For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.
- Habakkuk 2:14
The world as we know it is going to end. If you believe the Mayans it may happen this year. Even if you don’t believe the Mayans, it will happen sometime. If the Mayans are wrong, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise. It’d be just one more miscalculation to put up the next to Harold Camping’s and the myriads of others. But to think about the end of the world is fascinating to some people, especially Christians. You can find all kinds of crazy, and I mean crazy, stuff on the end of the world.
The Bible itself isn’t silent on the end of all things. There is an entire book devoted to it – Revelation. Yet, so far time has continued to go. Prediction after prediction has failed but everything else has gone on as usual. Nations rise and fall. Wars come and go. Babies are born and people die. Winter turns to spring and summer into fall. The world goes on. But what is the end? What does it look like? What do we know that is certain? At least one thing: the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will fill the earth.
As I was teaching a class on the Minor Prophets, I came to this verse in Habakkuk and was stopped by it. What I long to see, what I meet with a group of men each Friday morning to pray for, what stirs my soul to think about will one day come true. All revivals of the past and those that lay ahead of us in the future will all be shadows of the Big One that is to come. There will come a day when the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. Do you know what that means? As the waters cover the sea! The sea is mind-boggling for its vastness, its power, its depth, its width, its volume, its density. One day, the glory of the Lord will be like that. There will not be a place on earth that will not be soaked in it. And we will see it. It will be real to us. No more hoping for it. It’s here! As Jonathan Edwards once said we will “swim in an ocean of love...the very air and breath will be nothing but love.” This is heaven. This is what Christians long for. This is the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.
The Lord rules the world now. This isn’t just something in the future. There is a kingdom presence on the earth today. We know that. But, we also know those who do not acknowledge that the Lord even exists. To some, Jesus is as real as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. But in the age to come, there will be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who Jesus is. Everyone will understand. At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. This is the future. This is the knowledge of the glory of the Lord coming upon us as the waters cover the sea.
One day we will be bathed in the glory of the Lord. We will no longer fear. We will no longer doubt. We will no longer struggle. We will no longer even cry. Joy will explode like a nuclear bomb from the presence of the Lord and our lives will be forever illuminated by his glory. Like the fish in the deepest part of the sea, we will be surrounded with the very thing that brings us life. And life we shall have. I can’t wait.