May 10, 2014

El Hakkavod: "the God of Glory"

Exodus 33:12-23

The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
—Psalm 29:3


At Mount Horeb (Sinai), Moses had a breathtaking encounter with God. There he met El Hakkavod, “the God of Glory.” Moses asked God to remain with his people Israel. When God promised to do so, Moses, seeking further reassurance, boldly asked, “Now show me your glory.”

The Hebrew word kavod originally meant “heavy, weighty,” as in reference to armor used in battle. Over time the word be-came linked with wealth, honor, dignity, and power, and it eventually came to mean “glory.” All these attributes combine to describe God as El Hakkavod, “the God of Glory.”

Eyes of faith see El Hakkavod in creation. El Hakkavod, “the God of glory,” as revealed in Psalm 29, “thunders over the mighty waters.”

Now, Moses wasn’t satisfied to see God’s glory in nature; he wanted to see God’s face. But because of the weight of God’s glory, his utter uniqueness, perfect holiness, and complete transcendence, no one could see God’s face and live. Even so, God allowed Moses to see his glory after he passed by.

Moses caught a glimpse of God’s glory at Sinai, but today we can see God’s glory in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Amazing!

How will God’s glory revealed in Christ transform your life today? How can you reflect God’s significance to those around you?

God of Glory, we worship you in all your splendor and maj-esty. We see your glory today in the face of our Lord Jesus. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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