Holiness: The Weight of His Glory
“And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’” Isaiah 6:3
In my last blog entry, I wrote about the fact that often, as I read my English Bible, I come across words that have not been translated as accurately as possible. One of these words is found in Isaiah 6:3; the Hebrew word “kevodoh” has been translated into the word “glory”, which is, in my opinion, a mistranslation. A more accurate translation of this verse would be, “…the whole earth is filled with his honor” (emphasis mine).
In this entry, I want to expand on the word “Kevodo”. The root word for “Kevodo” in Hebrew is “Kaved” which means “heavy.” Often times we treat God’s presence in a casual, almost mundane way, like it is just part of our day-to-day life. His presence, however, is not something to be taken lightly. One example of the heaviness of His presence is found in the following scripture:
“When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.”
1 Kings 8:10-11
In this verse it says that the priests could not perform their service because the glory of the Lord had filled His temple (English translation). However, a more accurate way to translate the Hebrew would be that the priests could not stand because the “Kavod” – honor or the heavy presence – of the Lord was in the place.
So what does this mean for you and me? In short, we can’t treat God’s presence in a casual way, for when His presence is truly in a place, it will be so heavy upon us that we will not be able to stand; we will be on our faces before Him, in awe of who He is and just how holy He is. This will in turn motivate us to strive for a clean and pure heart before Him as we continue to be transformed to His image.
I encourage you to keep your eyes on the Lord, to remember the importance of allowing the Holy Spirit to clean the “dirty rooms” in our lives, and most importantly, to give the honor that He deserves not just with a good lip service but through the action of our every day lives.
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