In many of our worship songs, we ask the Lord God to show us His glory. I have a sneaking suspicion that when we ask for this, we really have no idea exactly what we are asking for. We have caught glimpses of God's glory in nature and in rebirth, but His glory is still partially veiled to us. We haven't seen Him in the full brightness of His greatness. What we have seen makes us long for more, but we have to have Him in small doses or we would be consumed. At least, it certainly seems that way in Scripture.
Take Moses for example; he asked the Lord to show him His glory (Exodus 33:18). God agreed to show Moses His "goodness," but Moses could not see God's face or he would die. Odd, isn't it? Without being too fakely pious, consider why Moses would have died if he had looked upon God's face. Do you suppose that God did not want Moses to see His face? Do you think that He did want Moses to see? So why couldn't Moses look? Why could he only look at God's back?
Consider also Job. Job was a righteous and blameless man. He suffered tremendously for the glory of God, and we admire him greatly for his faith and spiritual fortitude. Why do you suppose that when this great man of God saw the Lord he would exclaim that he hated himself? (Job 42:6). Job was a righteous and just man. What did he see that made him feel so despicable?
Turn your thoughts now to Isaiah. Isaiah, the prophet of God, walks into the Temple and sees the Lord God sitting on His throne, with the train of His robe filling the entire place (Isaiah 6:1). Why do you suppose Isaiah cried out "Woe!" instead of "Hallelujah!"?
At the risk of being redundant, I will also mention the Transfiguration of Jesus (Matthew 17:2). For a blinding, incredible, miraculous moment, the glory of God shone through Jesus of Nazareth. Peter, James, and John all saw this wonderful sight. Did they start jumping up and down and yelling praises? Actually, the Mark tells us that they were terrified (Mark 9:6). When God the Father subsequently spoke to them from the "cloud," they fell down on their faces. John had the same experience years later when Jesus appeared to him on Patmos. Again, when John was confronted with the glory of the exalted Christ, he fell down like a dead man (Revelation 1:17).
I confess to you that I fear the Lord. I would say that I "revere" Him, but I worry that this word is now bereft of any meaning. What I mean is that if I knew that I would be appearing before the Lord tomorrow, I would be scared to death. Yes, I have assurance of salvation, but I would still tremble. I would tremble because I still struggle with indwelling sin, and because I still do not love Him as I ought. I feel certain that His glory would burn me like fire.
I am conscious of these things when I hear people pray for revival or for the Lord to "reveal" Himself. In my heart, I wonder if they know what they are asking for. I have a feeling that they think if God answered their request, they would leap about for joy. Something tells me that we would be flat on the ground instead of dancing and leaping.
Yet, having said all of this, I confess also that I pray for revival and for the revelation of God's glory. I pray that God would lay us in the dust of repentance, so that He may then lift us up to honor Him. God's glory purges us of sin, but it is humiliating and painful! My hope lies in the fact that after the humiliation, after God has revealed who we are in relation to him, he then makes us able to stand and gaze on His goodness...at least, as much as we can stand.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago