I’m probably connecting two dots this morning that perhaps aren’t intended to be connected, but they’ve got me thinking about the glory of God and what encountering that glory might be like. Two verses from two of my readings, coming together in my mind and causing me to think about “global warming” in a whole new way.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. (Habakkuk 2:14 ESV)
. . . and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished. (Revelation 15:8 ESV)
In Habakkuk, God responds to the prophet’s concern that God has chosen the wicked and ruthless Chaldeans to judge, in Habakkuk’s mind, the “not-as-wicked-as-them” people of God. Habakkuk didn’t doubt the need for divine intervention to deal with the downward spiral and increasing infidelity of God’s people. He just hadn’t seen the Chaldeans as the solution. And so God responds, that judgment awaits the Chaldeans as well for their arrogant and violent godlessness.
And in that prophetic word, God says that it points to a future day, a day when “the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD.” God’s glory will be known by experience, it will be encountered up close and personal. And I left my reading in Habakkuk wondering what will it be like when the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth? And then my reading in Revelation.
In John’s vision, preparation is being made for God’s final judgment on rebellious earth. Those who have conquered the beast, at the cost of their lives by the blood of the Lamb, are before the throne singing the song of Moses (15:3). All who will repent have repented and received God’s salvation. God’s patience, thus, has run out. And as “the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven” is opened, seven angels emerge with seven plagues (15:5-6).
And as the heavenly holy of holies is open the glory fills the sanctuary. And with that glory, there’s smoke. And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Just as, when the glory of God led the people out of Egypt, it was a pillar of smoke by day and column of fire by night (Ex. 13:21). As when the glory of the deliverer God descended upon Mount Sinai and the mount “was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire” (Ex. 19:18).
So, as I ask myself, what will it be like when the earth is filled with glory of God, I come up with global warming.
The fire of God’s glory manifest. Not a consuming fire, instead a fire that brings true light. A fire that is manifest by the King of kings and infuses the inhabitants of all the earth as they will know the glory, receive the glory, and live out the glory. Not a climate change, but a people change. The King reigns, and His subjects emit the warmth of His glory.
What will it be like on that day when the His glory fills the earth? Don’t really know. I can only imagine.
Until then, let’s live in the hope and anticipation of that day of global warming.
By God’s grace . . . for God’s glory.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come!