Glory People // Part 2
Bible Text: Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV) | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: Glory People | Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people. But the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.
/// Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV)
Last weekend, we began a talk about the glory of God. God gave me the title of this talk – “Glory People” to reveal His eternal intent to make His glory known to and through those who are His. The glory of God can be defined as a manifestation of His Being. God has manifested Himself to people all throughout history. Most of those early manifestations came in the form of appearances of fire, clouds, smoke, or other phenomenon that were accompaniments of His glory. While the accompaniments are powerful, they are not to be mistaken for the glory itself. God’s glory is a manifestation of His Being or who He is. Therefore, any manifestation of the glory of God must include the express characteristics of His nature. Any manifestation without those characteristics will fail to fully impact the one seeing the vision with the inherent power and purity of His Being. In other words, it may be a display of power but it will fail to transform the beholder in any meaningful way. God’s glory is meant to be manifest. We often chase after these manifestations. Some are dramatic: gold, oil, feathers, cloud, etc. But, when the first cry came for the manifestation of glory in the Scripture, notice how it came.
Then he (Moses) said to Him (God), “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.” So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” And he (Moses) said, “Please, show me Your glory.” /// Exodus 33:15-18 (NKJV)
In response to the cry of Moses, God revealed His glory to him. Yet, even Moses had limits to what he could behold because of the holiness of the nature of God. But, notice that God’s revelation to Moses did not consist of gold dust or clouds or any other thing: it came in appearance as a man. If God is our Father, how can we relate to smoke as our Father? Or to gold or clouds? We are created in His image and because of this carry the inherent glory that is restricted to humanity:
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. /// Psalm 8:3-5 (NKJV)
Man carries a glory that no other created being does on this earth: the glory of being created in the image of God. The most intimate revelations of the glory of God come in the form of Him as our Father. Through these revelations, we get a glimpse of what God has called us to be: carriers of His image – physically and spiritually. The greatest expression of the glory of God has always been Jesus. Quite ordinary in appearance but magnificent in nature. What good does it do us if our physical appearance is changed but we remain without transformation? You remember Elijah? Depressed and overwhelmed, Elijah ran away after the fire burned the sacrifice on Mount Carmel. 1 Kings 19:11-12 tell us what saved Elijah:
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. /// 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NKJV)
It wasn’t the accompaniments that saved Elijah from despair, but the gentle whisper of a Father’s love. In this gentle whisper, the heavy, weighty compassion of an involved and caring Father was revealed to his hurting son. It is in this, we see the glory of God! The presence of God in His temple became known as the treasure of Israel. When Jesus made His appearance in the Temple, the fulness of the presence of God manifested. Jesus in His Temple is the distinguishing characteristic of the manifest presence of Yahweh in His sanctuary, and this is the manifestation of His glory.
Now, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit! And, as Isaiah 61 states, you are the habitation of the glory of God! Yes, we have a beautiful future ahead of us in the glories of the heavenly realms when our Savior comes for us! But, there is no need to look to a future full of glory that illusively seems to stay beyond our grasp. The future is now! The glory is here! Arise, shine for the glory of the Lord rises upon you! You are the manifestation of the glory of God! It is Christ in you, the hope or assurance of glory! What makes heaven glorious? Is it the streets of gold or the One who walks upon them and rules over it?
The Light of the restored community is the glory of God!
Isaiah 60:1-2 (NKJV)
Exodus 33:15-18 (NKJV)
Psalm 8:3-5 (NKJV)
1 Kings 19:11-12 (NKJV)
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