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Sunday June 6th, 2010
?Please Show Me Your Glory?
By Ann Herbert
Intro: The title of today‟s message is a quote from Exodus 33:18 And he said, "Please, show me Your glory."
This request by Moses is made after Moses has been on the mountain of Sinai for 40 days to receive the terms of the covenant along with the first 2 tablets of stone detailing those statutes of the law; when he is told to go back down the mountain because the children of Israel have made the golden calf. Judgment on the people follows and the Lord tells the people they must leave Sinai to go to the land He will show them but ?He will not go up in their midst lest He consume them for they are a stiff-necked people‟ (Ex.33:1, 3) Moses meets with the Lord and asks that if the Presence of the Lord does not go with them then ?do not bring us up from here‟ (Ex.33:15). The Lord tells Moses that he has found favor and grace in His sight and it is at this point before he goes back up Mount Sinai for the 2nd 40 days that Moses asks to see God‟s glory. Whilst on the mountain the Lord stands Moses next to Him on a rock and then whilst all His goodness passes by as He proclaims His name, the Lord puts Moses in the cleft of the rock and covers him with His hand until He has passed by. Then once He has passed then the Lord removes His hand and Moses is able to see His back parts but not His face lest he should die.
1) Two weeks ago in John‟s message and subsequent bible study entitled ?A Family Focus‟ we looked at how we were to go from ?faith to faith‟ and how this correlated with moving ?from glory to glory‟.
a) Ro 1:16 ? For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, [lit. the Christ] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
b) 2Co 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
c) We discovered that our faith is never stagnant but it is either growing (?going from faith to faith?) or it is diminishing. As we engage with the word of God (beholding as in a mirror), and begin the process of ?putting off our old man‟ and ?putting on the new‟; or as we make no provision for our flesh by dying to our flesh and walking according to the Spirit, then our faith grows and we ?put on the
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Lord Jesus Christ‟. We begin to ?live by faith‟ and we go from one level of faith to another level of faith. As we make the progression from ?faith to faith‟ then we shall be transformed from ?glory to glory‟. The final part of the transformation process - which has its beginnings here on earth, every day as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling - happens at the JSOC where those who have progressed from glory to glory will receive glorified bodies and positions of rulership in the age to come. Those glorified bodies will be apart from sin, their souls having been redeemed and some of mankind will once again be in the image and likeness of God; just as Adam and the Woman were before the Fall.
2) Our Scripture from 2 Co 3:18 is making reference to an event that occurred with Moses and the 1st generation of Israel when he puts on a veil in order to cover the brightness of the glory upon his face as a result of his meeting with the Lord on Mount Sinai. Moses puts on the veil because the Children of Israel were fearful and desired not to look upon the glory. This event takes place after the Golden Calf incident, after Moses asks to see God‟s glory and after Moses‟ second trip up Mount Sinai for 40 days to renew the covenant and for God to write on the two new tablets of stone the words of the covenant.
a) Ex 34:29 Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. 30 So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 31 Then Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned to him; and Moses talked with them. 32 Afterward all the children of Israel came near and he gave them as commandments all that the LORD had spoken with him on Mount Sinai. 33 And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. 34 But whenever Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he would take the veil off until he came out; and he would come out and speak to the children of Israel whatever he had been commanded. 35 And whenever the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone, then Moses would put the veil on his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.
b) Let‟s go back to 2 Corinthians chapter 3 for more commentary on this happening and also to see how it relates to our moving from ?glory to glory‟.
c) 2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in
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glory. 10 For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels. 11 For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious. 12 ? Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech-- 13 unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.
14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
d) In vv.7 to 11 Paul compares the glory that was evidenced within the Covenant of the Law with the glory revealed in the ministry of the Spirit - the ministry of righteousness. The giving of the law referred to as the ministry of condemnation in v.9 had much glory, as was shown in the face of Moses which shone to the point that the Children of Israel could not look on him except he put a veil on. However that glory has passed away and even before it did, it had no glory that could be compared with the much more glorious ministry of the Spirit of righteousness which is in Christ.
e) 14 But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. 15 But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. 16 Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
f) When the splendor of Moses‟ face was so great that the Israelites could not bear to look upon his face and he was obliged to veil it, it would appear from verses 14 and 15 that he did so as a type. During the dispensation of the Jews from Moses forward the people did not see or have the discernment to understand what the Mosaic covenant pointed to or what was being revealed to them through it. Their minds were blinded to it and Paul goes on to reveal that even now in the reading of their own Old Testament Scriptures a veil lays over it and that this blindness is linked to the condition of their heart.
