40:5 - "the glory of the Lord will be revealed"
is the glory of the Lord? It is the revealed wonder of God's presence.
In the Bible it is seen as:
The Unique Glory of God
- appearing as
a cloud in the wilderness - Ex 16:7,10
- appearing on
Mount Sinai - Ex 24:15,16
- filling the
newly completed Tabernacle - Ex 40:34,35
- filling the
newly completed Temple - 1 Kings 8:10,11
The Handiwork of God
Here it is sometimes used to refer to the expression of praise that
we will give to God because of His greatness seen through His works:
the praise to God because of His dealings with Pharaoh Ex 14:4,17,18
God referred to as the Glory of Israel - 1 Sam 15:29
the acclamation of God's greatness, to be ascribed to Him - 1 Chron
the heavens that declare His glory - Psa 19:1
His greatness seen throughout His Creation - Isa 6:3
The heavenly brightness of Jesus when he returns - Mt 16:27, 24:30,
The greatness of Jesus in the flesh - Jn 1:14, 2:11, 14:13, 17:4
The glory of the Lord, therefore,
is seen either as:
- the manifest presence of God in shining brightness, or
- as the ascribed greatness of God through His works.
bright glory of Tabernacle and Temple revelation was not seen again
in subsequent Biblical history, yet God's glory was subsequently revealed
in history in:
- the work of God as seen in judgement and restoration
- the Exile and restoration
- the person of Jesus
- the creation of the Church and
- the individual members of it.
- see Eph 3:21, Phil 1:11, 2 Thess 2:14, 1 Pet 5:1, Jn 17:10,22
- which is,
His Holy Spirit in us, e.g. 2 Cor 3:18, 4:6,7
when Isaiah prophesies that God's glory will be revealed, it could mean
that the manifest presence of God will literally appear, or it may mean
that the work of God will so obviously be seen that glory will be attributed
to Him because of it.
Glory to be Seen
of the key things about the glory of the Lord, from the Lord's point
of view, is that He wanted it to be seen.
intention in verse 5 was that "all mankind together
will see it"
chapter 41 when He speaks of restoration it is (v.20) "so
that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that
the hand of the Lord has done this".
chapter44 he calls the heavens to sing, the earth to shout because (v.23)
"he displays his glory in Israel".
the servant (49:3) he says, "You are my servant, Israel,
in whom I will display my splendour."
He speaks of bringing back their children, the result of it will be
that (49:26), "Then all mankind will know that I,
the Lord, am your Saviour."
He speaks of His coming salvation (52:10) He declares, "The
Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and
all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God."
60 speaks an answer: "Arise, shine, for your light
has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you (v.1)....
but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings
to the brightness of your dawn (v.2,3) .... for he
has endowed you with splendour" (v9)
the glory of the Lord is revealed in the people of God, so others are
attracted and come to Him. So it happened on the day of Pentecost,
when the glory came (Acts 2:1-4), a crowd gathered (v.6) wondering what
was happening. The fruit of that was that three thousand more
were added that day (v.41).
glory of the Lord as He worked in His people (Acts 2:43-47) meant the
world looked on in wonder and approved what they saw.
little while later Peter and John are instruments of God to bring healing
to a cripple who brings glory to God (v.8,9) and the crowd are amazed
and many are attracted, giving yet a further opportunity for Peter to
preach and declare the glory of the Lord.
the chapter 60 prophecy develops there comes an eternal dimension that
declares (v.19), "the Lord will be your everlasting light,
and your God will be your glory."
chapter 61 as He speaks of the wonder of what He will do for Israel,
the chapter concludes (v.11), "so the Sovereign Lord will
make righteousness and praise spring up before nations."
prophecy continues in chapter 62 declaring (v.2) "The nations
will see your righteousness and all kings your glory."
the final chapter, chapter 66, the Lord declares in the face of ungodly
unrighteousness (v.18), "I.. am about to come and gather
all nations and tongues, and they will come and see my glory."
verse 19 He continues, "I will send some of those who survive...to
the distant lands that have not heard of my fame or seen my glory.
They will proclaim my glory among the nations."
in the New Testament
we have noted above, the glory of God's presence comes into every Christian
by the presence of God's Holy Spirit at new birth - see for example
2 Pet 1:3,4, Rom 8:9-11 - so we have His glory within us.
we allow Him to lead us (Gal 5:16,25), His activities through us will
be seen, His light shining (Mt 5:14-16) and in this sense the glory
of the Lord is intended to be seen in and through each Christian as
they are led by God.
we come together to worship as the body (see 1 Cor 12 & 14), then
there is an additional dimension of revelation of the glory of God as
the Holy Spirit expresses Himself through the body.
glory of the Lord is His natural splendour. His desire is
that His creation know Him and in knowing Him will see His splendour.
He reveals Himself, He reveals His splendour. When we see His splendour
our hearts will be revealed. We will either bow and worship
and exalt Him as His people, or we will flee and receive His judgement
as those who have rejected the truth.
we seek the Lord, the goal of our seeking must be to see His glory (Ex
33:18). Should He permit us something of that revelation, we will never
be the same again. As we learn of His greatness our response should
be to declare His greatness and glory. As we do that, we align ourselves
with the truth or reality of what is - He is all glorious!
Praise and worship Him!