The Glory not to be Revealed
Exodus 33:18
And he said, I beseech you, show me your glory.

I. THAT THERE IS IN THE DIVINE NATURE AN INTERIOR AND HIDDEN GLORY WHICH CANNOT BE REVEALED. The word glory is a large and comprehensive term, including all that is ineffably great and lovely in the Divine essence. This glory is everywhere revealed. The glory of God is not to be looked upon as something separate and distinct from His nature; but rather that nature in the sum and fulness of its perfection. And as His being is past finding out, so is His glory above the heavens.

II. THAT THE SUBLIMEST MANIFESTATION WHICH GOD HAS MADE OF HIS GLORY IS IN CONNECTION WITH THE GREAT REMEDIAL SCHEME OF MAN'S REDEMPTION. It matters little whether we conceive of God as light, or life, or love. It is the light which reveals the life, and it is the life which expresses itself in the love. If God be love, then the highest manifestation of this love must be regarded as the highest revelation of His glory. It is the infinite and ineffable benignity of the Divine nature which renders its glory so engaging and attractive. Light is blended with love — greatness is inseparable from goodness — majesty is mellowed and modified by mercy. The Cross exhibits the only ground on which God and man can ever meet. If the Divinity has never inhabited humanity, man can never rise into communion with God. If the necessary and all-effective means do not exist for impressing His image upon us while we are on the earth, we can never see His face in heaven. To behold His glory we must partake His purity.

III. THAT NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REVELATION WHICH GOD HAS MADE OF HIMSELF, THEY ARE THE PURER AND THE LOFTIER SPIRITS AMONGST US WHICH ARE FAVOURED WITH THE MORE SPECIAL MANIFESTATIONS OF DIVINE GLORY. We assert it without fear of contradiction, that even Nature herself will withhold all her higher and more glorious revelations unless there be a correspondence or likeness between her own spirit and the spirit of those who would commune with her. So in the intercourse between mind and mind. In like manner God never reveals Himself in the depth of His glory to any man, till the man has first yielded his whole nature to the purifying and transforming power of the Spirit, and has thus taken on higher degrees of moral purity and perfection. It is only the pure in heart that can see God. As the Jew had his outward ceremonial ablutions, the Christian should have his inward spiritual purifications. An external reformation does not necessarily imply an internal renovation; but if the inner man is renewed and sanctified, the outer man must exhibit the effects of the change. We must be cleansed both in the flesh and in the spirit.

IV. THAT THESE DEEPER MANIFESTATIONS OF DIVINE GLORY ARE NOT GIVEN AS MERE FRUITLESS EXHIBITIONS, BUT TO QUICKEN THE LOVE AND TO INCREASE THE DEVOTEDNESS OF THOSE TO WHOM THEY ARE IMPARTED. The heart-throbs of piety have their expression in a life of enlightened and cheerful activity. We have each a work to do in the world, and for God; and to do it as the work of God ought to be done, we need not only the symbols of His presence and love, but the baptism of His Spirit — the plenitude of light and the fulness of grace.

V. THAT THE REVELATION OF THIS GLORY IN THE WORLD TO COME WILL FOR EVER FIX THE ATTENTION, AND HEIGHTEN THE RAPTURE, AND ENERGIZE THE ACTIVITY OF THE INHABITANTS OF THAT BLESSED STATE. The brighter and the fuller the revelation, the more profound and fixed will be our attention. Every thought will be captivated, every emotion will be stirred, and the joy of the soul will rise into rapture, heightened and perpetuated for ever.

(R. Ferguson, LL. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.

WEB: He said, "Please show me your glory."

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