Now Playing: Are we reverent toward our Creator ?
"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."
The waning years of the 20th century will undoubtedly be remembered 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. The last third of this century 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.
In the third month after the exodus Israel entered the desert of Sinai and encamped at the foot of the great mountain. 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. In addition, fences or barriers were to be set up in public preparation to meet God. To impress Israel with the awesome majesty of God and the reverence with which they should meet Him, the mountain was itself declared holy - off limits to everyone but Moses and Aaron. None could touch it or even approach it beyond the fences.
With the preparations made and the people standing by in silent awe, "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). The reverence for God that this event was designed to instill in Israel renders vain any attempt to describe adequately the scene.
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 revere and fear Him. He alone is worthy of all reverence. "Wherefore receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; For our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:28-29). Let's revere the Lord today and spend some time praising Him for who He is.
Praise ye the Lord, the Almighty,
The King of creation!
O my soul praise Him,
For He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear,
Now to His temple draw near;
Join me in glad adoration!
(selected from W. Kroll)
Posted by dondegr8 at 9:39 AM EST
Updated: Friday, April 1, 2005 9:58 AM EST