Shekinah Glory

The word Shekinah does not appear in the Bible, but the word “shakan” clearly does (Ex 24:16) and is often translated as “tabernacle” or “dwelling” of God. This reveals a wonderful truth about God’s desire to be intimately involved in our daily lives. He wants to become more real to us and give us a dwelling place for fellowship and covenant relations. It points toward our greatest quest… to know God personally.

The word “Shekinah” was coined from Jewish history as Rabbis struggled for a way to define the cloud of glistening substance that so permeated their worship and their tradition. Although the experiences of Biblical characters seemed difficult to define; they were nonetheless, powerful seedbeds of revelatory truth that could only be preserved, if they could be documented. The oral traditions of the day were simply not enough. Israel held strong convictions that their worship history was filled with divine visitations of the Presence of God. Seasons and moments in the Shekinah Glory were significant markers that could only be replicated if they were described and handed to the next generation. What they wanted us to know is that God could concentrate His Presence and actually display a manifestation of Himself and His activity.

Shekinah Glory was the visible Presence of God.

The Shekinah Glory was perhaps most evident when the Israelites set out from Succoth in their escape from Egypt. Appearing as a cloudy pillar in the day and a fiery pillar by night, the Glory brought direction and comfort to God’s People; while at the same time, keeping the approaching Egyptians at a distance. “After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people” (Ex 13:20-22).

Shekinah Glory reveals the Goodness of God.

When God speaks to Moses out of the pillar of cloud, it was to assure him that His Presence would accompany the Israelites in their wilderness journey (Ex 33:9-11). Notice how God speaks to Moses “face to face” out of the cloud. When Moses asks to see God’s Glory, he is told: “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live” (Ex 33:18-23). Amazingly God would step out of hiding and show Moses His Goodness… guarding him within the cleft of a rock and the shade of His hand. Why? Because God wanted Moses to know Him intimately. 

  • The Apostle John said, “We beheld His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14).
  • The Apostle Paul said, “…beholding as in a mirror the Glory of the Lord, (we) are being transformed…” (2 Cor 3:18). 

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ was the dwelling place of God’s Glory. The clear expression; Word of the Father, that became flesh and dwelt among us. He was the Goodness of God made manifest and every person He healed, restored or delivered from demons was experiencing the Shekinah Glory for themselves. They were understanding for the first time the intimate grace and truth of God revealed through His Son. 

Spiritual Signposts in the Glory!

The Holy Spirit is the Shekinah Glory. His purpose is to brood over us like He did Mary, clothe us like He did those disciples in the upper room and equip us with ministry tools like He did Steven, Philip or the Apostle Paul. Shekinah Glory is still as real as ever and we must actively seek the Lord for signposts and spiritual markers that enable us to know His Presence in our journey. Jesus said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (Jn 14:21). What He was saying is; that as the Holy Spirit makes His dwelling in our hearts, we would come to know Him intimately. The word manifest means “to make known”. The Holy Spirit makes the Presence and Glory a tangible part of our daily worship as we are loving and living in relationship with Christ.

Jesus said, “the works that I do, he (you and I as believers) shall do also and greater works than these…” (Jn 14:12). How? In the Glory provided by the Holy Spirit, as you live and move and enjoy the Presence of God. Experiencing the Goodness and abiding in the Shekinah Glory… its where the People of God find their dwelling place.

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