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The glory of God. Exodus 40
The glory of the LORD
Exodus 40:34-38

This morning we are going to finish up our study in the Book of Exodus.

-Exodus began by telling us of the oppression and slavery of the Israelites in the land of Egypt.
-Being concerned for His people, God raised up Moses to lead them out of Egypt- that they might worship Him and take possession of the land that He had promised to Abraham 400 years prior
-After His miraculous deliverance of the Israelites from bondage, God gave to the Israelites His laws- telling them what was required of them for He to be their God and they to be His people. In connection with this, God also indicated that He was going to personally dwell in their midst. Hence the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle/The tent of Meeting
-As grateful and devoted to God as you might think the people might have been, such was not the case-- for they often complained and were want to wander far from God (like us)-- the most egregious case being their making of a golden calf to depict God. Despite their wickedness and because of Moses intercession, God was gracious to them and forgave them.

This past week I asked you to read Exodus 36-40. In these chapters the Israelites build the Tabernacle/Tent of Meeting that was revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai in Exodus 24-31.

A couple of things I noticed as I read these chapters.

-The people gave so much towards its building that Moses actually had to issue an order to tell them to stop bringing gifts towards the work (Exodus 36:6-7)
-The people followed God's instructions to a "T". With care, devotion, and zeal, they followed every word God gave for how the Tabernacle and it's contents were to be made (For God had said 'I'm going to dwell with you--- Here's what you need to do to see that happen"
-When the people were done and Moses finished setting up the Tabernacle, God came and presence'd Himself in their midst-- just as He promised. As the text tells us the "the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" Exodus 40:35

In the time that remains, mostly from the perspective of the book of Exodus, I want to talk to you about the Glory of the LORD


1. The glory cloud of God was a sign of His presence, power, and protection. God was with them

God is also with and in us who are the followers of Christ-- His benefits are the same as then.

2. The reason for God's glory being covered by a cloud-- that the people were not consumed

God's glory in Exodus was almost always veiled in some manner (whether it by a cloud, people being kept back at a distance, Moses being in the cleft of a rock and covered by God's hand as He passed by).

The reason for the cloud, the being kept back at a distance, was for the protection of the people for Hebrews 12:29 tells us that "God is a consuming fire". The point being that sin separates us from God. Without holiness, no can see God-- yet we who are in Christ will-- for in Christ we have been made holy and acceptable to God.

Interesting: Seraphims = burning ones "Isaiah 6" 6 winged angel in the presence of God.

3. Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and exact representation of His being. Hebrews 1:3

The Scriptures tell us that Jesus entered our world, his glory veiled

-He came as a baby, born in a barn.
-He prayed in John 17:5 "And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began"

While Jesus entered our world, his glory veiled, He revealed it to his disciples.

-On the Mount of Transfiguration his face shone like the sun. Matthew 17
-Also, we must not forget the exultant words of John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

4. John's declaration "We have seen His glory" (John 1:14) connects to Moses' request in Exodus 33:18 "Show me your glory"

In Exodus 33:18 Moses says "Now show me your glory."

"And the Lord said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." Then the Lord 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 33:19-23

John also would have in mind his experience of the Transfiguration of Christ in Matthew 17

5. One of our desires as the followers of Christ is that the Glory of Jesus might be seen in us. See 2 Cor. 3:17-18

The glory of Christ is seen in us as we become more and more like Christ in terms of His character and behavior and as we are filled, led, directed, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

6. One day we shall see Christ as He is-- in all His radiant glory. 1 John 3:2-3

1 John 3:2-3 says; "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure."

Let's keep our eyes fixed upon Christ as we await His glorious return


In the next few minutes, by means of our fingers going across the pages of Exodus, I want to show how important the subject of God's glory is.

a. Moses and the burning bush--Exodus 3:1-6 (read)

b. The glory of God seen in His judgments of the Egyptians: Exodus 5-11 The 10 plagues were a display of God's glorious power. These mighty acts and wonders of God were performed that He might be glorified. Note what God says in Exodus 9:13-16 "Then the Lord said to Moses, "Get up early in the morning, confront Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me, or this time I will send the full force of my plagues against you and against your officials and your people, so you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth. But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."

c. A pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day led them through the wilderness (even before the construction of the Tabernacle) Exodus 13:20-22 "After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people."

d. At the crossing of the Red Sea, God stepped in between the Israelites and pursuing Egyptians (the cloud of His presence separated them. See Exodus 14

e. Note the Song of praise as it regards God's glory: Exodus 15:11, being part of a song of praise that Moses and the Israelites sang after God destroyed Pharaoh's army, says "Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?"

f. Exodus 16 details for us the Israelites complaining to Moses that they were going to die of starvation. To this God says that He will give them bread from Heaven. Following this word from the Lord "Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?"..... "While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud." v.10

g. On Mount Sinai: Exodus 19 speaks of God meeting with Moses on Mount Sinai (Giving him the Law). Note the description of God's appearance "On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. The Lord descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. Exodus 19:16-20

h. On Mount Sinai: Exodus 24:9-18 "Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank. The Lord said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and commandments I have written for their instruction." Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them." When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

i. At the tent of Meeting: Exodus 33:7-11 says "Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the "tent of meeting." Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent. As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to their tent. The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.

Further in Exodus 33 Moses says to the Lord "Show me your glory"*** If time: Read Exodus 33:12ff

j. Moses glowing and radiant face: Exodus 34. Moses meets with God and gets a new copy of the 10 Commandments. Then note v.29-35 "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord. When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them; so Aaron and all the leaders of the community came back to him, and he spoke to them. Afterward all the Israelites came near him, and he gave them all the commands the Lord had given him on Mount Sinai. When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face. But whenever he entered the Lord's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded, they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the Lord."

k. At the completion of the Tabernacle: The Tabernacle is completed according to spec with the right heart and the result is "The glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle" Exodus 40:34

Concluding thoughts on the Glory of the LORD

-The LORD's displays and revelation of His glory is meant to bring us to the point of praise and worship
-Jesus' in his incarnation was the greatest display of God's glory. As John says "We have seen Glory!" Jesus is the radiance of God's glory and exact representation of His being.
-One of our desires as the followers of Christ is that the glory of Jesus might be seen in us. -in our character, in our behavior, as we are filled, led, empowered by the Holy Spirit
-"Show me your glory"-- as bold as a request as there is-- is one we can make as the friends of God. Show us glory Lord. Display your power. Open peoples eyes to you that they might respond in faith and repentance.
-One day we shall behold Him in His glory. We shall see Him as He is and like the Cherubim who surround His throne we will bow in worship