The veil that was on the face of Moses, who was a type of Christ, prevented the glory of his face from shining out and is indicative of the darkness and ignorance and hardness of their hearts. Not only does the veil over their hearts stop the glory and revelation given to Moses from shining out, but it also hinders the Gospel of the Grace of God and the Gospel of the Glories of Christ from shining in! It is only by acknowledging Christ that the darkness is removed.
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g) When in the future the nation of Israel turns to speak to the Lord Jesus Christ then the veil of darkness and ignorance will be taken away from their hearts and they will see all things clearly but not until that time. In the same way that Moses after he had finished talking to the Israelites took the veil off and returned to speak to the Lord without the veil.
h) Zec 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
i) Eze 39:29 'And I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD."
j) Re 1:7 Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
k) This will not happen for the nation of Israel en masse until they experience 7 years of tribulation at the hands of anti-Christ and the Gentile nations. The time referred to as the ?Time of Jacob‟s Trouble‟.
l) 2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
m) Folks often take great liberty (excuse the pun) with verse 17 using it to indicate that as we are not living under the mosaic covenant we have great freedom and the Lord gives abundant grace to us so that we do not need to worry about how we are to live in this age, because grace covers it all and nothing bad will befall Christians in the age to come. However as we can see from the context of what we have already studied and how verse 18 follows it, that is not what is being indicated here. The liberty that the Spirit of the Lord is providing is the ability to look into the scriptures as in a mirror and reveal, or unveil the glory of the Lord and in the process begin a work of transforming us into the very image He is at liberty to show us. The Jews were, still are, in bondage to the letter of the law and the same fear which they felt in beholding Moses‟ unveiled face.
However the Spirit takes away our slavery to sin enabling us to see our sin when looking at the Scriptures, as clearly as our natural face when we look in a mirror. And so as we deal with that which the Spirit reveals then we are changed, we are transformed from glory to glory. The ?mirror‟ of the scriptures reflects back to us God‟s splendor and majesty and glory and so we see that which our transforming minds are to be patterned after. And so we become more like what we behold. We are changed from the inside out.
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3) The Hebrew word that is translated ?Glory‟ is the word chabod (Strongs # 03159). And it means: weightiness, that which is substantial or heavy; glory, honor, splendor, power, wealth, authority, magnificence, fame, dignity, riches and excellency.
The root of ?chabod? is ?chabad? (Strongs # 03513) meaning to be heavy, glorious, and notable; to be renowned.
a) In the OT ?heaviness? represented honor and substance, while ?lightness? was equated with vanity, instability, temporariness and emptiness.
b) ?Chabod‟ is God‟s glory, not only His honor, renown, majesty and dignity which are moral attributes of His character and perfect nature, but it is also His visible splendor, radiance and brightness. ?Chabod‟ also speaks of God‟s wealth, treasure and abundance. And of course ?chabod‟ also reveals God‟s power and authority.
4) Do you remember what happened when Solomon‟s temple was being dedicated after the priests had placed the Ark of the Covenant inside the Most Holy Place?
a) 2Ch 7:1 ? When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the temple. 2 And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house. 3 When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever."
b) The Glory of the Lord was so thick and heavy in the temple that day that the priests could not continue to minister before Him and the people.
c) One day God‟s glory will fill the whole earth: Nu 14:21 "but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD-
d) Ps 72:19 And blessed be His glorious name forever! And let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen.
e) Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.
5) In the NT the Greek word ?doxa?(Strongs #1391) is the word translated as ?glory‟ and it denotes the reputation, good standing and esteem given to a person. It progressed to honor or glory given to peoples, nations and individuals. And in the NT ?doxa? becomes splendor, radiance and majesty when centered in Jesus. It is the absolute perfection that resides in Christ. He came to the earth without His visible covering of glory but His power and authority were evidenced by the
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miracles He performed. They were not meant to draw attention to the miracles themselves but to demonstrate that He was the Christ - they testified of His deity, of His glory.
a) Joh 2:11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.
