The Glory of the Lord (continued)
Some Examples from the Old Testament
We would all agree that, when God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees, and separated him to Himself, that was a new movement of God. There is no doubt about that. It was a clear-cut and defined breaking in to human history n the part of God, with a further stage in the Divine program in view. Now Stephen tells us that "the God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia" (Acts 7:2). Why the God of glory? The end toward which God was moving was glory - His own glory in a people, to be manifested among the nations. And so, as the God of glory He appeared to Abraham. He put the glory there as the principle, the law, the basis upon which He was taking that step, and upon which He was going to follow it through.
Some centuries later (revealed to Abraham even to the very period: see Genesis 15:13, 16; Acts 7:6), the Lord had that people out of Egypt. He brought them to Sinai; and there He changed them from a rabble crowd, an unconstituted and unorganized multitude, in to a corporate nation. That was the new move at Sinai. By the law and the testimony and the revelation given in the mount, the people were constituted a nation. And it was done in glory. Moses went into the mount, and saw the God of Glory, and came down with that glory on his face. Again God had put the principle at the beginning of His new move: He was moving on the pathway of glory.
3. David and Solomon
A further step in the Divine plan was reached in the days of David and Solomon. The temple was indeed a development of the Divine thought in representation; and it is all in glory. The issue there is glory: "the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord" (1 Kings 8:11, etc). It was a glorious time; it was a glorious place. It was all just enunciating and preserving this principle: God is moving all the time with this thought governing - glory!
But we are told that the day came when the glory departed from Jerusalem. We know why. And that brings us to the prophets of recovery, and to this prophet Ezekiel in particular. Here, at the opening of these prophecies, in the day when the glory id eclipsed among the Lord's people as lifted up and departed from Jerusalem, the Lord of Glory appeared to Ezekiel: "This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord." It is impressive that that comes right at the beginning of the prophecies, is it not? Now everything that follows is going to be but the outworking of that law of glory. God is more concerned, and in these various ways He is showing His concern, for the end of glory to be reached.
Some Examples From the New Testament
1. The Incarnation
So much for the Old Testament. When we come to the New, we shall all agree that the Incarnation - the birth of the Lord Jesus into this world - is a new movement of God. That is indeed a great step forward in the Divine program. And therefore it is accompanied with glory - heavenly glory: "Glory to God in High Heaven!" (Luke 2:14). We sing it in our Christmas hymn. There is glory again at the inception of this new, mighty movement of God, because the end of that thing is indeed going to be glory: He has come for the recovery of the glory of God in this earth. That is Heaven's psalm.
We move on still, and again we will all agree that the Day of Pentecost is another great step forward in the plan of God. God is moving on, and this is a clear mark of that progress of God through the ages. The Day of Pentecost was a step of God from Heaven. And what glory! John tells us quite clearly that the coming of the Holy Spirit was upon the basis of Jesus being glorified. He said: "The Spirit was not given; because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39) - implying that when the Spirit was given Jesus was glorified. It was on that ground. God is moving on this basis all the way along.
(continued with # 39 - "3. Peter")