The subject of the glory of God is always fascinating to Christians, especially those hungry for divine power. The Hebrew word for glory in the Old Testament is “heaviness” or “weight”. In the New Testament, the Greek word Doxa means opinion praise, honour, glory. The word is used in everyday speech to express the worth of a person in the material sense, and then to express the ideas of importance, greatness, honour, splendour, power, etc.
Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical words elucidates the word, glory. It states that with reference to natural objects “glory” may refer to the brightness of heavenly bodies (Acts 22:11; 1 Col 15: 41), and the fruitfulness of a forest (Isa 35:2). As applied to the conditions of human beings, glory may refer to position, possessions, strength, or length of life.
Joseph’s glory (Gen 45:13) is his position and wealth in Egypt, David’s (Psalm 21:5) and Jehoiakim’s glory was their royal position in Judah. (Jeremiah 22:18).
The usage of the word glory also extends to the wealth of the nations as in Jerusalem (Isa 66:11-12). The glory of young men is their strength (Prov. 20:29), and glory as strength is illustrated in the righteous Job (Job 29:20), the arrogant king of Assyria (Isa 8:7), and the long life of the elderly (Prov 16:31).
Then, Psalm 8:5 states, “You crowned him with glory and honor” which points to an even more essential glory in humans, an inherent glory resulting from their being created in God’s image (1 Cor.11:7).
The most significant use of the ideas of glory and majesty is their application to God. In this regard, it is sometimes stated that God’s glory is the external manifestation of his being. God’s glory is something that appears (Exod. 16:10), is revealed (Isa 40:5), or can be seen (Num 14:22). God’s glory is also a display or parade of his goodness (Exodus 33:12, 34:1-9).
The glory of God is spoken of as attaching to God’s kingly rule (Psalm 145:11-12) and his presence (Psalm 96:6), and as being his clothing (Job 40:10; Psalm 93:1; 104:1) and above the heavens (Psalm 8:1; 113:4; 148:13).
God’s glory is also manifest in the thunderstorm (Job 37:22; Psalm 29:4) and more commonly in the events and institutions surrounding the exodus from Egypt. Thus, God’s glory is seen in the plagues and other miracles (Num 14:22), in the cloudy pillar (Exod. 16:10), in the theophany at Mount Sinai (Exod. 24:17; Deut. 5:24), in the tabernacle (Exod. 29:43; 40:34-35; Num 14:10; Numbers 16:19 Numbers 16:42; 20:6), in the fire initiating the sacrificial system (Lev 9:23), and in the ark of the covenant (1 Sam. 4:21-22) and the temple of Solomon (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chron 7:1-3).
Our understanding of the glory of God is incomplete unless it is applied to Jesus. In every respect, Jesus is the embodiment of God’s glory. We beheld his glory as of the only begotten Son of God. (John 1:14). The knowledge of the glory of God is in the face of Jesus (2 Cor.4:6). His ministry on the earth was to manifest the glory of God (John 2:11).