The Shekinah glory – What is it?

The Shekinah glory is the Hebrew name given to the presence of God dwelling on the earth. The word "shekinah" does not actually appear in the Bible, but in Hebrew it can mean "he caused to dwell" and it was the term given to a divine visitation of Yahweh. A notable example of the Shekinah glory is the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night that guided the Israelites through the desert after their exodus from Egypt (Exodus 13:20–22).

The Shekinah glory is a visible manifestation of God in the natural world. At times, the Spirit of the Lord would visit people in human form (Genesis 18:1–2), and at times, the Spirit of the Lord would "rush upon" a person and give them supernatural powers (Judges 14:6; 1 Samuel 10:6). But neither of these is the Shekinah glory. The Shekinah glory is the presence of God in a natural object, like the pillar of cloud or the burning bush (Exodus 3:2). When Moses spoke to God in the cloud, it was the same as speaking to Him "face to face" (Exodus 33:11). But when Moses asked to see God's glory directly, God refused, saying "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live" (Exodus 33:20). The direct visible presence of God is too much for human eyes or human mind to encounter without dying. This is why God chooses to appear to man in other forms.

Jesus Christ was the ultimate form of God appearing to man. Colossians 2:9 says that, "in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily." Jesus told His disciples that anyone who had seen Him had also seen the Father (John 14:9). Jesus is God incarnate. He is the second person of the Trinity who took on human flesh, lived a perfect life, died as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and rose back to life proving He is who He says He is and His work is sufficient for our salvation. The book of Hebrews beautifully describes Jesus as the High Priest who offered an eternal sacrifice in the holy place, so there would be no more separation between man and God, and no more need for sacrifices (Hebrews 9:1–28). When that body was torn on the cross, the veil hanging over the holy place was also torn in two (Matthew 27:51). This was a symbol—it meant that Christ had finished the work of grace, giving us access to the Lord Himself (Hebrews 4:16) and to His Holy Spirit, who came to dwell within us when we put our faith in Him (Ephesians 1:13–14; James 4:5; 2 Timothy 1:14).

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