Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 42 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Exodus 40 today and our focus is on glory – a word we use all of the time, but we may not fully understand how it is used in the Bible. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Sarawak, Malaysia, Gujarat, India, East of England, UK, Ontario, Canada and Atlanta, Georgia. Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan!
Let’s get right to it – vs. 35 of Exodus 40 is our verse of the day:
Moses was unable to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud rested on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
You see, the tabernacle was the portable place of worship and meeting that the Israelites had in the desert, and it was built to God’s exact specifications. Once it was completed – the presence of God – His weight, His presence, His matter was so thick and…present in the tabernacle, that the Bible says that even Moses, who saw God face to face, could not even enter. What does that even mean? What is GLORY? Let’s turn to pastor Tim Keller, who has an excellent explanation of glory:
What do you think of when you think of glory? Some people think of the sun. Why do we talk about the glory of the sun? We talk about the sun as being glorious because of its dazzling beauty, but we also talk about the sun as glorious because that dazzling beauty is somehow very substantial. It’s powerful. It beats down on you. It’s unmanageable. It’s dangerous, and we all know as glorious as the sun is, because it’s glorious, you have to watch out.
The sun can get you. The sun can hurt you. The sun can destroy you. That’s beautiful? What is glory then, really?
Before we move into it and see what the Bible says about the glory, I’d just like to say the reason we need to talk about it is because every single person in this room is after glory. In fact, some of you are being burnt out in your search for glory. We are all seeking it. We are all starved for it, and even though we’ll talk about the definition of glory in a minute, let me just put it this way. Everybody in this room desperately, desperately needs to know they matter to someone. You need to know that. You need to know you matter to someone.God alone has glory. Jesus says, “Father, glorify your name!” This is one of the three times in the gospel the Father booms his voice out of heaven, and he says, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” God is glorious, and he has no higher purpose, no more consuming purpose, than to show you and me his glory and get us to experience it. That’s what God is all about. Now right away we have to start to ask ourselves questions.
What is glory, in general, and what is the glory of God? … the word glory in the Bible, its original reference is a physical reference to physical heaviness or weight. That’s what the word means. For example, the oceans and the mountains are literally glorious, and if you don’t know what that means, just think about it for a moment.
When you stand before huge mountains, when you stand before a great ocean, and I don’t mean if you’re just there for some other reason, but if you really sit and take it in, if you try to grasp the glory of what’s in front of you, you begin to feel weightless. You feel, “I don’t matter.” That means, “I don’t have any matter compared to this,” but in the Bible the word glory doesn’t just refer to physical weight. It talks about people, and it talks about things. It talks about things that are glorious.
It’s not talking about physical weight. No. It’s talking about import. Something is glorious because it has import. It has impact, because it makes a difference. It’s affecting. It counts
Therefore, maybe one of the best English words that is a synonym for the Hebrew word for glory is the word matter, because, you see, the English word matter originally has a physical reference, doesn’t it? Matter is something that is there. It is “there-ness” as opposed to immaterial.
You see, the word matter means something physical, but it also means something personal and spiritual. Have you ever been in a conversation with people to whom you’d like to matter, and you say something, and they give you a cursory, “That’s very interesting,” and then they move right on as if you had never said it? What are you experiencing? You’re experiencing weightlessness, inconsequentiality, insignificance. Don’t you know you live in an absolute dread of that? When the Bible talks about the glory of God, it doesn’t just simply mean God is holy, that he’s loving, that he’s wise, and that he’s strong, but that in his holiness, love, wisdom, and strength, he is beyond comparison. It means in every one of those attributes, separately and in all of those attributes together, he is without comparison. Let’s put it this way. God isn’t just beautiful. He is glorious in his beauty, and that means his beauty is so much greater than any other beauty, so as by comparison all other beauties are hideousness.
Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).
End of the Show: Bible memory verse for FEBRUARY: Acts 9:31 So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
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