God's Sanctuary
John D. Telgren

"Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle (Exo 40:34-35)."

Imagine the moment! The Tabernacle has been built as a sanctuary for God. Now the glory of God descends on the tabernacle and fills it. What did it look like? Was it a blinding light? Was it warm? Did it crackle with energy? What exactly does it mean to speak of the glory of the Lord?

The Jews later called the glory of the Lord in the temple the "Shekinah" glory. This word comes from a root meaning to dwell, or to dwell in a tent.

What is interesting is that this language seems to be employed in John 1:14. Speaking of Jesus, it says,

"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)."

The Greek word "skenoo" translated "dwelt" literally means to dwell in a tent. You could translate it, "And the word became flesh and tented among us…" The glory of the Lord originally dwelt in a tent, the tabernacle. Now it dwells in Jesus, which is why John says "we saw His glory"

In what way did they see the glory of God in Jesus. Did he emit a blinding light? Did he radiate heat? Did he crackle with energy? Other than the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus didn't "look" any different than any other human. Seeing God's glory is not merely about seeing lightning, fire, etc. In Exodus 33:18, Moses asks God to show him his glory. God hides him in a crack in the rock, and his glory passes by. Interestingly, the text doesn't give a detailed description of what Moses saw. Instead, it gives us what the Lord said.

" Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, "The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations (Exo 34:6-7)."

So the revealing of God's glory was about revealing God's character. Jesus was the embodiment of God. He was the word incarnate. That is why Jesus said, "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father (John 14:9)." He glorified God both in his life and in his death. Jesus has passed the glory on to us.

"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them…(John 17:22)." The Bible tells us that we are the Temple of God (1 Cor 3:16; 6:19). The glory of God is to be revealed in us, his sanctuary, his "tent." Jesus prayed that the world might know him through us. Everything from our morality to the way we treat one another is to reflect the glory of God.