As I read Exodus 19, several emotions came to the surface. It was the account of when God met them from the mountain in a thick cloud. Verse 9 says, “…that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever…”
They were to consecrate themselves, wash their clothes, and were instructed to not go up to the mountain or to touch its base. Verse 12 says, “…Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.”
Verse 16 says, “…in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.”
What was it like for the children to live in that moment? Put yourselves in their place and see how you would feel. In 1998 we were in Costa Rica on a short term mission trip. Our meeting was way up in the mountains that was very verdant.
The pastor took our team up to see the ‘inactive’ volcano. The closer we got to the mountain, the more I noticed the sparseness of plants and flowers. It was eery, like something was wrong.
As we stood around the base of the mountain, I could feel the earth slightly trembling. That was a moment of truth. Should the mountain blow, there was no escape. We were so little, vulnerable, and the magnitude of power was overwhelming.
Verse 18 says, “Now Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.”
That was all pre-cross. The people were terrified. Hebrews 12:18 gives us another inkling. It says, “For you have not come to the mountain…that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest.” Verse 21 were Moses’ words, “…so terrifying was the sight…I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”
He is Ever Present, forgiving, merciful, gracious, caring, loving, tender, and compassionate. Proverbs 24:14 Amplified says, “The secret (of the sweet, satisfying companionship) of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its (deep, inner) meaning.”
This is post-cross. Verse 22, 24 says, “But you have come…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant…” Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Boldly without quaking hearts.