And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together: For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it (Isaiah 40:5 KJV)
Although the term glory has various shades of meaning in the scriptures, there is a core meaning that runs as a thread from the Old to the New Testament. For example, in Isaiah 40:5 above, the Lord says His glory will be revealed, and all flesh shall see it. Similarly, in 1 Peter 5:10, Peter says we have been called unto God’s eternal glory.
The glory of God is God Himself in manifestation or revelation. Two profound truths will help us grasp the meaning of the glory. First, God is bigger than His creation—in heaven or on earth—and therefore has to be revealed or manifested to be seen. Although angels are also spirits as God is, they are not in the same class as God: God is the creator, and they are creatures. Second, God’s person or being is so lovely, splendid, beautiful, and magnificent that whenever He is revealed or perceived, holy awe fills those who see Him. For instance, the Cherubims who stand before Him in eternity past are still in awe of Him whenever they see Him!
Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 40:5 and its fulfillment in John 1:14 provides an excellent illustration of the core meaning of the glory of God. Isaiah prophesied, saying, “the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.” In John 1:14, John says:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJV)
These scriptures explicitly state that Jesus, the Word made flesh, is the glory of God revealed, which the people (all flesh) beheld. Jesus, who lived amongst the people, was the full visible expression of the invisible God. He was God’s Person in its entirety manifested amongst human beings. As you would imagine, even the angels were curious to see God so fully manifested in the flesh. Hebrews 1:3 goes further to explain this concept of glory more vividly:
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the Word of his power….(Hebrews 1:3 KJV)
In addition, Isaiah 40:5 and John 1:14 reveal two critical aspects of the glory of God—the glory is revealed, and it is seen. God reveals Himself, and we see Him. As you also probably know, the scriptures are replete with expressions about seeing or beholding the glory of God; in fact, many of you are probably praying to see God’s glory!
In summary, the glory of God is God Himself: His person, His presence, His power. He has revealed Himself in different ways, including fire or cloud in the Old Testament, but the most significant manifestation of His glory is Jesus the Man. Similarly, the saints in the Old Testament saw His glory in different ways (fire, cloud, smoke, or even human appearances); the Apostles and their contemporaries saw Jesus physically and could even hold and feel Him (1 John 1:1-2). However, the saints today see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ as the Spirit reveals Jesus in our hearts:
“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6 KJV)
As we continue to behold Him, we gradually become visible manifestations of the invisible God!
What is the meaning of the glory of God as described above?
Apply the Word
Our inheritance in Christianity is the glory of God, that is, God Himself! May the Lord open your eyes to see His glory in ever-increasing measures!
Thank the Lord for the blessing of partaking in His glory.
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