The Glory of God

God created man for His own glory, and fitted him for communion with Himself. This is intimated by His visiting our first parents in the cool of the day. He doubtless taught them to hallow the beginning and end of each day with worship.

When man fell, his heart became alienated from God, and the link formed between God and His creatures was sundered. Consequently, though after man had sinned, God walked as usual in the garden in the cool of the day, He missed the one who should have been looking out for His presence. Therefore He called unto Adam, and said to him, "Where art thou?"


Instead of casting man off, God, in His condescending kindness, proceeded to renew the communion that had been broken, and to establish it on a firmer basis. A very clear intimation of this gracious purpose is given in His word through Moses to Israel: "Let them make Me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them" (Ex. 25:8). And after the tabernacle was made according to the given pattern, and the sacrifices had been offered and accepted, "the cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of Jehovah filled the tabernacle." God fulfilled His promise: "There will I meet with the children of Israel."


Some centuries later, when Israel dwelt in the land, Solomon built a temple for God. Here again the sacrifices were offered and accepted, their acceptance being shown by the fire descending to consume them. And then, "as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking Jehovah," "the house was filled with a cloud," and "the glory of Jehovah had filled the house of God" (2 Chron. 5:13-14).


So also on the Day of Pentecost. The all-atoning sacrifice had been offered on Calvary, and its acceptance shown by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Living stones were being builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit, for the disciples were assembled according to the command of the Lord Jesus. And then the Spirit descended, and the house was shaken, and filled with the glory of the presence of the Holy Spirit.


Thus also will it be in the Millennium, when "the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills," and the temple, as described by Ezekiel, shall be erected. When all is complete, God will take possession, and it is this that is described in the chapter before us: "And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and His voice was like the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His glory" (Ezek. 43:2). This glory corresponds with that described in Ezekiel 1 and 2. The prophet had seen it depart from the temple (chs. 10 and 11), and now he sees it return.


In the tabernacle there was the ark of shittim wood, one table of showbread, and one lampstand. In Solomon's temple, the ark was placed under the wings of the larger cherubim; and there were ten lampstands and ten tables. In the description of Ezekiel's temple, no mention is made of any vessels except the altar of wood, which is called "the table that is before Jehovah." The ark will not be mentioned in that day; and there will no longer be any need for the lamps to shine, for the noontide light of the divine Presence will make all other light unnecessary, while it will set aside all shadows, and take the place of every type.


So also will it be when the spiritual and heavenly temple shall be completed, that temple which comprises all the redeemed, being composed of living stones--souls redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. When they are clothed in bodies of resurrection incorruptibility, partaking of divine glory, conformed to the image of their glorified Redeemer, and resplendent with every grace and perfection of the eternal Spirit, there will be no need of any lamp, or of the sun to shine in that temple; for the glory of God will lighten it, and the Lamb will be the light thereof (Rev. 21:23).