The weight of Glory

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Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.” Exodus 33:18

I learned something this morning (thanks, Stephanie). She mentioned the above referenced passage of Scripture, and the glory of God. And although this happens to be one of my favorite passages in the Bible, I never really looked into what glory means. Because when I hear the word glory, I think I know. But Stephanie said that if you look up the root word, from which glory is derived, you find something more. Because among other meanings, glory comes from a Hebrew word that means: to be heavy, to be weighty, to be grievous, and to be burdensome. So in essence, when Moses asked for God to show him His glory, not only did he see it, but he must have felt the full weight of God’s glory. Because according to the root word, God’s glory is heavy… and weighty. And Moses was near to God. He was with God. Oh, I’m sure… he felt God’s glory.

And the meaning of the word is not at all what I expected to find. See, my son has described God’s glory as sparkle and shine. And truth be known, this is what I always believed God’s glory to be. And so, perhaps it’s this weightiness that I lack today. Because if God’s glory is weighty, shouldn’t I be driven to my knees. Like in Old Testament times, shouldn’t I fall face down to the ground when I encounter the living God in my own living room? Because in the pages of Scripture, you see people doing this again and again. Because when they felt God’s glory… the heaviness pressed them to the ground.

You know, after Moses spent time with God, his own face shone. So indeed, God’s glory is sparkle and shine. But it’s so much more. Because the Israelites were afraid to even come near Moses, so radiant was his face. And this is what the glory of God can do… inspire heaviness and reverence and a holy fear. Because He is God. He is glory. And like Moses, shouldn’t our own faces reflect that light… that glory… after we spend time with Him?

Unfortunately, a byproduct of our hectic lives is heaviness… but not the heaviness of God’s glory. We tend to carry heavy loads and burdens that we’re not meant to bear. We tend to be so consumed by the problems that lie before us, that we are weighed down under the strain. And so, we can miss it… His glory. So weighed down by burdens, we overlook the heaviness of His glory. Rather than knees that bend in worship, our knees are bent because the weight of the world has been laid upon our shoulders. But it doesn’t have to be this way, for we have another option. We have an invitation from Jesus…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”            Matthew 11:28-30

It’s rest that we need. Rest from the craziness of life. It was Henry Drummond (1851-1897), who said, “Rest is not a hallowed feeling that comes over us in church, it is the repose of a heart set deep in God.” Jesus promises us that rest. We simply need to unyoke ourselves from that which keeps us deep down, and align ourselves to Him. His ways. For His burden is light. And when we arrive there… to a heart deeply set in God… the trials and tribulations of this world will dim in comparison to the light of His glory. When we set our hearts and minds on the things above, eternal things, the weight and cares of this world will fall away. And then, that worldly load will be lifted. And then, like Moses, we will not only see God’s glory, but we will feel His glory. We just need take the load off, for in actuality, Jesus has already born the weight of it all. Eternally speaking, the weight has already been lifted. Eternally speaking, God’s glory is right there near us…

Then He replied, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Then Moses said, “Please, let me see Your glory.” The LORD said, “Here is a place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen.” Exodus 33:14, 18, 21-23

God’s glory is heavy. It’s so heavy that we cannot even gaze upon His face. Just perhaps, when we let Jesus carry the weight or our burdens like we’re supposed to… just maybe, then, we will then feel the full weight of God’s glory. Just maybe it will be His very own hand that covers us, and presses us down in worship. For He is worthy. We just need to take the load off…

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