Shekinah Glory

Q: Would you explain to me shekinah glory?

A: To understand this term, we must begin with the term, “glory.” Everything has some form of glory that will identify it. Glory has to do with the type of light that distinguishes someone or something, and we know that such light represents the life that is present. Glory points to not only distinction but identification and attraction. There is the glory of the world which is temporary that attracts the lust of the flesh, the glory of man (that of pride), which proves to be vain (useless), the glory of man’s religion, (man centered) that often proves to be lifeless that points to a false glory. As you can see, such glory in most cases is surface and temporary.

      The word, “shekinah” is not found in the Bible but according to the Jewish Rabbis that coined this expression it is the best word to describe the concept of God’s glory. It actually means, “He caused to dwell,” signifying that of divine visitation or the presence or dwelling of the Lord God on earth in the midst of His people.

      It is important to keep in mind, that no man can look into the fullness of God’s glory and live; therefore, His glory is covered in some way. God’s glory was on Mount Sinai but it was shrouded in a dark cloud. His presence among His people in the wilderness was symbolized by a pillar of cloud during the day that they followed when it lifted, and they rested in the camp in the light of the pillar of fire that burned through the night. His glory in the Most Holy Place was separated by a veil and when the priest came into this place once a year on the Day of Atonement, he had to first fill the compartment with incense (Exodus 13:21-22; 19:16; 30:1-10; 33:9, 20).

      There are many other symbols of God’s shekinah glory throughout the Old Testament, especially in the book of Ezekiel. However, in the New Testament, God’s glory was veiled in humanity. In Jesus Christ dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead in bodily form (Colossians 2:9). We know on the Mount of Transfiguration that the veil of Jesus’ humanity parted and we are told that “his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light” (Matthew 17:2)

      Today the born-again Christian houses the presence of the Holy Spirit, and if the Holy Spirit is allowed to have His way, the believer will be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17;6:19-20). The Apostle Paul explains how this image will manifest itself in the believer’s life in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”