The waning years of the 20th Century, and the early part of the 21st Century, will be remember both as an era of mushrooming technology and vanishing virtue. As the world's scientific achievements increase, its moral discernment declines. Institutions once sacred are now scorned. Beliefs, that our less sophisticated forefathers revered and respected, are now relinquished and ridiculed. It seems that this present generation has spawned a noticeable decrease in reverence, and this tendency is nowhere more evident than in religion. Even the church has a grossly inadequate appreciation of who God is and how He should be revered.
"And it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. " Exodus 19:16
Hearing the cries of His people in the night, God was motivated by His great love for them. The Israelites witnessed the awesomeness of God's power when He brought the ten plagues on Pharaoh, then divided the Red Sea and then closed it again on Pharaoh and his army. Now they are standing at the foot of this mountain described above, and are frozen in fear. They tell Moses: "You speak to us, don't let God speak to us or we will die."
As God's representative, Moses was summoned to Mount Sinai. Here God revealed that He would make Israel a "peculiar treasure" unto Himself above all other people. They would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation if they would but obey God's voice and keep His covenant. Moses returned to the people with this proposition and they all agreed. In three days the covenant would be established, but the holiness of Almighty God is so awesome that much preparation would have to be made before the Israelites could enjoy His presence. Only the pure in heart can "see" God. Moses was to sanctify the people for two days. They were to wash their clothes, an outward sign of the fact that they were inwardly clean. This cleansing within must stem from a heartfelt repentance, deep contrition, and a sincere desire to live righteously before God. Such preparation each man had to make for himself.
The Holy One of Israel appeared in a thick cloud because His presence was awesome, too tremendous to be seen physically. Accompanying the clapping of thunder was the voice of the trumpet, exceedingly loud. So terrifying was the trumpet that the people in the camp below were dumbfounded. They stood in mute reverence to the holiness of Almighty God. The whole mountain quaked greatly, shaking from top to bottom, as the people stood in amazement.
The awfulness and terror of this event is even more remarkable when we consider that God was not descending to Mount Sinai as Israel's Judge. He was not about to pronounce a sentence of doom on them, but in love He was drawing them unto Himself through the Sinai covenant. The smoke, fire, cloud, trumpet, lightning, and thunder were all to bring Israel to revere Him, for He is holy and almighty. He is of incredible majesty.
Although it is the duty of the Christian to praise God, it is our first duty to reverance and fear Him, regardless of how our present society, or even the church neglect or ignore His Majesty. He alone is worthy of all reverence. Remember His motive behind this New Covenant is also to establishe a loving relationship with Him.
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12:28 , 29
Be blessed today as you revere the Lord and spend some time praising Him for who He is; always remembering that you are loved!!!!