The following post was written on Monday, December 7, 2015:
We are covered by fog today where I live. The radio weatherman promised this morning that a hard-working sun would burn it away by mid-afternoon. And that apparently happened just 40 minutes to our west. But where I live, heaven’s clouds have blanketed the earth.
It is damp and cold and heavy, and where it’s at its weightiest (a word I want you to keep in mind), you can’t even see the buildings enveloped by it. I’m wondering now if it’s the preamble for a Word the Lord spoke this morning to my friend Donna and told her to have me share with all of you.
If you’re a faithful reader of this blog, you will remember Donna, and this remarkable picture God gave to her to show all of us.
If you watch carefully, you’ll notice that the brilliance of light in that photo is the last thing you see, even as the rest of the video fades to black. And remember, Donna said she truly believes that Light to have been a manifestation of Jesus. Now, look at how Jesus is described in Hebrews 1:3 of the Amplified translation:
He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power.
The glory of God is written about so many times in the Old and New Testaments that it’s crucial for us to understand what it is. You’ll understand why in a moment.
After the Lord delivered the nation of Israel out of the hand of Pharaoh, the Israelites spent forty years in the wilderness. Their inexplicable habit of forgetting all that God had done for them led to complaining and grumbling against Him and His chosen leaders for them. It even led them to prostitute themselves with mere idols. All of which provoked God to declare that the generation He’d delivered would not be the ones to actually make it into the Promised Land.
Yet He didn’t abandon them. The God of Heaven and Earth would actually come down in a cloud to the “tent of meeting” Moses pitched outside of the camp. There the Lord would talk with Moses and give him His instructions for His children. And when Moses finished constructing a tabernacle for God’s Presence inside a more permanent Tent of Meeting, this is what happened:
Then the cloud [the Shekinah, God’s visible presence] covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle!
And Moses was not able to enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud remained upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. (Exodus 40:34-35 AMP)
Bible commentators Jamieson, Fausset and Brown describe that cloud as a dark one that obscured a full, clear view of Who was in it. I’m not sure I realized that in the past, thinking instead that the cloud and the glory were one and the same. But the Hebrew word for cloud in the verses above is `anan, and it means a thundercloud. From somewhere within it – or emanating from it - the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
The online Blue Letter Bible tells us the verse – the glory of the Lord- appears 72 times from the Old Testament to the New in the NIV translation, and 99 times in the King James Version. The Hebrew word for it in the Scripture above is kabowd and it means weight, splendor, abundance, and honor, honor, honor. In the New Testament, the Greek word for the glory of the Lord is doxa. And it means splendor, brightness, excellence - the kingly majesty which belongs to God as supreme ruler.
In many of the Scriptures, the glory of the Lord is described as the visible manifestation of the Presence of God. And it resides with the Father and is reflected by His Son Jesus – a fact that 1 Corinthians 2:6-5 describes as a mystery in the NIV, and secret wisdom in the following verses from The Complete Jewish Bible:
Yet there is a wisdom that we are speaking to those who are mature enough for it. But it is not the wisdom of this world or of this world’s leaders, who are in the process of passing away. On the contrary, we are communicating a secret wisdom from God which has been hidden until now but which, before history began, God had decreed would bring us glory. Not one of this world’s leaders has understood it; because if they had, they would not have executed the Lord from whom this glory flows
(or “if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory,” in the NIV).
The connection between the cloud and the glory seem especially significant as I sit, enveloped by the cold, weighty, cloud-on-earth to present to you, word-for-word, what God spoke to Donna this morning.
“Now is the hour I have spoken to you about. Here is the key. It is Glory. It opens all doors. Now I am allowing you access. Focus on the Glory. Enter into My Presence. It is the Key. It is accessible now. Tell Regina she is to announce it to My children. For all who hear and receive will be given the key. I must be their eyes and ears – not the words spoken in this world. Forget them. They are only words if we do not take heed to them. For My word is Truth and Life. N0W is time for that Truth and Life to shine through My people, but they must not falter. They must shine in My Glory and the doors will start opening. It is done.”