Torah reading: Exodus 27:20-30:10
Haftorah reading: Ezekiel 43: 10-27
Then the man brought me to the gate facing east and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. vs. 1-2
Under the Mosaic Covenant with Israel, the LORD gave the people many signs and symbols of His presence and protection, especially after the Exodus from Egypt. The Tabernacle and the Levitical Priesthood were all designed to teach a covenant people how to live in harmony with a holy God. Of special interest was the visible cloud pillar which spread over the camp of Israel during the day–and the fiery pillar which was present at night. This supernatural presence of God is called in Hebrew “the Shekinah,” from the root schachan, which means “dwelling.”
Throughout the period of the Kings, the Shekinah cloud of glory was always associated with the Ark of the Covenant, in the Holy of Holies, in the temple of Solomon.
As the Jewish captivity into Babylon was underway, Ezekiel was given a great vision of the impending destruction of Jerusalem. In his visionary tour conducted by “a man,” (most likely “THE angel of the Lord,” Ezekiel witnessed the soon-departure of the Shekinah from the temple, albeit in stages.
Now the glory of the GOD of Israel had gone up from the cherub, where it had been, to the threshold of the temple. Ezekiel 9:3
What is the glory of God? Some say it is an otherworldly form or a divine energy force that floats in the atmosphere – something ethereal or mystical. But the glory of God goes beyond these things. The glory of God is His character and His divine nature; it is the very essence of his presence.
Throughout the Scriptures we read about the glory of God coming upon the people and visiting them in various ways. It may come as thunder and lightning or a very loud trumpet blast (Exodus 19:9, 16). Sometimes the glory comes as a cloud (2 Chronicles 5:13-14, Exodus 40:36); sometimes it comes as a flame of fire (Exodus 40:38). Sometimes the glory comes as dew upon our clothes (Judges 6:37-38). Sometimes the glory comes as manna or provision from above (Exodus 16). God has an infinite number of ways in which He can demonstrate His character and His nature.
The Lord wants us to recognize His glory! He has created an incredibly beautiful and marvelously expanding universe to proclaim His glory and omnipotence. He does not withdraw Himself, cover Himself and hide Himself. He is bringing a revelation of His glory throughout all His creation, and He will be seen in all the earth.
Moses asked God to show him His glory, and God said that His GLORY is His GOODNESS. (see Ex. 33:17-19) The word used in Greek denotes the manifested perfection of God’s character – His splendor, brightness, magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace and majesty.
The scriptures declare that the earth is filled with the glory of God.
“The whole earth is full of His glory.” (Is. 6:3)
“But indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory of the LORD.” (Numbers 14:21)
“And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.” (Ps. 72:19)
“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” (Habakkuk. 2:14)
God’s purpose for the tabernacle was that He might dwell among His people, speak to them, reveal Himself to them, and to lead and guide them. Without His presence, it failed to serve its purpose. It is the same with us. For Jeremiah prophesied that God would impart His spirit to us and write His Torah on our hearts. (Jeremiah 33) As that happens, we become living Tabernacles, created to shine forth His love, His goodness, His mercy and His kindness to all around us.
In Tune with Torah this week = I’ve heard it said that ‘the only Bible some people may ever read is your life’. I think that’s a true statement. If you and I are living in such a way that the glory of God – the manifestation of His character – is expressed through us, then in fact it could be very true that you may be the only ‘bible’ some people ever read. As they watch your life, do they see love, goodness, kindness and graciousness? If they do, you are manifesting the glory of God. Nourish your soul by feeding on the Word of God and soon others will be able to see that goodness flow out of you to them.