God Reveals Himself in Glory
“The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, God reveals himself in glory. Our God will come and will not keep silence; before him there is a consuming flame, and round about him a raging storm. He calls the heavens and the earth from above to witness the judgment of his people.”
- Psalm 50:2-4
God loves to reveal himself to his people. He always has. In the Garden of Eden, God walked with Adam and Eve; he spoke with them as friends. God revealed himself to Abram with the promises to build a great nation through him. God spoke to Moses from a burning bush and told him of his plan to use Moses to deliver the nation of Israel from bondage. God revealed himself through his incarnate Son. The Lord reveals himself to his people so that they can know him and enjoy relationship with him.
In Psalm 50, God calls his people together to see him and to hear him. In calling them, he testifies against them. They have not been his faithful people. They have not obeyed his commandments; they have not loved him or loved each other; they have forgotten who God was and what he had done for them.
The Lord now comes in his glory to remind them of who he is, to remind them of his glory, his holiness, and his judgement. God had called the nation of Israel to be his own people, a people set apart for his glory. As his children, they were to walk in obedience to his ways and to reflect his glory to the world. Israel had turned from him and sinned against him. In doing so, their eyes were blind and their hearts were hard to the nature of God.
This display of his glory was to break through the blindness and hardness of heart to warn them of impending judgement. Where God’s presence brought light to lovingly guide his people through the wilderness, this light was a consuming flame. It was not about guidance or comfort but about holiness and judgement.
Would they see? Would they soften their hearts? Will we? The Scripture readings this week all point to Jesus, to his glory demonstrated in the transfiguration. The Lord has revealed himself to us just as he did to the nation of Israel. How are we responding? For those who respond with faith, there is the joy of relationship to the Father through the Son. For those who continue in their wicked ways, there is the consuming flame, the raging storm, and the coming judgement of the Lord.
In his mercy, the Lord would continually call us to behold his glory and to be transformed by his glory. Just as Peter, James, and John were never the same after beholding the glory of Jesus in his transfiguration, neither are we to be the same. Reflection:
How do you behold the glory of God on a daily basis? Does that beholding the glory of God result in your being transformed from one degree of glory to another? If you are not transforming, go back to the beholding!