6) Whilst the meaning of ?doxa‟ in the Greek does not convey the weightiness and heaviness that ?chabod‟ does in the Hebrew, Paul an OT scholar does say something very interesting in: 2Co 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,
a) This is a very clever piece of writing as Paul contrasts affliction which he describes as ?light‟ with a potential end result of far more exceeding ?weight‟ of glory. The light affliction is a work with an end result of glory. Isn‟t that encouraging!
b) Affliction = thlipsis (Strongs # 2347) = pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress, persecution. It denotes putting a lot of pressure on that which is free and unfettered. The word is used of crushing grapes or olives in a press. That description might not be our natural notion of ?light affliction‟ but we have to see it in comparison to a far more exceeding weight of glory.
c) Exceeding = huperbole (Strongs # 5236) = a throwing beyond others, i.e. supereminence; pre-eminently:-abundance, (far more) exceeding, excellency, more excellent, beyond (out of) measure.
d) Weight = baros (Strongs # 922) = the notion of going down; weight; figuratively a load, abundance, authority:--burden (-some), weight.
e) Whilst our ?light affliction‟ can seem to be ongoing and endless the scripture says it is ?but for a moment‟ and again in comparison to eternity, or more accurately age-lasting (1000 years) it certainly would be just a moment. When the anguish and the tribulation and the crushing come we have a choice to make as to whether this scripture is true for us or not. The scripture is true but is it borne out by our actions, our thought processes, our prayers? (Draw set of scales)
7) Paul expressed a similar thought concerning the balance between suffering and glory in: Ro 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 ? and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
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a) Php 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 ? and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
b) There are probably not too many of us praying that we might know Christ with regards to the fellowship of His sufferings but we desire to attain to the out resurrection from the dead!
8) Peter also had much to say in his 1st epistle about the correlation between the degree of our suffering and the glory to which we have been called.
a) 1Pe 1:6 ? In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
b) 1Pe 4:12 ? Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.
c) In our Bible study 2 weeks ago whilst talking about going from faith to faith, moving from glory to glory, it became very apparent that at the JSOC were our works, our sufferings, are tested by fire there will be different levels of reward or different levels of glory given as a result of how we have exercised our faith in the midst of the work we are to do and the trials we go through. We jokingly said that going from glory to glory would be the same as going from suffering to suffering.
d) The prospect of our faith maturing and going from one level of faith to a higher level of faithful obedience is probably a very attractive concept to all of us here. We probably would agree that our minds are very willing for that but also recognize our flesh can be weak. In the midst of desiring much glory in the age to come and a greater degree of faithfulness in this age, do we also embrace the realization that suffering must precede glory and therefore we embrace the suffering to the point that we can ?glory‟ in our sufferings or infirmities?
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e) 2Co 12:9 And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
9) I remember soon after committing my life to the Lord that I came across the section of scripture in Exodus 33 vv18-23 when Moses asks the Lord to ?Please show me Your glory?. My mind had a very graphic picture of Moses scrunched into a crack in a rock with God having His hand over it until His glory passed by then He released His hand and let Moses see something of it from behind. And the burning question was what exactly did Moses see? I had all sorts of ideas of what it might be; I even heard teaching of what it supposedly was.
a) In my boldness or foolishness, I don‟t know which, I asked the Lord if He would show me what He showed Moses! At the time I desired a sort of video clip of the event from the advantage point that Moses had in the cleft of the rock. For 14 years I have pondered as to what that video clip would look like - I still ponder! On and off for the past 3years or so I have been intrigued by the topic of GLORY to the point I have a folder filled with scraps of paper with thoughts, scriptures and comments.
10) One thing I have found out as I have studied is that GLORY is a much larger topic than I thought; and of course like so many threads through scripture it is inter-connected or woven into other topics. It cannot stand alone. We have seen that today as we briefly looked at the connection suffering has with glory. I also realize now that the suffering I have endured in my 14 years is part of God answering my request to please show me His glory.
11) Finally I also know that as you and I hold up the mirror that is the scriptures, with the unveiled face that the Spirit of liberty has given us, then we will see the glory of the Lord; we will be transformed into the image that we behold; we can go from faith to faith and glory to glory. And if we do, then in that day we might receive glory and honor and majesty at the revelation of Jesus Christ. The question is - how much glory do you want? Are you and am I willing to pay the price?