Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Fear Of The LORD From Mount Sinai To Today

One of my favorite events in the Bible is when God first gave the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel, before Moses received them on tablets.  We are all familiar with the account of Moses coming down the mountain with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments, but, what most people do not know is that God actually spoke the Commandments to the people of Israel from a atop mount Sinai.  The account is found in Exodus 19 and 20.  In chapter 19 God tells Moses to let the people know He will be speaking to them, and to prepare. Then we see the scene described as such: Exodus 19:16  On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 
Exo 19:17  Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 
Exo 19:18  Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the LORD had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. Above you can see the real Mount Sinai and you can also plainly see the top is blackened as if it were burned. Chapter 20 reveals to us the reaction of the people as they are exposed to this magnificent display of God's power: Exodus 20:18  Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 
Exo 20:19  and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die." 
Exo 20:20  Moses said to the people, "Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin."
      The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  So impressive was God's power and majesty and so terrified were the people that they basically told Moses, "Never let God speak to us ever again, you talk to God and tell us His message."  Today, our society seems to have no regard for God, never mind respect or fear.  As society moves farther and farther from acknowledging God and His holiness, it is up to us as individuals to seek out His holiness in our personal lives and model it to others.   We are called to reveal God's message of redemption through the cross, just as Moses became the spokesman for God for the children of Israel.  God revealed His requirement for justice in the Garden of Eden, He revealed His holiness on mount Sinai and His grace on Mount Calvary.  We have to live out His holiness and grace while keeping His justice in mind.
   Unless we who are called by His name are willing to live by His standards, we have no hope of making a difference in the world around us.  I want to encourage all of us who are His to examine our hearts and ask God to reveal to us how we can be an agents of revival.  Let's seek God's will and plan for our lives.  Just as God spoke to the people from Mt. Sinai, He speaks to us today through His holy Word and guides us by His Holy Spirit.  Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples.  Let's build each other up and see what God can do through us!

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