endureth forever..." (Psalm 117:2).


“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:23).


Remembering Iniquity

Moses also saw God's judgment when His glory passed by. "...by no means clear the guilty..." (Exodus 34:7).  God's holiness requires Him to deal with unrighteousness.  No sin is accepted by God under any circumstances no matter how hard we try to justify ours.  There are no exceptions.  Sin requires the judgment of God.  The blessed truth is that God has already judged our sin, at Calvary.  When we accept the remedy, the only remedy available for our sin--Jesus--then we are totally forgiven of every sin and no longer under the judgment of God.  It is absolutely unforgivable to reject Jesus, because He is our only means of salvation.  If we reject the only solution that God has given, then we are under condemnation and will suffer eternal consequences.  God’s mind is made up forever about that.  “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).  The glory revealed and defined condemned sin but made provision for its extermination--Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, the embodiment of the Glory of God!



Points to Ponder

  *  "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him...But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him; and his righteousness unto children's children; To such as keep his covenant." (Psalm 103:8, 11, 17).  God continues to reveal His glory to those who seek to know Him.

*  The visible evidence of God on Mt. Sinai—the loud trumpet, thunder, lightnings, a thick cloud, smoke as the Lord descended in fire, quaking mountain--as awesome as it was, was not the glory of God.  They were accompaniments and Israel was so frightened that they retreated and asked that God not talk to them.  They preferred that He talk to Moses and have him relay the message to them (Exodus 20:19).

*  David observed the glory of God and experienced it in his own life. No doubt in his youth, when he kept his father’s sheep and surveyed the heavens and the majesty of God’s creation, David pondered these things in his heart.  We too can look at the heavens that 'declare the glory of God' (Psalm 19:1).  But they only 'declare' the glory and give us a ringside seat.  To be shown the glory of God, we must 'know' God in His fullness and through Jesus experience His grace that is dispensed through His mercy.

*  What a wealth of God’s glory we have!  It is accessible and available to us, in our earthly vessels through Jesus.  "For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (emphasis mine) in the face of Jesus Christ.  But we have this treasure [the glory of God] in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us" (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).

*  While we bask in the radiance of God’s glory, we must not forget the part of God’s glory that does not tolerate sin—'Remembering iniquity.'  The good news is that He does not remember forgiven sins!  Jesus has taken care of that for us.  He is "faithful and just to forgive" when we repent (1 John 1:9).

*  To be like Him we will be mindful of others who don’t know about the glory of God and spread the good news to a lost world.  God is not revealing His presence in a cloud over a tent or temple now.  The 'Treasure' is revealed to the world by Jesus Christ through our 'temples'—our bodies.  "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18).

*  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God [image of Jesus]" (1 Corinthians 10:31).  "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit…" (John 15:8).  "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Philippians 2:11).  We see by these verses that our ultimate goal is to bear the glory of God in ourselves, as Jesus did, unveiling that glory to the world.  We unveil His glory, not by doing mighty and great works backed by spotlights that trumpet our fame, but by our daily devotional walk with Him in every small detail of our lives.  "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed unto the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (2 Corinthians 3:18)

"What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which God’s" (1 Corinthians 6:18-19) (emphasis mine).

We are revelations of God's glory to the world.  Reflect Him and shine!













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