“Glory is a word of uncertain origin,” the etymology dictionary stated well.
One of those ancient words we use but what does Glory mean?
The Hebrew root words seem deep as they define Glory as heavy or weighty. I read that the first time and thought, heavy? I thought glory was bright and brilliant, magnificent splendor and it is defined that way in Old French.
Gloire “the splendor of God or Christ; praise offered to God, worship, glory (of God); worldly honor, renown; splendor, magnificence, pomp” (11c., Modern French gloire).
From the Latin there is gloria “fame, renown, great praise or honor.”
The Greek took the Latin word and gave us another way to think about Glory, they called it doxa (From dokeō, “to seem”) and defined it as “expectation” (Homer), later “an opinion, judgment or estimate and hence the honor resulting from a good opinion.”
Glory is used of the nature and acts of God in self-manifestation, what He essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself in these respects.
In worship, God is Glorified; ascribing honor to Him as we acknowledge Him as to His being, attributes and acts. A doxology from the Ancient Greek (doxa, “glory” and logia, “saying”) is a short hymn of praises to God and the tradition derives from a similar practice in the Jewish synagogue to end each section of the service.
Back to the future and our topic. “Whoa, this is heavy!” I repeat what was proclaimed in all three Back to the Future movies by Marty and the slang helps me understand glory as heavy:
1) When something is unbelievable, out of the ordinary.
2) When something is good, excellent, brilliant.
Let me sum up Glory by combing these thoughts into a stated definition.
When God’s presence appeared, manifested, was brought to light from the supernatural unseen world into the natural seen world, people were blown away, overwhelmed, almost crushed as they fell to their face under just a glimpse of the ‘weightiness of God’.
Glory has no true metaphor.
Its truth is so unbelievably heavy that the finite mind can’t hold it all.
The Bible tries to help us with examples like a glory that surrounds a king, the fruitfulness of a forest ( Isa 35:2 ; 60:13 ), even the awesomeness of a horse’s snorting ( Job 39:20 ), or the ornateness of expensive clothing ( Luke 7:25 ).
Glory is the extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is. Glory is when holiness comes to expression.
We see. God for who He is. “Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified—glory all around!” John 13:31-32 (the Message)
Jesus Christ the son of God is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. Hebrews 1:3
This Jesus; crucified, dead and buried—was resurrected. Heavy. Hallelujah! Glory! Yes.
At creation, only man was given a deposit of this glory, we were made in the image of God (imago dei). God animated our souls with His God’s breath. Man can express our worship of God only because from our spirit, where that deposit of glory rest, our soul’s interpreter speaks using man’s tongue. The glory of man above all created, uses words to declare praises.
Man’s highest glory is found in his lowest posture, laying crowns at Glory’s pierced feet; for only He is worthy to receive glory and honor and power and praise.
Man has his glory days. They are found in his worldly position, in the sense of his possessions, in a young man’s strength and old man’s wisdom. At a deeper level man’s glory is found in our willingness to overlook the faults of others or avoiding strife, or sacrificially serve others. But too often man’s pursuit of folly shows that we do not live up to our glorious calling to worship God and our human glory can become an expression of independence from God. We find our eyes fixed on the earth instead of heaven. The glory days ring with ‘look at me, think of me, do not neglect me. Wash-rinse-repeat me. Busy, busy, glorifying me. What breaks the cycle?
Affliction and suffering, trials and tribulation. Call it a financial crisis, health scare, family difficulty. Those nasty things that weigh us down and bring self to a screeching halt when we realize, ‘self cannot do this life thing alone’. We turn back to God (repent). Now, if you are a partaker of grace and are able to weigh the Lord’s dealings with you, look at the results of those trials. What spiritual profit have you reaped from them?
Transformation has glory’s fingerprints all over it.
“And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also– knowing that tribulation works patience, and patience experience, and experience hope; and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us.” Romans 5:3
Glory is a gift given to us in Holy Spirit. Christ in you, the hope of glory (col 1:27); that extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is. Glory is when holiness comes to expression.
J.C. Philpot preached, “There is a certain preparation necessary for the manifestation of that grace to the soul which is the beginning and the pledge of eternal glory. For instance, ‘guilt of conscience’ prepares the soul for the blood of sprinkling. The arrows of the Almighty, shot into the heart from his unerring bow, prepare it for the balm of Gilead; a taste of hell for a taste of heaven; the thunders of the law for the consolations of the gospel; views of self for views of Christ. Apprehensions of the wrath to come hunt the soul out of every false refuge, convince it of its need of an imputed righteousness, and preserve it from resting in a name to live. It is thus that the deepest trials usually issue in the greatest deliverances, the sorest distress in the sweetest consolation, and the pangs of hell in the joys of heaven.”
Paul is telling us, “In our sinful state, with our finite mind and our weak, frail body and emotions, we could not bear the weight of the immortal glory prepared for us.” Remember, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 cor 2:9
This is the “weight of glory” that the apostle speaks of– beholding and enjoying that mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence in the Godhead trinity of Father, Son and Spirit for eternity. “We shall see Him as He is and know even as we are known.” 1 John 3:2
Jesus prayed for us this way, “My prayer is for those who will believe in me … I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17)
As God is the saints’ glory so they are His.
That’s heavy. It blows my mind. It bows my body. It lifts my empty hands and opens my speechless mouth. It swells up in my soul and manifests in an overflow of God breathed words.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The extraordinary, mind-blowing weightiness of God’s presence as He brings to light or manifests all the goodness that He has and is.
Want to learn more, read The Glory Series, parables about God’s glory expressed.