The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran. Acts 7:2 KJV
The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran. Acts 7:2 NASB
According to the glorious gospel (or, the gospel of the glory – Newberry) of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust” 1 Timothy 1:11 KJV
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. 1Timothy 1:11 NASB
We can only speculate on what it must have been like when the God of glory appeared to Abraham. Steeped in idolatry, living in an advanced and prosperous culture, the blaze of that glory must have so blinded him to all that Ur could offer, that he willingly left it all to become a pilgrim and stranger. The neighbors and friends must have been mystified when they saw Abraham pack his bags and prepare to leave the London of his day.
His answer to their questions would have only increased their confusion. He was leaving at the call of the true and living God, a God Who was unseen but whose glory had so burned itself into Abraham’s soul that all the glory of Mesopotamia was as dross.
There was a glory, as well, linked with the law (2 Cor 3). The visible and the vocal signs, the tangible and the terrible, the fiery mount, the quaking, and the voice that shook the earth all bespoke the glory of God.
But a greater glory was to be manifested almost two millennia later. It was on a barren skull-like hill outside Jerusalem. It involved a cross where the Son of God, the Lord of glory, hung. It did not appear to the passers-by that there was any glory expressed in a man on a cross. It was the ultimate measure of shame which Rome could heap on a man. It was the final display of someone whom humanity viewed as despicable and unworthy of life. And yet … yet in that cross was being displayed the glory of God.
If glory is, as we have been taught, the manifestation of virtues, then consider all that was on display at Calvary. In the revelation of His name and glory to Moses, God announced Himself as being marked by mercy, grace, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving, and faithful (Ex 34:6, 7). The Lord Jesus revealed all these virtues in His life; but the fullest display, against the darkest of backgrounds, was reserved for Calvary.
It was there that the goodness of God was seen as never before. Think of His mercy and grace as men poured out their hatred against Him, the visible representative of the Godhead on the cross. Think of the longsuffering of God with humanity as we dared to cast the owner out of the vineyard. Think of how mercy and truth met together at that cross. Finally, consider the measure of love it displayed. Every attribute of God was seen: His righteousness and judgment, His hatred of sin, and His love for righteousness were manifested, but manifest in the amazing self-sacrifice and atoning work of His Son.
Little wonder that Paul could refer to the gospel as the being the good news of the glory of the blessed God. We may not know how the glory of God appeared to Abraham, what form it took. But we can look at Calvary and see the glory of God in its fullest and clearest display.
God caused His glory to pass by Moses; in so doing He proclaimed His Name. The two are linked together: His glory and His name. Recall that the Lord Jesus spoke of having “manifested Thy Name unto the men which Thou gavest Me” (John 17:6).