The Treasure of Glory

I am going to take you on a treasure hunt today. The treasure we seek is not gold, silver, diamonds, or any precious jewels. Even if we did stumble upon a treasure chest full of diamonds, it wouldn’t be close to the infinite worth of the treasure I’m going to show you. What is this treasure? Let’s go through the Bible and I’ll show you what it is and how you can get your share.

Let’s start with this question: Did you know that God wants you to have knowledge of His glory? And I don’t mean just knowing about His glory. I mean knowing it by experience!

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Hab. 2:14). 

There must be something to this glory that God wants us to know about. So, let’s start in Old Testament and get a better grasp of what the glory of God actually is. We’ll start with Moses and his encounters with the glory of God.

Moses Saw the Glory 

The first place we come to in Scripture where we can find this treasure of glory is in Exodus.

The Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever.” Then Moses told the words of the people to the Lord. The Lord also said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people (Exodus 19:9-11).

God is telling Moses that the children of Israel need to get everything in order and consecrate themselves because His holiness will destroy any sin in their camp. The glory of God judges sin and will burn any corruption it finds, so God is warning them that they better be clean when he comes to visit.

Make a mental note of the “cloud” that God mentions here. This cloud is going to be seen in just about every glory encounter we read about in this post. In my opinion, the cloud was meant to filter out harmful radiation to protect the people from the high-energy glory rays. The full intensity of God’s glory would kill anything that gets too close. We can’t even stand next to a campfire, much less the glory of God. That’s why we need a new, upgraded body that is compatible with the glorious atmosphere of Heaven.

Skipping to verses 16-19: So it came about on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and lightning flashes and a thick cloud upon the mountain and a very loud trumpet sound, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Now Mount Sinai was all in smoke because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked violently. When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him with thunder.

When God entered the atmosphere, His glory energized all of the atoms and molecules around Him causing lightning and fire to break out on the mountain. What a sight this must have been! No wonder the Israelites trembled in fear at the sight. 

Of particular importance here is the mention of the “fire.” Like the cloud, this fire will always be present when God shows up. Let’s look at another passage that mentions this cloud and fire.

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain (Ex. 24:15-17).

Here we see the cloud and fire again. I want you to burn this image into your mind because it will all make sense when you read to the end of this. Here is another passage from Exodus that gives us an idea of what the glory actually is.

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen” (Ex. 33:18-23).

I love Moses’ heart in this passage! If you read the verses leading up to this, you will see that Moses was hungry to know God personally. Then, in a moment of amazing courage, he comes right out and asks God to show him His glory! Amazingly, God grants this request, but what I want you to see here is how God connects His glory with His “goodness.” God is so good that He shines with glory!

Ezekiel Saw the Glory 

I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light”  (Ez. 1:4).  Where have we seen this cloud, lightning and brilliant light before? It’s amazing how consistent the Bible is. 

Skipping to verse 26–Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man.  I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

It is interesting to note from the above passage that the Septuagint Greek Bible uses the word “electrou” for “glowing metal” in verse 27, which is where we get the word “electricity” and “electron.” Ezekiel saw God on His throne and he describes the light of God’s glory as electricity, which is very bright, white light. Coming out of God is a raging fire that originates from a spirit of holiness and purity. This is the powerful God we serve!

Daniel Saw the Glory 

As I looked, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened (Dan. 7:9-10). 

I’m sure you see the consistent pattern of fire and light, so no commentary is needed.

Peter, James, and John Saw the Glory 

After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him” (Matt. 17:1-5) 

The Apostle Paul Saw the Glory 

About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is   hard for you to kick against the goads” (Acts 26:13-14). 

Paul experienced what is called “flashed blindness,” which happens when the eyes are exposed to a bright flash of light. If you have ever been in a photograph that was taken by a camera with a flash, you know what it’s like to be blinded temporarily by the flash of light. There are a few seconds after the flash where you see dark spots. In Paul’s case, the flash of light that shone around the Lord Jesus was of such high intensity that it literally burned the retinas in his eyes leaving them disabled. It took a divine healing three days later to restore his vision.

The Church Needs to Have Knowledge of the Glory Because We are Headed for Glory

Now that I laid the foundation by showing how the Bible describes the glorious presence of God, we are now ready to see what this has to do with us and why this can be considered a “treasure.” Remember we started this post with a verse from Habakkuk that states the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory.  There is a reason God manifested His presence like this. There is a reason the Bible records these consistent accounts of the manifestation of the glory of His presence. There are no “filler words” in the Bible and it is all there by design.

It is important for the Church to have knowledge of the glory of God because we are headed for glory!  

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 5:10 that we have been “called to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 5:10). As members of His body we “boast in the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). That hope of glory, as the Apostle Paul wrote, is “Christ in us” (Col. 1:27). The day is rapidly approaching when all Christians, “in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52), will appear with Christ in His glory (Col. 3:4) and become like Him (1 John 3:2).  Jesus also told us that when He appears in glory, the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matt. 13:41-43). 

Treasure of Glory

So here is the point of all of this. Here is why I went through so many Scriptures to show you the glory of His presence and why I refer to the glory of God as a treasure.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us (2 Cor. 4:6-7).

What is this treasure? The treasure is not light. It’s not fire. It’s not energy. It’s not a cloud. It’s a PERSON! The treasure of glory is the person of the Holy Spirit residing in our physical bodies (jars of clay).

Look at what Paul wrote in Romans 8:15-17 

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:15-17).

The life of God is in us in the person of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ (Rom. 8:9), and He is transforming us into the image of Christ in “ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).  

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).

That glory, which comes from the Holy Spirit, is working in us transforming us as our inner man grows and makes room for more and more glory. He can’t give us the fullness of His glory because it is too great to contain in a mortal body. We get a “deposit” of this glory to guarantee our inheritance, but the fullness of the glory can only be experienced in a new, glorified body. Think of the fire, the smoke, and the tremendous power that we saw in the Bible when God manifested His glorious presence. Just a tiny bit of that power has been deposited into your spirit!

When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:13-14).

If you are a born again child of God, you have the treasure of all treasures residing in you. You have something worth far more than silver, gold, and diamonds living and breathing in you. God loves you so much and considers you to be of such worth that He would only fill you with Himself. Just think about the fact that God created mankind in such a way that His divinity would fit perfectly in us! No other creature can boast such a claim. God would never become a cat, a dog, or even an angel. However, He did become a human because only humanity can contain the glory of God.

God is the treasure of glory and He wants you to have more of Himself! Will you make room in your heart for Him and let Him transform you into His glorious image? Will you live your life with a constant awareness of what you have in Christ? Praise His holy name and thank Him for giving you all He has.