What are some examples of Shekinah found in Genesis to Revelation?
The Shekinah glory was God’s special presence especially showing up after Mount Sinai in Israel. As they wander in the wilderness, God guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
His Shekinah glory was mostly seen in the tabernacle and temple. It was a weighty presence, a cloud that made it hard to stand. The pillar of the cloud is described in connection with the Shekinah glory of the Lord (Exodus 33:9-10).
The angel of the Lord also appears in connection with the Shekinah glory of the Lord (Exodus 14:19). It’s most likely this angel represented the presence of the Lord, or was the Lord himself. Many of the appearances of the angel of the Lord suggest divinity, perhaps Jesus himself.
The Shekinah glory is always connected with the presence of the Lord, relationship with Israel and Moses, and God’s desire to be amongst his people. He appears at the installment of Solomon’s Temple (2 Chronicles 7:1).
His presence fills the Temple in Solomon’s day, but he also fills the tabernacle when Moses goes in to speak with him (Exodus 33:9). The Lord’s Shekinah presence hindered the priests from carrying out their duties because they could not stand in his presence (2 Chronicles 7:2; 1 Kings 8:10).
The Shekinah glory was also seen in the fire that came down from heaven as God’s presence filled the temple (2 Chronicles 7:3). It was a presence of power, but also a personal presence. God spoke with Moses from the glory cloud.
It’s quite possible that the burning bush experience from Moses in Exodus 3 was also a Shekinah glory moment. The ground where the Lord’s presence resided in the tree became holy. Moses had to take his sandals off while he stood on that ground. The Lord’s presence made the ground holy.
The Shekinah glory is described in two ways. The first is a brilliance, a light, that settled on the face of Moses. When he would leave the tent of meeting or the tabernacle after spending time in God’s Shekinah presence, his face would glow and he covered it up with a veil.
But the Shekinah glory is not only a radiance or light, it is also a weighty presence, a heaviness that settles. The word “glory” in the Bible references these two possibilities, radiant light and heaviness.
The radiant light shows the brilliance of God, that there is no darkness in him. We can take this figuratively to mean that there is no sin or wickedness in him. But we can also take it literally, as John does when he says that God is there light in the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:4).
The weighty and heavy matter of God’s presence among us shows that he is the priority in our lives. Nothing matters as much as he does. As we minister in his presence, we feel the weight and importance of who he is.
This can also be taken literally to mean that the people could not stand in God’s presence. When you are in God’s presence and can’t stand, the better thing to do is to bow before him.