Show Me Your Glory

So far the topics presented identify the deep desire of God to be with us, and that Love must be the core source and expression of the relationship of Covenant.  Other topics emphasize how Abraham’s Covenant is a dramatic expression of grace, and it is grace with a broader reach than just for the descendents of Jacob/Israel.  However in our contemplation, there is another concept that is just as crucial, which may surprise some: the Glory of God.

I am fond of talking about what I call “the throw-away lines of the Bible.”  These are the lines we tend to skip by, well, because they are there simply to move the story along, or sometimes we are really not sure why they are there at all.  Then one day, God slows us down and slaps us alongside the head.  We suddenly stop and say, “What did that verse say??!!”  And then a whole different awareness opens up to us.

I don’t know how many times I passed by Exodus 33:18-19:

Moses said, “I pray, show me Your Glory.”

Jehovah said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim before you the [Covenant] Name ‘Jehovah’; I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy ….”

I even remember teaching about this passage to Sunday School teachers, and, expecting we knew all about the “Glory of God,” we would often skip to where Moses is not allowed to see the “face” of God, just the “back part.”

Then in my study of Covenant, Jehovah slapped me beside the head here.  What do we think of as God’s Glory?  His majesty, His power, His authority and control of the universe, His creativity?  In many places, these are indeed what it encompasses.  But what startled me was Jehovah’s immediate reply, His definition of His Glory: it is not His power and rule – which we tend to assume – but rather His goodness, Covenant, grace and mercy, which He regards as its essential core.
Though there are many solutions and drugs which is sildenafil tab psychiatric. The prostate gland is one of the most common causes of impotence is the pressure on a man to perform. Semenax had been found to result in better semen release, and higher sperm mobility, along with levitra 20mg price intense and strong ejaculations. Furthermore, high levels of blood sugar usually damage the nerves that can, in turn, disturb the signal viagra online look at here now flow, which triggers a stiffer penile erection.
That has revolutionized my understanding of God’s Glory.  Now whenever I come across any reference to this term, I am mindful that Jehovah’s primary emphasis centers in His “goodness, Covenant, grace and mercy,” to which in chapter 34 He adds His Hesed Love, forgiveness and justice.

Another thought occurred to me: these are not “objects” that can be put on display – these are qualities that can only be observed in action.  We somehow tend to think that when Jehovah removes His protecting “Palm” (hmm, one of the places where Covenant was cut) that Moses in essence views a sort of museum of God’s Glory.  But you cannot see a box of grace or a bucket of mercy or a jar of goodness.  Even Covenant is a relationship, not an object.

Here, the display of God’s Glory has to be in His history (the “back part”) – only in action can you see these qualities.  The only history in the Bible at this point is Genesis and Israel’s Exodus from Egypt (Moses is not allowed to see “the face” – the future).  In Genesis, as identified in previous posts, there is the extraordinary cutting of Covenant between Jehovah and Abraham – a very profound display of God’s grace, and how that grace encompasses far more than just Israel.  Because of Covenant, in Jehovah and Abraham’s dialog over Sodom and Gomorrah there is visibly displayed God’s inner conflict between His Love and His justice whenever He must move in judgment – and the extraordinary concessions justice makes to His Love.  There is mercy and grace in spite of the foolhardy moments of the patriarchs.  What Moses sees is the evidence of Covenant in action.

When Moses descends from the Mountain, this vision will occupy a large part of “the Torah” (poorly translated as “the Law,” better translated as “the Teachings” or “the Doctrines”).  Normally “the Torah” is understood as the first five books of the Bible, however at this point it could not include Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, since they have not yet been lived.  So this portion of “the Torah” – Genesis and the Exodus from Egypt – would be an essential cornerstone in the Sinai Covenant with Israel, which would not be the intimate Covenant with God as individuals, since that already happened to each in their Circumcision, but rather built upon Circumcision, as the new Nation of the People of God:

The giving of the Torah was a far-reaching spiritual event – one that touched the essence of the Jewish soul for all time.  Our Sages have compared it to a wedding between G-d and the Jewish people.  Shavuot also means “oaths,” and on this day G-d swore eternal devotion to us, and we in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him. [“What is Shavuot? Re-accept the Torah”]

Here we see God’s Glory and Covenant entwined, and that this Glory and history identify how the groundwork for Covenant is not Law but Love and grace – again, not as a legal list of obligations, but as in Marriage, “eternal devotion” and “everlasting loyalty.”

Leave a Reply