UNDERSTAND the GREATNESS of God’s GLORY: "Afterward he brought me to the gate, the gate that faces toward the east. And behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east. His voice was like the sound of many waters; and the earth shone with His glory. And the glory of the Lord came into the temple by way of the gate which faces toward the east. The Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the Lord filled the temple." (Ezek. 43:1-2, 4-5)
In a dramatic reversal of the departure of God’s glory, prophet Ezekiel saw God’s glory returning from the east to dwell once again in His temple. Earlier in the Book of Ezekiel (10:4, 18–22; 11:22–25) we saw the glory cloud reluctantly leaving the temple at Jerusalem about 19 years ago. Here, God’s glory is pictured as returning to the city from the east (compare this with Rev. 1:15; 14:2; 19:6; 21:11, 23).
The word ‘glory’ is a derivative of the Hebrew word ‘kabod’ that is used to describe the worthiness of something in the form of greatness and splendor. God’s glory is described in the Old Testament as taking the form of a cloud (Ex. 24:15–18). The glory of the Lord also filled the temple as He filled the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34, 35), the temple of Solomon at its dedication (1 Kings 8:11), and the temple in the vision of Isaiah (Isaiah 6:4). Let us now understand the greatness of God’s glory!
God has displayed His glory to His people time and again (Psalms 3:3; Zech. 2:5), and has lately displayed His glory through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ (see Isaiah 60:1; Luke 2:32). God’s glory is exhibited in His name (Deut. 28:58; Neh. 9:5), His majesty (Job 37:22; Psalms 93:1; 104:1; 145:5; 145:12; Isaiah 2:10), His power (Exodus 15:1, 6; Romans 6:4), His works (Psalms 19:1; 111:3), and His holiness (Exodus 15:11). The scriptures describe God’s glory as great (Psalms 138:5), eternal (Psalms 104:31), rich (Ephesians 3:16), and highly exalted (Psalms 8:1; 113:4).
However, we have all come short of God’s glory: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). To counteract this, Jesus Christ became the earthly manifestation of God’s glory: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14; see also 2 Cor. 4:6; Hebrews 1:3).
Let us be aware that the glory of God will return completely in the person of our Lord Jesus when He comes to reign one day in the future. In fact, even now the earth is full of the glory of God (Isaiah 6:3), which is not yet understood by the people of the earth. God’s Word promises us that the knowledge of God’s glory shall fill the earth one day (Habakkuk 2:14).
For us today the appropriate response to understanding and appreciating the glory of God is to reverence Him by bowing before Him as Ezekiel did (see Ezek. 3:23; 43:3). Let us bow down before Him and give Him the reverence that is due unto Him (Jesus Christ) today!
"Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him (Jesus Christ) the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil. 2:9-11)