Of all the themes found in both the old and the New Testament, no theme is more central like the glory of God. From the beginning of the book of Genesis to the end of the book of revelation, the stories are filled with the divine glory of God. Right from the aspect of creation to the aspect of Christianity where the doctrines connect to Gods glory and build their foundations in that community series (Shekinah, 2016). What is more paramount is the fact that the development of that theme has been progressively made through the two testaments making it the centre of attention.
The Glory of God as the theme is manifested in the creation when God created the earth and above all when he created man in his image and likeness. In the Old Testament, Gods glory develops step by step as it is manifested by the people who are used by God as tools to serve Him (Coulter, 2016). In the scene of Moses and the burning bush, Gods glory is seen when He appeared in a flame out of the bush. When Moses looked up, the bush was on fire but was not consumed. That was a manifestation of Gods glory that led Moses to free the people of Israel from the bondage of slavery.
When the Israelites were saved from the hands of Pharaoh, they were led by a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud during the night and day respectively. This was Gods glory, and it acted as a guide to the Israelites for them to follow the right path (Morgan & Peterson, 2010). In today lives Christians speak of the glory of God in churches by describing how Christ descended and ascended saving all those who were in bondage of sins and making them new again.
In the book of Numbers 14: 21 (New International Version) the scriptures clearly indicates the glory of God. The Lord says, As surely as I live, and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth. Although the earth is filled with Gods glory, a lot of people do not perceive it, and they did not perceive it at that time too. The Bible indicates that Gods glory is interchangeable, it was before them, and they were afraid of it, and they rejected it (Morgan & Peterson, 2010). The glory of God was highly experienced by the Israelites when they saw Moses radiating with Gods glory. They could not stand the glory and they preferred to let Moses talk to God, and they would listen to him and obey. The glory of God is the exposure of the presence of God, and it is manifested by His presence.
Moses experienced Gods glory on the mountain when he went to speak with Him. His glory shone through him, and when he returned to the camp, everyone could see the manifestation. In Christianity, today and in the New Testament the glory of God would manifest through miracles, healing and the presence of the Holy Spirit. Moses had tastes Gods glory, but he requested God to show him His glory (Rohr & Martos, 1987). In the book of Exodus 33: 22-23, (in New International Version) Moses was granted his request. When my glory passes by, I will put you in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.. You will see my back.
The glory of God was also seen in the Ark of the Covenant. His presence rested above the mercy seat between the Cherubin, and it was the throne of God. He spoke to many people without appearing, and he gave them visions, dreams, and interpretation (Rohr & Martos, 1987). The glory of God cannot be limited in one form as it can appear in different ways. It can occur in a thunder and lightning, in a pillar of fire and cloud, in a smooth voice and also in the manifestation of miracles.
In the tent of meeting, a cloud covered it, and Moses was unable to enter since the glory of God filled the terminable. The glory of God was with the Israelites only they could not recognize and lie by its strength (Block, 2014). It does not matter how it is manifested, but its development indicates that God is king and transcendent. When Moses was sent to rescue the children of Israelite, he asked what he would tell them when he was asked, and God replied to him that I AM WHO I AM. (Shekinah, 2016). It indicates that Gods glory is beyond human understanding and that His glory will manifest to them and make them see who they were supposed to serve.
In the New Testament Gods glory is seen through His Son Jesus Christ. Jesus left the glory that He was given by His Father and chooses to become a man so that he can save humanity. In the mountain during the transfiguration in other words considered as glorification, the face of Jesus was seen to shine and his clothes being white as the light in Mathew 17: 2 (New International Version). When Jesus died, he was glorified from his resurrection and was returned to His fathers glory when he ascended to heaven. During the time when Saul was persecuting Christians, in the New Testament, a man named Stephen was stoned to death and as a result, he saw the glory of God when the heavens opened, and he went to be with God (Coulter, 2016). The Holy Spirit is a manifestation of Gods glory in the lives of Christians since, on the day of Pentecost when Peter was preaching to the people, the glory of God moved from the temple to the people and they started speaking in tongues.
When Jesus was teaching his disciples about the Lords Prayer, they acknowledged the glory and the power of God. The glory of God is the crucial understanding to the order of God in the church today (Block, 2014). The recognition of Gods glory would be the first step towards embracing and having an understanding of Gods purpose in each one lives. What marvels reality is the glory of God since it brings hope, confident and supports making one feel like he or she is taken care of and is given grace. Just like what Moses did, one should seek to see the glory of Gods nature and by learning the attributes. By knowing Gods glory, one aims to know God. The glory of God is the highest goal to receiving the greatest goods in lives. God did dwell with the humans in the Old Testament manifesting His glory just like Jesus Christ did in the New Testament. Jesus was a continuation of Gods glory when he descended to save humanity from sins and reunite them back with God.
Block, D. I. (2014). For the glory of God: Recovering a biblical theology of worship.
Coulter, F. (2016). The Grace of GOD in the Old Testament. Christian Biblical Church of God: Restoring Original Christianity for Today. Retrieved 12 September 2016, from https://www.cbcg.org/series/grace/graceofgod-ot.html
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2010). The Glory of God. Wheaton: Crossway Books.
Rohr, R., & Martos, J. (1987). The great themes of scripture: Old Testament. Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Shekinah, s. (2016). The Glory of God (Part 1): The Shekinah. Cgg.org. Retrieved 12 September 2016, from http://www.cgg.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Audio.details/ID/987/Glory-God-Part-1-Shekinah.htm
The New International Version Bible (1969). Caird G. (Ed.). New York.
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