Exodus 20:18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.
19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”
21 So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was.
This must have been some spectacle, but it definitely put the fear of God in the Children of Israel.
Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. (Vs 18)
They were scared out of their wits. Not that Hebrews are so high strung, but if I were standing with them, I would have been shaken too.
To hear of Yahovah is one thing, but to actually experience His presence is another. For His presence, causes the earth to shake, and the ground to move under our feet, add to that thunder, and lightening, and the sound of the Shofar (Trumpet), along with a voice that shakes you to the core. Yes, they were afraid.
“The fear of YHVH is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
When we come to that place where we understand that He who created us, will judge us on the basis of what we have done with our lives. We also will fear for our lives. For it’s one thing to try to understand what holiness is, but to stand before Him, is to compare ourselves to that which is pure holiness.
Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” (Vs 19)
So rattled were they, that they didn’t want to hear God’s voice any more. But preferred to hear Moses. Therefore, Moses would be the voice of God to them, as long as he lives.
And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” (Vs 20)
Moses explains why YHVH spoke to them, and appeared to them. He came purposely to put fear into them, so that they would not sin. But Moses was not fearful, for He knew that He was chosen, to serve YHVH, He had been near enough to YHVH God to actually see His image. No! Moses was completely given over to God, and was His instrument to redeem the Children of Israel and bring them out of bondage. It was as if He was a part of YHVH God.
So, the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. (Vs 21)
Moses, from the time He drew near to the burning bush, had no life of His own.
Here is where the line is drawn between the average Christian, and those who are actually called to serve YHVH God. A man called of God, and chosen to serve Him, will actually seek Him out, and draw near to Him. But those who have not yet sought to be Holy, just as He is Holy. They might rather stay at a distance from YHVH, at least until they begin to feel as though they may be acceptable to Him.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
But to those who strive to serve YHVH God as Moses served, my heart is with them. For they have no life of their own, but all of their life is dedicated to others. All they desire from life is just to be near to God, our Elohim.
Truly they love one another, just as Yehoshua loved us, and gave himself for us.
Shalom my friends,