The Incomprehensible Radiance of God's Glory

The concept of God’s glory often elicits varied descriptions, ranging from a mist to a cloud. However, the attempt to encapsulate the divine brilliance in earthly metaphors falls short of the true nature of God’s glory.

This article unravels the biblical understanding of God’s glory as an unapproachable light, exploring the implications of His holiness, the transformative encounters of believers, and the overwhelming brilliance that transcends earthly comparisons.

Beyond Earthly Descriptions: Unveiling God’s Glory

The Misconception of God’s Glory as a Cloud

The frequent association of God’s glory with a cloud is a biblical occurrence, but the cloud serves as a veil rather than a manifestation. The divine brilliance is too magnificent for mortal eyes; thus, God hides Himself in the cloud. The cloud is not the glory itself but a necessary shield to prevent the consumption of all flesh in the presence of the Almighty God.

The Impossibility of Beholding God’s Face

Moses’ request to see God’s glory met with a resolute response, emphasizing the impossibility of beholding God’s face and living. The unapproachable nature of God’s light is highlighted, where mortal flesh cannot endure the radiant presence of the holy Lord. The cloud, therefore, becomes a merciful means by which God allows limited interaction while preserving human life.

In this divine encounter, God offers Moses an alternative, a way to experience His presence without the fatal consequences. He tells Moses that he will place him in the cleft of a rock and cover him with His hand as He passes by. Then, He will remove His hand, allowing Moses to see His back, but not His face.

This act of grace reveals the character of God—one who is willing to meet His creation within their limitations, providing a way for them to witness His glory without being consumed by it.

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Dwelling in Unapproachable Light

The apostle Paul provides a profound description of Jesus dwelling in unapproachable light, a light so intense that no man has seen or can see. This unparalleled brilliance goes beyond earthly comparisons which revealed the holiness of Christ in a transformative encounter.

Transformative Encounters: A Glimpse into Unapproachable Light

Paul’s Experience on the Road to Damascus

The apostle Paul’s encounter with a bright light on the road to Damascus echoes the theme of unapproachable light. The light, brighter than the Middle Eastern sun at noon, overwhelmed Paul, who could only perceive the emanating light from Jesus, not His facial features. This experience marked a pivotal moment in Paul’s life, leading to his radical transformation and unwavering commitment to the gospel.

The Unveiling of God’s Glory in the Last Days

Both Joel and Isaiah prophesied about the last days when the glory of the Lord would be revealed, and its brilliance would surpass the luminosity of the sun.

The imagery of the sun being darkened signifies the overwhelming nature of God’s glory that transcends all other light. In the second coming of Jesus, His glory will be so great that even the sun, though still burning, will be darkened in comparison.

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The Overcoming Brilliance of God’s Glory

The Consuming Nature of Unapproachable Light

God’s glory is not just a radiant presence; it is an all-consuming light. The metaphorical wearing of light as a garment, as described by the psalmist, accentuates the perfection and overwhelming brilliance of the Lord. The unapproachable light of God’s glory surpasses any earthly illumination, symbolizing His perfection and holiness.

The Terrifying Impact of God’s Glory

The unparalleled brilliance of God’s glory has a profound impact, as seen in the reaction of men in the last days. The imagery of people seeking refuge in the holes of rocks and caves underscores the overwhelming terror of the Lord’s glory. The glory of His majesty becomes a force that necessitates hiding from the brilliance that exceeds all comprehension.

As humanity confronts God’s presence, the inherent contrast between human frailty and the divine omnipotence becomes starkly apparent. The reaction of seeking shelter in the earth’s most primal sanctuaries—holes and caves—speaks to the instinctive desire to escape the unmediated and piercing light of divine scrutiny. The glory of God, often associated with light and purity, not only illuminates but also exposes the imperfections and sins that lie hidden within the human heart.

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Bible Study Verses Recommendations

  1. Exodus 33:20 (NKJV): Explore Moses’ interaction with God, where the impossibility of beholding God’s face is emphasized, highlighting the unapproachable nature of His glory.
  2. 1 Timothy 6:15–16 (NKJV): Delve into Paul’s description of Jesus dwelling in unapproachable light, underscoring the intensity and uniqueness of God’s glory.
  3. Psalm 104:2 (NKJV): Examine the psalmist’s depiction of the Lord wearing light as a garment, offering insights into the symbolic nature of God’s overwhelming brilliance.
  4. Acts 26:13 (NKJV): Reflect on Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, where the brightness of the light from heaven surpassed the intensity of the noonday sun.
  5. Isaiah 2:19 (NKJV): Consider Isaiah’s prophecy about people seeking refuge from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, reflecting on the impact of God’s overwhelming brilliance.


“Unapproachable Light” reveals the profound nature of God’s glory, surpassing earthly descriptions and comparisons. From the misconceptions of a cloud to transformative encounters with intense brilliance, believers are invited to contemplate the overwhelming holiness of Christ. As the last days approach, the unapproachable light of God’s glory becomes a force that demands reverence and prompts a deep reflection on our readiness to stand in the brilliance of His majesty.

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