Glory of God – Defined
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…’ "
The glory of God in its
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
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.
(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.
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
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).
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!