Fear Not: Moses and the Mountain

Fear Not: Moses and the Mountain

Fear Not: Moses and the Mountain.

“The people said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!’ ‘Don’t be afraid,’ Moses answered them, ‘for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!’ As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.” (Exodus 20:19-21).

By this time, the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea and Moses had led them to Mt. Sinai, the mountain of God. This is the sacred place where Moses met Yahweh in the burning bush and received his marching orders to free the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. And now at this holy meeting place they are meant to meet with God as a people. The mystery, majesty and power of God’s presence at the mountain made itself known quite dramatically… loud thunder, bright lightning, billowing smoke, flaming fire, a thick cloud, an earthquake that shook the mountain, and a heavenly trumpet that blared with increasingly louder, unearthly blasts. The Israelites were understandably scared out of their wits. They were terrified of God’s presence, and they didn’t want God to speak to them directly. So they pulled back from the mountain to create some distance, and they asked Moses to be their intermediary. But Moses told the people that it wouldn’t do any good to have this paralyzing fear of God. The Lord wanted to see if they could trust Him even in the midst of His glory. And God wanted them to have a proper sense of awe and reverence. God thought that maybe this holy fear, this liberating fear, would keep the people from sinning out of impudence or arrogance. Experiencing God’s presence in this way was intended to bring them to their knees in humility and respect before the Almighty God. God wanted the people to acknowledge their powerless weakness in the presence of an immensely strong God.

An Answer to Fear. Recognize the unspeakable power and purity of God, and humble yourself in awe before Him. Accept the Creator’s supernatural ability to change any situation if it is  His will. Trust in the ultimate power of the Maker of heaven and earth, trust in His merciful reach, and rest in the arms of Almighty God. 

Take Heart: “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.”  (Psalm 91:1-5).