“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Matthew Henry wrote that when God became man, “the beams of divine glory darted through veil of flesh” much like the glory of the sun may dart through a veil of clouds. I like this thought.
When I think of God’s glory I think of Exodus. In an effort to impress his majesty and sovereignty upon his chosen people, God manifested his glory in signs and wonders, in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of flame, in thunder and lightening and a voice upon a mountain. But there was a man, a friend of God, who longed to see more. He knew that he was witnessing darts of divine glory, but he yearned to see God face to face.
But Yahweh answered, “No man can see God and live.”
SHOW ME YOUR GLORY
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.”
And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.”
And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.”
Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.
- God’s glory is his goodness and his name, and all that his name represents.
- God’s glory was of such magnitude that upon seeing it, Moses fell to the ground in worship.
- God’s glory could only be glimpsed from behind.
WE STAND IN GOD’S WAKE
You see, we are in the same cleft as Moses. We can no more see the front of God–nor the future that lies before him–than Moses could. Only through eyes of faith, only through the words of the Prophets, can we ever glimpse the glory that is to come. Only through faith and prophecy do we see God’s front. In real time we witness the acts of his hands and the glory at his back. His goodness, justice, mercy–his Grace and Truth–inhabit his wake.
It is as if our entire existence is lived out in the wake of the Lord. All that we know, all that we experience is in a sense “behind his back.” He has gone before, and we dwell where his feet have already trod and where his voice has already spoken.
EYE HAS NOT SEEN
We cannot even begin to imagine the glory we will witness when we see him face to face. This staggers my mind. Friends, we have no idea–absolutely no idea–what it will be like to stand before the Lord, to behold his front, and to dwell before his face forever.
“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9
And yet, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, to give us a glimpse.
*To see a list of all the Wednesday In The Word posts, click here.