Thursday, September 29, 2011

2 Corinthians 4:17 - The Weight of Glory

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV)
The Weight of Glory

The word glory literally means 'weight' in Hebrew (kabod). The 'eternal weight' of glory evokes an incomprehensible weightiness: the weight of weight. This is the essence of God. Glory.

The most common image associated with glory is light. The glory shone in Moses face as he came off the mountain was bright enough that he had to cover himself for the sake of the Israelites. God could not reveal his full glory to Moses, "for man shall not see me and live" (Ex 33:20).

The glory of God is heavy light, the burden of which would crush a mortal.

Light Momentary Affliction

Paul says that our afflictions are preparing us for this glory. He calls these light momentary afflictions.
    We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV).
Bearing our cross is serious business, but the reason we endure (besides having the life of Jesus in us, v10-11) is the hope of incomparable glory. No matter how crushing our affliction, it does not, it cannot compare to the glory to come. That glory is so great that it dwarfs any earthly force.

The Greek for 'beyond all comparison' is "kath’ hyperbolēn eis hyperbolēn". No words can describe the weight of glory, for it is 'excessively to excessively' or 'hyperbole upon hyperbole'. A Universe of glory dwarfs the quark of momentary affliction.


The real point of this verse is that the heat and pressure of trials prepares us for the eternal weight of glory. The glory that Moses could not bear, the infinite weight of God's essence, that which is hyperbole upon hyperbole will be our reality. God is preparing us for living in his presence through the grief of trial and the testing by fire. How much preparation have you experience in your life?
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9 ESV)

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