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*The Power and the Glory.*
The Minor Prophets are a neglected portion of Scripture – something I have been working to redress for the past six years.
But in the Minor Prophets there are some outstanding verses: Micah 6:8; and here in chapter 2 of Habakkuk there is that foundational verse Hab 2:4; and [*Habakkuk 2:3* /“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay/.]There
are a couple of other verses in this chapter that I just cannot pass by without further mention: [v.14] and [v.20].
[*Habakkuk 2:/14/**/ /*/“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of /יהוה/, as the waters cover the sea./*
Habakkuk 2:/20// /*/“But /יהוה/ is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him.”/]
Today I want to speak about the Power and the glory of יהוה!
*Glory fills the earth**: *The world is filled with corruption, violence, injustice and oppression as man greedily and selfishly seeks his own kingdom, Babylon - with man as his god.
It seems as if evil man is succeeding - man rules and dominates - the aggressive and assertive come out on top.
So it seems - but this is not the way it will be!
In the midst of these woes the prophet catches a glimpse of the future Kingdom Age when all these evils will be removed [cf.
*Isaiah 11:9* /They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of /יהוה/ As the waters cover the sea/.”]
This prophecy will be fulfilled when David’s righteous Branch [Christ] has set up the Kingdom.
The transfiguration was a preview of this happy event [*Matthew 17:2* /He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light/.].
"The glory of the Lord," will be Christ revealed in kingly splendour [*Matthew 24:30* /“And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.;/
*Matthew 25:31* /“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne/.].
Man’s empire will be utterly destroyed!
Instead of the earth being filled with the corruption and wickedness of man it will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD!
Because the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of יהוה, it will not be filled with the glory of /man/ - what he has built and achieved.
Man may ignore or reject יהוה but He has decreed: - "THE EARTH SHALL BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE GLORY OF יהוה AS THE WATERS COVER THE SEA!" The earth will be saturated with the knowledge of יהוה’s glory (cf.
*Isaiah 40:5* /Then the glory of /יהוה/ //will be revealed//, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of /יהוה/ //has spoken.”;/
*Jeremiah 31:34* /“They will not teach again, each man his neighbour and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know /יהוה/,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares /יהוה/, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”/)/./
All will know - it will be obvious.
No one will be able to deny the Truth any more.
*יהוה** is! *No longer hidden, His glory will be revealed!
- Undeniably who He has said He is!
He will not share His glory with another!
*Isaiah 42:8* /I am /יהוה/, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another/; *Isaiah 48:11* /“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another/.).
The earth will be FILLED with His glory - there will be no room for the glory of anyone else.
Completely covered - just like the waters cover the sea!
All pervading!
If there is not water it is no longer sea - if it isn’t יהוה’s glory it isn’t the earth.
Such will יהוה’s glory be universal - Him all in all.
*What will it be like?*
* “*/The earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of /יהוה/, as the waters cover the sea./*” *We, as Christians, talk of the glory of the LORD, bandy the word “glory” about – but what do we mean by it?
When it says that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of יהוה, what is it describing?
What will it be like?
When someone gets the glory for doing something outstanding – they are getting the credit, the honour.
We may speak of the Queen in all her glory – someone dressed in finery, majestic, splendid.
A few Sunday’s ago I was in the kitchen and Beth came in, Alex had just fitted some new strip lighting and compared to previous gloom it we found it quite dazzling – I joked that the glory had filled the temple!
The dazzling presence, to bright to behold or bear – that is what we think of as glory.
But in the Scripture the word glory has a weight to it.
The word for glory is “כְבוֹד” - it means */heavy/*!
Terror or awe!*
The glory of יהוה is FEARFUL! - It inspires fear – either reverential awe and abject worship or terror and dread.
The glory of the LORD is a wonderful thing to those who are His, who long for His appearing but to the sinner it is terrifying in the extreme – no man can stand in the presence of God's glory – he is utterly consumed.
Only that which is of God can remain.
The first mention of the word כְבוֹד in Scripture was not an auspicious occasion – Israel was doing what it normally was doing: grumbling, there were hungry: [*Exodus 16:7* /and in the morning you will see the glory of/ יהוה/ for He hears your grumblings against /יהוה/; and what are we, that you grumble against us?”,/ *Exodus 16:10* /It came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of /יהוה/ appeared in the cloud/.]
