Summary: Understand the mystery of the glory of God and how it affects our lives as believers.
“It’s not about you” Sermon
a. Tell me if these statements sound familiar to you.
i. I am happy if things are going well.
ii. My marriage is great if my needs are being met, if I am getting my way.
iii. My job is great if I am being treated well and there is no conflict.
iv. My day was good if I got what I wanted today
v. God is good if He is answering my prayers.
b. We are a part of a very narcissistic society, a very “me” centered world. For most of us, our actions betray a sense of “it’s about me” attitude.
i. There is a saying that has been around for a few years that says, “it’s NOT about you!”
ii. The bible says the same thing.
c. So if “it” (life) isn’t about me, then what is it all about?
a. I think that God really would like more of us to ask that question.
i. If we would ask it and wait for an answer, we might be surprised to learn that God has a single word answer for it.
1. Yes, that is what “IT” is all about.
iii. We see the word everywhere in the bible, we hear it in the hymns and chorus’ that we sing, yet most of us haven’t a clue about what it means and why it is so important.
b. What is God’s glory?
i. The greek word, Doxan is most commonly translated glory, its fullest meaning being “splendor, brightness, excellence, pre-eminence.”
ii. The bible uses the word to describe God’s most exalted state or condition.
iii. It means God’s pre-eminence, His being Higher than the Highest.
iv. If we were to try to define the Glory of God, we would have trouble, because the glory of God is beyond definition just as it is beyond the human capacity to see it unveiled.
1. The best we can do is to describe the Glory of God as encompassing ALL of the Attributes of God.
2. This simply put means that everything about God’s attributes, His characteristics, His holiness, His love, His grace, they all are elements of His great glory. Just as we can never completely comprehend his Attributes, neither can we comprehend His glory.
c. Yet God’s glory is something that is mystical, wonderful, and bright beyond any light.
i. We sometimes hear the glory of God described as the Shekinah glory of God.
ii. the Jews, over time, gave a name to this.
1. They called it "Shekinah [she-kee-nah]."
2. Or, as most of us Gentiles mispronounce it: "Shekinah [she-ki-nah]."
iii. The word Shekinah is not in the bible, but it is so closely related to the word “dwelling” that we have come to associate the Glory of God with this term.
1. It came to mean, over time, instead of literally "residence," or "dwelling,"—"God’s visible presence."
a. That word "visible" is very important—God’s visible presence.
b. Shekinah: , "The visible Majesty of the Divine Presence."
2. All descriptions of the Shekinah say that it was a most brilliant and glorious light enveloped in a cloud.
3. So, when the Bible describes it as a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire it is splitting into two what was actually one. It was always a pillar of fire and it was always a pillar of cloud.
III. Seeing God’s Glory:
a. Moses asks to see God’s glory. Moses was the only person we know of in the bible to ever ASK to see God’s glory.
i. (Exodus 33:19-23) “Then Moses said, “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.”
1. God himself described his glory as his “goodness” yet says that His face must be concealed because there is no living thing that can stand to look into the brightness of His face. Then God covered Moses with his hand (to protect him) until He passed by, and Moses was able to see the glory of God from behind.
2. This is an incredible mystery as to what actually happened. God is Spirit, and cannot be contained even in His creation. Yet, to Moses, God reveals His splendor, in a partially concealed manner. And the result is that Moses’ face reflects the partial glory of God that he had seen.