The Glory of the Lord

Scripture: Leviticus 9:23-24, ‘Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.’

 

Observations: After Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests in chapter 8, they began serving in the Tabernacle. On this first day they made offerings for themselves (v1-14) and for the people (v15-22). At the end of the day ‘Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting.’ It doesn’t say why they went into the Tent of Meeting, but presumable it was to meet with the Lord. When they came out ‘they blessed the people.’ The traditional blessing is found in Numbers 6:24-26. Next, ‘the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people.’ Again ‘the glory of the Lord’ isn’t described, but it may be referring to the ‘fire’ that came out from the Lord’s presence and consumed the offering. Elsewhere God’s glory is described as ‘a consuming fire. (Ex 24:17)’ Whatever the case God’s people saw God’s glory and his power displayed, and they responded by shouting with joy and falling facedown. They responded with both joy and humility before the glory of the Lord.

 

Applications: I always wonder how such an experience might affect me. It never ceases to amaze me that the Israelites could experience something so supernatural and yet still wander away from God. It just goes to show how self-centred our sinful hearts can be. But the truth is God has revealed his glory to us. Not a glory we can see with our eyes, but one that we can see with the eyes of faith. God sent his Son Jesus into our world, who ‘is the radiance of God’s glory. (Heb 1:3)’ In Jesus, particularly in his death and resurrection, we see God’s glory. Have you responded to the gospel with both joy and humility? Do you shout with joy at your salvation while bowing in humility before Christ your King?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, it’s so easy to long for supernatural displays of Your power, but You have revealed Yourself to me in Jesus Christ Your Son. In Jesus I see Your glory. In Jesus I see Your character, the fact that You are loving and gracious, that You are merciful and just, that You are faithful and true. In Jesus I see Your power as You overcome sin and death. Lord, forgive me when I forget Your glory. Lord, fill me with Your Spirit that I may shout with joy at the grace You have shown to me in Jesus Christ. Lord, may I bow before You in humble awe at Your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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