- it wasn't a pleasant encounter with the glory of יהוה!
They refused to enter Canaan, spies brought back a bad report, they wanted to go back to Egypt, wouldn’t listen to Caleb and Joshua *Numbers 14:10* /But all the congregation said to stone them with stones.
Then the glory of /יהוה/ appeared in the tent of meeting to all the sons of Israel./
*v.20-30* /So /יהוה/ said, “I have pardoned them according to your word; but indeed, as I live, all the earth will be filled with the glory /of יהוה/.
“Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice, shall by no means see the land which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who spurned Me see it.
“But My servant Caleb, because he has had a different spirit and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land which he entered, and his descendants shall take possession of it.
“Now set out to the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea.” /יהוה/ spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me?
I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me.
“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says /יהוה/, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.
‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun/.] יהוה’s glory is not to be trifled with, stops the rebellion of man.
Remember Korah?
Korah rebelled, wanted to take on the priesthood himself [*Numbers 16:19-21*/ Thus Korah assembled all the congregation against them at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
And the glory of /יהוה/ appeared// to all the congregation.
Then /יהוה/ spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them instantly.”/,
*Numbers 16:31-33* /As he finished speaking all these words, the ground that was under them split open; and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions.
So they and all that belonged to them went down alive to Sheol; and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly./]
The glory of יהוה is terrifying!
But for those in right relationship the glory of יהוה is not terrifying but it still inspires fear – reverence and awe.
Since I came back to the LORD I have had a fascination with the accounts of those who had a revelation of יהוה's glory.
I yearn for that, don't you?
יהוה*’s temple:* Solomon built a magnificent temple for יהוה, it took seven years to build with vast quantities of gold, silver, brass, stone and wood.
Finally the day came to dedicate the temple.
So many animals were sacrificed that they couldn’t be counted.
It was a magnificent temple and a magnificent occasion; finally Solomon got up on a platform and prayed to יהוה, then….
[*2 Chronicles 5:11-14*/ When the priests came forth from the holy place ….. clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify /יהוה/, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised /יהוה/ saying, “He indeed is good for His loving-kindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of /יהוה/, was filled with a cloud//, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of /יהוה/ filled the house of God//.
/*1 Kings 8**:10*/ It happened that when the priests came from the holy place, the cloud filled the house of /יהוה/, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of /יהוה/ filled the house of// /יהוה* **2 Chronicles 7:1-3* /Now when Solomon had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of /יהוה/ filled the house//.
The priests could not enter into the house of /יהוה/ because the glory of /יהוה/ filled /יהוה/’s house.//
All the sons of Israel, seeing the fire come down and the glory of /יהוה/ upon the house//, bowed down on the pavement with their faces to the ground, and they worshiped and gave praise to /יהוה/, saying, “Truly He is good, truly His loving-kindness is everlasting.”./].
It was too heavy, they couldn’t stand!
That is always as it is – when faced with the glory man cannot stand, he falls on his face!
It was the same when the tabernacle was made too: [*Exodus 40:33-38* /He erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court/./
Thus Moses finished the work.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of /יהוה/ filled the tabernacle//.
Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of /יהוה/ filled the tabernacle//.
Throu/g/hout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up.
For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of/ יהוה/ was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel./]
Glory of יהוה associated with cloud, the Shekinah glory – cloud veiling the brilliance of His unapproachable light.
In *Leviticus 9** *the Israelites brought the sacrifices that יהוה commanded, offered their worship to יהוה [*v.4* /they took what Moses had commanded to the front of the tent of meeting, and the whole congregation came near and stood before /יהוה/./
*v.23* /Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting.
When they came out and blessed the people, the glory of /יהוה/ appeared// to all the people.
Fire came out from before /יהוה/ and consumed the burnt offering and the portions of fat on the altar; and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces./]
– The universal reaction to יהוה’s glory.
We are the temple of the Holy Spirit – the glory of should fill this temple also – it does so when true sacrifice of worship and thanksgiving is offered up to יהוה.
We too should be on our faces before His glory.
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