As I have gotten older, one of the characteristics of God’s nature has become more interesting. I say it this way because when I think about this attribute, I know that I don’t have anything I can compare it to. That is, I have never experienced it and I won’t until I stand before him. That characteristic is “Glory.”
In the Old Testament, the glory of God was described as hovering over the tabernacle that Moses built. It was evidence of God presence. It was proof to the Hebrews and the surrounding nations that God was with this people. It has been described as light, power, radiance, heat, and fire. It may be all of those things or none at all. The craziest thing about this glory is that no person has ever experienced in its fullness.
Moses asked God to show his glory. But God knew that this would be the end of Moses. So he offered this instead, God put Moses in a small opening in the side of a mountain, covered it with his hand to protect Moses and then allowed Moses to look at his “back” when he passed. I’m going to tell you right now, that doesn’t make any sense. What did Moses see? Better still, what did God show him?!
The apostle John says something interesting in his first letter. It’s in chapter 3.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:2)
What I love about this passage is that it appears to confirm what God told Moses. A regular, un-transformed human being cannot look at God’s glory because it would destroy them. But, there is coming a day, when we will not be as we are right now. Where we will be changed and resemble Jesus in his resurrected form. And, on that day, when that transformation has taken place we will be able to “see him as he is.” I don’t know about you, but I look forward to that day. I hope you do too!