Scripture Reading: Exodus 40:34-38
We’ve come to the last five verses, and the spectacular conclusion, of the book of Exodus. Take a look at what happens when Moses finishes the work:
“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting because the cloud had settled upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. In all the travels of the Israelites, whenever the cloud lifted from above the tabernacle, they would set out; but if the cloud did not lift, they did not set out―until the day it lifted. So the cloud of the LORD was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel during all their travels” (Exodus 40:34-38).
What is it that Moses sees that so fills the tabernacle that he can’t even get into it? The glory of the Lord―the very thing that Moses had asked to see back in Exodus 33:18 when he said, “Now show me your glory.” But this time, Moses wasn’t the only one who got to see it―everyone got to see it!
There’s a lesson here for me, for you and for everyone who does their work as if working for the Lord: when you’ve finished the work, been obedient to the vision, and brought it to its conclusion, the glory of the Lord can finally come down on your work in a way that everyone can see it.
I’ve had some experiences in my life where I’ve sensed the presence of God in a way that I can only describe as “the glory of the Lord.” I’m not an expert in the glory of the Lord, but from what I’ve read in the Bible, from what I’ve learned from other Christians, and from what I’ve experienced in my own life, the glory of the Lord seems to be actual “stuff,” like the air we breathe. It’s real, physical and tangible. It can be seen, sensed and felt.
I’ve sensed it during worship, when one time I was just singing to God in what seemed to be a normal, enjoyable worship experience, and all of a sudden, the presence of the Lord was so real and tangible that I felt like I couldn’t move if I wanted to. And I didn’t want to! I wanted to stay in His presence as long as I possibly could!
I’ve sensed it during my quiet times, when once I was sitting back on my couch, writing in my journal, and suddenly felt like melted butter was being poured into my chest. Maybe it was the oil of the Holy Spirit, if that sounds more palatable, but whatever words I would use to describe it couldn’t do justice to what I felt during those precious minutes with the Lord.
I’d love to be able to finish a project and see the glory of the Lord come down and cover it in a way that everyone could see it, so that I couldn’t even stand up anymore! At that point, I wouldn’t care! If my purpose in doing all that I do is to worship the Lord, as was the case for the Israelites, then who cares if He bowls me over when it’s done, and I’m laid out flat on the floor in His presence? That’s right where I’d want to be anyway! I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else!
If the Lord picked up and moved, I’d want to pick up and move with Him, like the Israelites who followed Him. I wouldn’t want to stay back! I’d want to be with God!
My prayer for you as you work on your own projects for the Lord, and even as you come to the the end of this study with me, is that when you’ve finished the work, been obedient to the vision, and brought it to its conclusion, that the glory of the Lord would show up in such a way that you, and everyone else, can see it.
Now, may the Lord show you His glory!
Want to learn more? You can watch a podcast with more discussion about this topic below.