I said in my first article in this series that, the Hebrew word which is used for glory in the Old Testament has the meaning of “heaviness” or “weight”. The word is used to express the worth of a person in the material sense, and then to express the ideas of importance, greatness, honour, splendour, power, and so on.
1 Corinthians 15:41 reveals that there are varieties of glory. It talks about the glory of the sun differing from the glory of the moon and the stars. Even among stars, one glory differs from another. “There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:40-41 NKJV).
Some people had glimpses of God’s glory in the Bible. In the Old Testament, Moses was one of them; he lived and operated in the realm of God’s glory. He saw the Shekinah glory of God several times, yet he desired more (Ex. 16:10; 24: 16; Num.16:19; Lev.9:6, 22-24). On one occasion, he audaciously said to God, “Please show me your glory” (Exodus 33:18). God answered him by allowing his goodness pass by Moses and allowing Moses to see his backside. This means that, as someone said, “God’s glory is the display or parade of God’s goodness.” It also means that there are aspects of God’s glory which are not visible to man.
Exodus 24:9-18 pictures one of such experiences Moses had. On God’s invitation, Moses ascended the mountain of God with Joshua and the elders of Israel. They had a meal with God. Then God invited Moses alone to come up the mountain to receive the tablets of stone which he was to teach the children of Israel. While there on the mountain, the glory of God descended. Moses remained on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. “Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24:16-18 – NKJV).
Solomon also experienced the glory of God in the Old Testament. He had the material glory which Jesus referred to in Matthew 6:29, “and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29 – NKJV). At the dedication of the temple, fire fell and the glory of God appeared, “When Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the temple. And the priests could not enter the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord ’s house When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the Lord, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever” (2 Chronicles 7:1-3 -NKJV).