Imagine standing at the foot of Mount Sinai and there were thunder and lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain and the sound of the trumpet fills the air. In fact, the trumpet was so loud that that you tremble. You come out of the camp to meet with God at the foot of Mount Sinai which is completely in smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke is ascending like the smoke of a furnace and the mountain quakes. The trumpet blast becomes louder and louder.
How would you feel? What would be going through your mind? Would you be terrified to see the Lord come down upon the top of the mountain? Would you want to break through and gaze at the Lord at the risk of your life or would you stay as far away as possible, watching the manifestation from a safe distance? This was the predicament of the Israelites when they camped before Mount Sinai.
Three months after the people left the land of Egypt, they entered the Wilderness of Sinai. The Lord told Moses to tell them to consecrate themselves for two days, then on the third day, He would go down on Mount Sinai in their sight. They were warned not to go up to the mountain or touch its base or they will be put to death. Boundaries were set around them which they could not step over. When they hear the trumpet sound long, they were to go to near the mountain. God explained to Moses why He was doing this. “Behold, I come to you in the thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak to you, and believe you forever.” The people could not break through the barrier set for them to gaze at the Lord. Only Moses was allowed to speak to God face to face.
The people were terrified when they saw the thunder and lightning, heard the sound of the trumpet and saw the mountain smoking. They stood afar off, trembling. They said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
Moses reassured them, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” The people continued to stand afar off while he drew near to where God was.
I don’t know how I would have reacted if I were there but I am thankful that today, we can go near God without fear. Thanks to Jesus’ atoning work on the cross, we can boldly approach the throne of grace. Jesus made it possible for us to enjoy a loving relationship the same God who descended on the mountain in the wilderness.
God wants us to seek Him. He promised, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Do we seek Him or do we stand afar, afraid to get too close? Do we ask others to talk to Him on our behalf instead of talking to Him ourselves?
Today, I encourage you not to just stand at the foot of the mountain. Climb it. God has removed the boundaries that would keep you from Him because of His Son. Don’t let fear or sin or anything keep you from climbing up that mountain to meet your Lord.
Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out (Ezekiel 34:11).
Sources: Exodus 19, 20:18-20