From the "Bible Advocate" - a publication of the Church of God, Seventh Day, Denver, CO. USA.
by Ken Lawson
Many of God's people in Scripture experienced outstanding glory-of-God moments — personal moments that helped them become fully aware of a living God. Their testimonies help us know God more deeply: He is real, He cares, and He pays individual attention. His oft-specific interventions provide us with confidence that the Creator of the universe does go one-on-one with His people.
Three spectacular visions of God's men gave them, and us, a small but intense glimpse of God's glory.
Jacob ran to get far away from his brother Esau, who wanted to kill him. Sleeping at a campsite, he had a dream: A stairway rose from earth into heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it. The Lord appeared to him and repeated the promises given earlier to Isaac and Abraham.
When Jacob awoke, the thrill of the vision remained and he said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. . . . How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven" (Genesis 28:16, 1 7). Do you think Jacob ever forgot that glory-of-God moment?
Ezekiel was a captive slave under King Nebuchadnezzar. At the river Kebar he saw a huge storm in the sky. But this storm was different. It not only flashed lightning but also contained a huge fire. Living creatures moved within it, directed by the Spirit. Fast-spinning wheels moved beside each creature. Above the storm a throne appeared, and a man like a raging fire spoke to Ezekiel. Ezekiel's report and reaction:
Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking (Ezekiel 1:28).
Ezekiel received his calling to preach to Israel at that glory-of-God moment.
Isaiah saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted. His description is graphic and spectacular. Angels attended and sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3). When Isaiah expressed panic for having seen "the King, the Lord Almighty," one of the angels flew to the temple altar, took a live coal, and touched Isaiah's lips. At that moment Isaiah's sins were forgiven. The voice of the Lord called, "Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us?" Isaiah instantly answered, "Here am I. Send me!" (v. 8). God's response was "Go ..." (v. 9).
God in the moment
Our highest experiences may not tip the scales as majestically as these three, but a glory-of-God moment is never unworthy of notice. If God is in a moment, it is to be respected and enjoyed. It should get our full attention.
Glory-of-God moments occurred in heaven before time began. Our Lord Jesus prayed that the glory He had with the Father before the world existed would be restored to Him (John 1 7:5). And such moments have occurred steadily since Creation, dominant in Old Testament times and multiplied even more in the New Testament. They still occur as a feature in the lives of believers today. These are moments in time when we're granted the thrill of seeing God's hand, His Spirit, His grace at work in the world.
Through the Hubble telescope and in films like Louie Giglio's Indescribable, we are privileged to know the truth of Psalm 19:1: "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." The more magnificent vistas our cameras capture put us in awe of God's glory in the universe. This glory is not just in the heavens either. The angels in Isaiah's vision said, "The whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3).
When have you experienced a glory-of-God moment? If you have a good marriage, give God
glory. If you've been blessed with children and grandchildren, give God glory. If your doctor says, "It's not cancer," give God the glory. If he says, "It is cancer," give God glory anyway! Life is temporary at best, and cancer is not the end. We're heading for greater things in the Holy City!
If you enjoy three meals a day of delicious food, give God glory. If you ever have a full night of sweet sleep, give God glory. If you have been blessed by the mountain peaks and national parks in the US and Canada, give God the glory. If you've seen Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Banff and Lake Louise, Bryce, Zion, Glacier, Yellowstone, the Tetons, the California giant trees, the Oregon coast, and even Death Valley, give God glory.
If you've heard the redbird sing, watched the bald eagles soar, been close to a canary or indigo bunting, or heard the meadowlark sing, give God glory. If you've heard a bull elk bugle in the mist, give God glory. If you've seen grizzly bears or been licked by a puppy dog, give God the glory.
If you appreciate ice cream, you can thank the manufacturers. But if you appreciate the warmth of the sun on your back while walking through a mountain meadow filled with wild flowers, give God glory!
If God has given you gifts of service and you are using them to the best of your ability, give God glory.
If your faith in the Genesis Creation account is rock solid, give God the glory. If your mind and heart are open to God's Word and you have a teachable spirit, give God glory. If you know the rich privilege of public worship on God's Sabbath, give God glory. If you hear a good sermon, tell your pastor thanks and give God glory for calling and filling him with the Holy Spirit.
If you know Jesus as your Savior and you have a joy-filled relationship with Jehovah, give Him all the glory. You are a participant in the greatest glory-of-God moment so far! You did not buy your salvation, earn it, or deserve it. God did that for you!
When we experience a glory-of-God moment, trust deepens, awareness of God blossoms, gifts are clarified, doubt and fear flee, faith spreads, and God's kingdom grows.
Beyond the moment
Several of those in the Word who experienced a glory-of-God moment simply fell on their faces in awe and respect. Most shared their testimony of God's glory with others.
How shall we react and express to our Father in heaven and to others our appreciation of all the revelations of His glory, both in heaven and on earth, that He provides daily in our lives? Find a way!
Ken Lawson chairs the Church's License and Credentials Committee. He lives in Cottage Grove, MN. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version.