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Redemptive History in Two Verses: To the Israelites Belongs the Glory

by | Mar 26, 2015 | Missions Articles

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is the fourth in a 10-part series on Romans 9:4-5 exploring Israel’s relationship with God and what it means for the rest of humanity. The views expressed in this series are the author’s and are not necessarily endorsed by Modern Day Missions.

What is the glory of the Israelites? It is the glory of Yahweh — the one true God of the universe — that the Israelites were able to experience in a unique, indelible way. The ancient Hebrew scriptures declare that “the whole earth” is filled with the glory of Yahweh, so every living creature is aware of his existence and can experience his glory — even if only indirectly. Yet the Israelites experienced the glory of Yahweh in such a tangible manner that he provoked them to an immediate response of awe, fear, wonder and worship.Yahweh’s glory was literally, at times, behind the Israelites, in front of them, above them and on them. Yahweh’s glory is difficult to describe, but it is the radiance of God. It appeared to the Israelites as a light, as a fire, as a cloud and more.

God’s glory was behind the Israelites when he was leading them out of captivity — after their centuries of enslavement at the hands of Egypt. The glory of Yahweh was in front of the Israelites as he was leading them to their new home in the land of Canaan. That glory was above the Israelites on Mount Sinai, where Yahweh gave Moses instructions to pass along to the Israelites to teach them how to properly related to God and to each other. His glory was on them when Israel’s third king, Solomon, dedicated a temple in honor of Yahweh — and the glory of God was so heavy among them that the priests of the temple could not stand to minister.Yahweh’s glory also was on his appointed ambassadors as they stood with him on a mountain 2,000 years ago and they were privy to a dimension beyond this one — where his “departed” spokesmen live with God forever. In the future, Yahweh will be so gloriously visible to the entire world that he will negate the need for sun, moon or stars. The entire world will see by his light.

Raymond Billy is a discipleship overseer with Youth With A Mission in Kona, Hawaii.

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