The Riches of His Glory: The Pathway of the Glory (continued)
What Is the Pathway of the Glory?
Now, this is not a very happy thing, perhaps, to contemplate, if you look at it on that side alone. But it is true. Here is this man Paul, naturally and humanly in weakness, naturally and humanly in limitation, as a man in bonds. However, there is the other side, the enlargement of what is of the Lord. There is the mighty, marvelous enlargement of Christ in this man, so that these letters from the prison are a matchless setting forth o the greatness of the Lord Jesus. And in this light, you ought to read your first chapter of the Letter to the Colossians and see the place the Lord Jesus is given.
Now you can see this, and it is well that we do take at least a glance at the glory, by looking at the opposite. Go right to your Bible, and you will see that whenever man put forth his hand upon Divine things, the glory went out. That is a word written over Eden is it not? The Lord's precaution in Genesis was "Lest he put forth his hand." The Lord knew quite well that if man put forth his hand on Divine things, that was an end of the glory. - And, as we know, that is exactly what happened.
Right through your Old Testament, you can see this. Case after case, when man pressed in and put his hand upon Divine things, the glory went out. You know how Isaiah says, "The day that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up, seated upon a Throne and His train filled the Temple" (Isaiah 6:1). This brings us to the tragedy of Uzziah. You remember that man - how he was one of the greatest kings, even an idol of Isaiah the Prophet. King Uzziah who reached great dimensions of power and influence and earthly glory, and then he presumed upon it and forced his way into the Temple, to the Sanctuary, to the Altar. Fear came upon men and they aid, "It does not pertain unto you, king Uzziah, to offer incense," but he spurned the warning and was smitten a leper and died in shame with all his own earthly glory gone. He forced himself into the Temple and laid his hand upon Divine things; and so far as he was concerned, and for that time, the glory departed. It was a great reversing of the situation when Isaiah saw the Lord on the Throne, for it was no longer Uzziah, but the Lord on the Throne. Then the glory comes back. When man usurps the place of God, the glory goes out. That is just one instance of this thing.
(continued with # 36)