Have you ever come across a word in the Bible that you really didn’t understand? Then you find out it is a really popular word that believers like to use. Now you are in one of those awkward places where you are using a word a lot, nodding your head up and down in agreement but really have no clue what you are agreeing too. It’s like forgetting someone’s name but you work with them or see them all the time so you are embarrassed to ask them their name again and refer to them as “dude”or “hey you” or some other strange, nondescript reference. So I say we get stretched a little and look at a couple of words we’ve been throwing around but were afraid to admit we really didn’t understand.
First word is glory. The Hebrew word is kabowd. It has a number of related meanings like honor, splendor, majesty, riches, dignity, reputation, reverence, abundance and, of course, glory. It comes from another word that means to make heavy. (This isn’t a post about etymology so I won’t keep going. Also I really believe the Holy Spirit will lead us to truth so I will shortcut all the explanation from here forward and share the cliff notes.) The Greek word for glory is doxa which is similar in meaning to kabowd but has the added idea of opinion or judgement.
What is the point? I believe glory is the manifest goodness of God so let’s have some fun and do a word substitution thing. Whenever you see “glory”, substitute the word “goodness” for glory. Here are a few examples:
Exd 40:35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled on it, and the goodness of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
Deu 5:24 And you said, ‘Behold, the LORD our God has shown us his goodness and greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire. This day we have seen God speak with man, and man still live.
Psa 26:8 O LORD, I love the habitation of your house and the place where your goodness dwells.
Psa 96:8 Ascribe to the LORD the goodness due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Psa 102:15 Nations will fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth will fear your goodness.
1Cr 2:8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of goodness.
2Cr 3:18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the goodness of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of goodness to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of goodness, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,
2Th 2:14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jam 2:1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of goodness.
Pretty cool, right? Now try this one: “Love” or “Joy” for “Presence” which come from these verses:
Psa 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
1Jo 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Now check out the substitution.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the love/joy of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 4:16 Then Cain went away from the love/joy of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the love/joy of the Lord and dwell there forever.”
1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his love/joy continually!
Jonah 1:3 But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the love/joy of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the love/joy of the Lord.
Acts 3:20 that times of refreshing may come from the love/joy of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus,
2 Corinthians 4:14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his love/joy.
OK, this is a good one. These verses have both substitutions. I will show the before and after in the AMP version.
2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 Such people will pay the penalty and suffer the punishment of everlasting ruin (destruction and perdition) and eternal exclusion and banishment from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 When He comes to be glorified in His saints [on that day He will be made more glorious in His consecrated people], and [He will] be marveled at and admired [in His glory reflected] in all who have believed [who have adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him], because our witnessing among you was confidently accepted and believed [and confirmed in your lives].
2 Thessalonians 1:9-10 Such people will pay the penalty and suffer the punishment of everlasting ruin (destruction and perdition) and eternal exclusion and banishment from the love/joy of the Lord and from the goodness of His power, 10 When He comes to be showing his goodness in His saints [on that day He will be made more showing his goodness in His consecrated people], and [He will] be marveled at and admired [in His goodness reflected] in all who have believed [who have adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him], because our witnessing among you was confidently accepted and believed [and confirmed in your lives].
Can you see that in these verses, after you make the substitution, it is obvious that it is really bad outside His love and presence? Which “place” would you want to call home? I believe when you see this from a correct perspective your motivation to turn to God is born out of His goodness and love, right?
It is fun to have fun with words but there is a much greater purpose that I hope you are seeing. There are fundamental absolute truths that have precedent over others. I have shown you two of them. God is good and God is love. In his goodness and love is joy. Whenever you read something that seems to contradict those truths it is time to have fun with words, check the translation and see with a proper perspective. Look for His goodness and love even in the presence of His anger. This will really set you free and open your eyes to His Grace!!!