When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it.16 The glory of the Lord came down on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud.17 To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a fire burning on top of the mountain.18 Then Moses went into the cloud and went higher up the mountain. He was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.
When we think real hard about ‘glory’ we end up gravitating to something that is invisible. We work it out and it becomes something like honor, prestige, fame or respect. This is a good start for us, and we do benefit from this sort of mental gymnastics.
Moses gets an invite from God to join Him on top of Sinai. I can see Moses trembling with excitement as he climbs up into the Glory of God. I’m willing to guess that the concept of just mere ‘invisible’ attributes was about to go through a major overhaul. Moses entered the glory. And nothing would ever be the same again.
Glory is a repeated experience that touched the children of Israel.
- First of all, during the Exodus they were led by a pillar of cloud and fire. It protected and provided all that they needed. All they had to do is look up.
- Secondly, God’s glory took residence on Mt. Sinai. There was much to do. The Israelites commented that this glory altered the mountain top to ‘a consuming fire’. I have been in a forest fire and it was quite intimidating; frightening is a very good description.
- Thirdly, we see the glory of God is at the dedication of Solomon’s Temple. We are told that the presence of God was so powerful that it temporary incapacitated the priests that were present. It totally undid them and it laid them out on the floor (1 Kings 8:11).
- The fourth time we see the Glory of God was at the Transfiguration in Luke 9:29-31. Three disciples were present, and inexplicably Moses and Elijah. But it was Jesus that took center-stage. He seems to be the ‘focal point’ of lots and lots of glory.
I’m coming to see that glory is a whole lot more than esteem or honor. Glory has a bolder and more intense quality about it. Yes, it is respect and honor. But it goes beyond this–it seems to be turbocharged with the supernatural. I have been in revival meetings that were quite glorious. Perhaps we need to seriously look for or anticipate more of these “disturbances of glory.” (I’ve been saving this verse for the end.)
Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Cor. 3:18, NCV
We are simply ‘display cases’ that take in His glory and magnify it through our humanity. It changes us to become more Christlike, and this verse seems to suggest that this keeps increasing, it doesn’t fizzle out. And I’m thinking that this is tremendous!