How the Glory of God Shines And Fills the Earth With His Presence

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The glory of God is a central and profound theme in the Bible, representing His divine presence, Majesty, and holiness. God’s glory signifies His omnipresence, existing simultaneously in all places without hindrance. Unlike any other creature, including Satan, only God possesses this ability, for He created all things for His glory. This article explores how the glory of God fills the earth, its manifestation, and its significance in the lives of individuals throughout biblical history.

The Glory of God: An Overview

The term “glory” in the Bible often refers to the awe-inspiring, visible manifestation of God’s presence and power. It is derived from the Hebrew word “kabob,” meaning weight or heaviness, and the Greek word “doxa,” meaning splendor, brightness, or honor. God’s glory is His intrinsic worth and the outward display of His attributes. It is not merely an attribute of God but rather the sum of all His attributes, including His holiness, love, justice, and mercy.

God’s Omnipresence and His Glory

God’s omnipresence means that He exists in all places simultaneously. His glory represents this divine presence that permeates the entire creation. Psalm 139:7–10 beautifully illustrates God’s omnipresence:

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there, your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast.”

The Manifestation of God’s Glory

God’s glory is often associated with awe-inspiring physical manifestations such as blinding light, consuming fire, deafening thunder, and dazzling lightning. These manifestations remind us of His unmatched power and holiness, distinguishing Him from all creation.

In the wilderness, God led the Israelites by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21–22). This visible manifestation of God’s glory provided guidance and protection.

Thunder, lightning, and a substantial cloud accompanied God’s glory at Mount Sinai (Exodus 19:16–18).

“On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain and a deafening trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was smoke-covered because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed from it like a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently.”

Witnesses of God’s Glory

Throughout the Bible, several individuals were privileged to witness God’s glory. These encounters often marked significant moments in their lives and the unfolding of God’s redemptive plan, transforming them and inspiring hope in the hearts of believers.

Moses and the Elders of Israel

Moses had multiple encounters with God’s glory. When he came down from Mount Sinai after speaking with God, his face shone with the glory of God, causing the Israelites to fear and request that he cover his face (Exodus 34:29–35).

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was unaware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them, so Aaron and all the community leaders came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward, all the Israelites came near him, and He gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, He covered his face. But whenever He entered the Lord’s presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And they saw his glowing face when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been told to do. After that, Moses would cover his face once more with the veil until he entered the presence of the Lord.”

Isaiah

The prophet Isaiah had a vision of God’s glory in the temple (Isaiah 6:1–4).

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings, they covered their faces; with two, they covered their feet; and with two, they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ Their voices caused the thresholds and doorposts to tremble, and smoke filled the temple.”

Ezekiel

Ezekiel also saw visions of God’s glory. Ezekiel 1:28 describes one of his visions:

“Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the glory in the likeness of the Lord made manifest. I fell facedown upon seeing it, and I perceived a voice speaking.”

Simeon

In the New Testament, Simeon recognized the glory of God in the infant Jesus. Luke 2:25–32 records this encounter:

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit clarified that he wouldn’t pass away before seeing the Lord’s Messiah. He entered the temple courts after feeling the Spirit’s move. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: ‘Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.’”

Paul

The Apostle Paul encountered God’s glory in the person of Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus. This experience led to his temporary blindness and subsequent conversion (Acts 9:3–9).

“As he neared Damascus on his journey, a light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there, speechless. They heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground but could see nothing when he opened his eyes. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days, he was blind and did not eat or drink anything.”

The Meaning of Witnessing God’s Glory

Witnessing God’s glory is a transformative experience. It involves encountering the divine presence in a way that leaves an indelible mark on one’s life. This encounter often raises awareness of God’s holiness, Majesty, and sovereignty, leading to more profound reverence and worship.

To see God’s glory is to glimpse His divine nature and power. This often results in a profound sense of awe and humility. For many, it is a moment of calling or commissioning, as seen in the lives of Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Paul.

God’s Sovereignty in Revealing His Glory

God reveals His glory to those He chooses according to His divine will and purpose. This selective revelation underscores His sovereignty. God is not obligated to reveal Himself to anyone; He does so out of His grace and for His purposes.

Romans 9:15–16 highlights God’s sovereign choice:

“For he says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

Scriptures Detailing the Glory of God

The Bible is replete with references to God’s glory. Here are a few key passages:

  • Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
  • Isaiah 40:5: “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
  • John 1:14: “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18: “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
  • Hebrews 1:3: “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

From Glory to Glory

Believers are responsible for manifesting God’s glory in their lives. We are raised from one level of glory to another as we deepen our faith and relationship with Him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 explains this sanctification process.

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”



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