The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of His Glory (continued)
Now we have to stop and break this up. What is glory? Perhaps this is the most difficult word to define, and explain, although it is not the most difficult thing to understand and to know. There are two aspects of glory: one is its expression, its manifestation, its effect, its power, for whenever you come into the presence of the glory, you are affected by it, and powerfully affected by it. But mainly in the old dispensation, when things were more sentient than spiritual, that is, in the realm of the human senses, when God was dealing with man on that basis of his sentient life, in that dispensation, it was something that could be seen. There was a radiance, it was a breeze, it was a terrific power that men were aware of by their senses. They could see and feel something in their souls. The expression of glory was not nebulous and abstract; it was something to behold. You will recall how true that was when the glory was manifested, when the glory appeared, it was often a terrible thing, but it was always a very powerful thing. However, this was only one side. It was the expression or manifestation of glory.
Now, it is thought that before Adam sinned and fell, there was something about his body that was like a robe of glory, something glorious and beautiful. And when he fell and sinned, he lost that covering of glory and knew that he was naked. and God had to cover him with he symbols of redemption. If you have seen someone really born again, out of the depths, there is something about the face that speaks of glory. Or to put it around the other way, when somebody is living out of touch with the Lord, that something, that glory, about their face has gone. Is not that true? You say, "There is something gone out of their face, it is not there what was there before, they have lost something." Put it as you may, you mean the glory in expression has departed.
Well, this is the manifestation side, but there is something that accounts for that. There is the other side, the deeper aspect, and that is the basis of glory. What is the basis of the glory? what is the essence of the glory? the reason for the glory? the very nature of the glory? What lies behind any manifestation at all of the glory. Glory now or glory forever? Glory is the expression of the satisfaction of God's nature, and that is a definition that you might well stay with, think about, and dwell upon. And if you do, much will come out of the Word that will show you how true that is.
Now glory is the expression of the satisfaction of the nature of God. God's very nature, being what it is, holy and righteous and true, and everything that the very nature of God is, if it is satisfied then there is a state of glory. If God finds that which corresponds to His very being, His disposition, His nature, His way of thinking, His way of acting, and all that which is just God essence, then there is a state of glory. If God finds that which answers to Himself, then there is a state of glory. There is a state of glory when things are as God wills that they should be, then it is glory.
Earlier, we referred to the creation, and God had made all things and was able to say of His work, "it is very good." It was a glorious state, a really glorious state. It would really have been good to be there at that time, dear friends, for it was such an atmosphere of contentment and satisfaction and rest and peace and joy. It was heart-ravishing, nothing present to irritate, to distress, God was completely satisfied. It was a state of glory in the creation.
Let us follow that through to another of the many connections of glory - take the Tabernacle. God gave a precise, meticulous, detailed prescription of the Tabernacle, for the simple reason that it was not just a Tabernacle that God had ultimately in mind at all, but it was His Son. Therefore, the command was: "See thou make all things according to the pattern which was shown thee in the mount." And when it was done, and all things were so made to a detail, to a thread, to a pin, then glory came down and filled the Tabernacle. All things answered to God's mind, and so there was glory. Every part of it was glorious, and the whole was glorious, because in every part it was as God willed it to be.
The same, of course, obtains in the case of the priests, the high priest and his sons. As we are told, they were clothed with garments of glory, prescribed by God Himself. As to the clothing everything about them, the material, the colors, the shape, the size, everything was shown to be of heaven. And when the priests were so clothed according to God's mind, this clothing was called garments of glory, satisfying God. And what was true of the Tabernacle in all its parts and its priesthood is true of the Temple later.
(continued with # 30)