“And the LORD said to Moses, ‘I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.’ Then Moses said, ‘Now show me Your glory.’” —Exodus 33:17-18
The heavens are constantly speaking to every person on earth about the reality of God as Psalm 19:1 proclaims: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.” When the biblical authors used the word “glory” it is the Hebrew word kavod, which means “honour, dignity, splendour, abundance and reverence.” Kavod could also mean “heavy” like something that is laden with abundance or very big and substantial. Considering the meaning of kavod, when Scripture speaks of the glory of God, it is describing reverence that has weight to it, honour that is substantial, splendour that is limitless and dignity that cannot be measured.
Kavod occurs about 200 times throughout the Old Testament. One of the earliest occurrences is in Exodus. God led the Israelites out of their bondage of slavery in Egypt and brought them into the desert. He met them on Mount Sinai, gave them the Ten Commandments and entered into a covenant relationship with them. But soon after, the Israelites casted an idol and bowed down to what their hands had made.
In Exodus 33, Moses had a conversation with God that was essentially saying, “Leading such a great people through the wilderness is not going to work if it is just me, Lord, Your presence needs to go with us.” God reassured Moses, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14). Then, Moses made a strange request to God, asking, “Now show me Your glory” (Exodus 33:18). Moses wanted to see the fullness, the substance, the whole weight of God. But God told him, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the LORD, in your presence.…but you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live” (Exodus 33:19-20). God was revealing to Moses that if He allowed the immeasurable, immense, magnitude of who He is to pour into Moses, it would destroy Moses. Instead, God said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen” (Exodus 33:21-23).
Although no one can see the full glory of God and live, we can experience the glory of God all around us. The heavens declare the splendour, the weightiness and the substance of God. They do not make any sound but their voice goes to the ends of the
earth every day shouting the reality of God.
Heavenly Father, Your glory fills the earth. Thank You that I can experience Your glory all around me.