General revelation is God’s revealing himself to all people everywhere throughout all time and in all places. There is a certain glory that is available for people to see that is clear to them that God exists. Yet, there is a glory that only exists for the people of God that can be seen by none other than them. I think immediately of Paul on the road of Damasucus where it says:
““But it happened that as I was on my way, approaching Damascus about noontime, a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ “And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’ “And those who were with me beheld the light, to be sure, but did not understand the voice of the One who was speaking to me.” (Acts 22:6–9 LSB)
There it is that the people could see a light, but they did not understand it. That is the best a natural man can observe of the glory of God. It is not universal to all people like natural revelation. Natural men have natural revelation, but saved men experience a peculiar glory. It is particular, unique or as I say here, peculiar in its scope. The word peculiar here means different from ordinary or what is expected. It is not the norm. It is not a given.
In Exodus 13:20–22 the people of Israel experienced a peculiar glory.
“And they moved on from Succoth and encamped at Etham, on the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” (Exodus 13:20–22 ESV)
This was unique or peculiar to the people of Israel. It was a gracious underserved gift to people chosen of God, not for everyone. Glory is attached to grace, and grace to predestination. As R.J. Rushdoony observed:
“The pillars of fire and cloud represent the particular presence and grace of God to His people. His glory is not a general fact, like a magnificent sunset, available to all who chose to see it, but a particular grace to those whom He chooses to manifest it” (Exodus: Commentaries on the Pentateuch Vol. 2, p. 567).
Natural man wants a God who will not determine anything, but a God who lays in the power of man to choose. But God is the one who chooses to reveal what he will to whom he will. Those who favor the peculiar glory of God as something to be seen by all men also favor in the words of Rushdoony “totalitarian utopias” (Ibid., 571). The natural move for a culture permeated by anti-calvinistic churches is communism and socialism because they want to control everyone and everything including God and His Word. They will soon discover that Yahweh reigns and not they. He has mercy on whom he will have mercy and compassion on whom he will have compassion. To make his glory available to all is the cry of the man-entered church. Their drive is to give everyone an “equal” opportunity. However, the opportunity has been given in natural revelation, not in grace. Grace comes to those whom God sends it, and man does not determine where it will become effectual—God does. His glory is not up for sale. It is not something to be marketed on social media. It is not something that will ever be appreciated by natural men, but always suppressed in every way possible. Yet, God’s glory is something that can never be governed by man. God’s glory has a peculiar predestinating power so that hope would not rest in the arbitrary fickle wills of natural men, but on the God who has grace.