Jesus in the concluding remarks to the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:18-21)

The voice of God is a terrifying thing throughout the Scriptures.  Whenever people hear God, they are overcome and fall to the ground in worship.  The presence of God is just an overwhelming reality.  To come face to face with the living God and hear his voice is almost more than a human can handle.  Such is the response of the Israelites when God visits them in order to declare his law.

After their initial interaction with God, the people understand the gravity and seriousness of interacting with God.  One must be careful, and ultimately one needs a mediator in order for God’s will to be adequately communicated and ensure that obedience is rendered.  Listen to these words,

Speak to us yourself and we will listen.  But do not have God speak to use or we will die. (Exodus 20:19)

But I truly love Moses’ response, for the man who honors God and reverently submits to his leading has no fear in approaching God.  Even more, Moses declares that the voice of God and all the pomp comes in order to keep you from sinning (Exodus 20:20).  But we know that as God’s revelation unfolds there is only one mediator able to adequately impress the Law of God on our hearts and to keep us from violating the covenant.  Jesus is our mediator, and His Spirit, the Holy Spirit lives and dwells in us to sanctify us and empower us to obedience.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, (Ephesians 3:16)

because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. (1Thessalonians 1:5)

because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2Corinthians 3:6)

And unlike Moses who alone approached the presence of God, with our new mediator and the indwelling presence of the Spirit, all believers can

 approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Truly the story of Moses and the giving of the Law was but a foreshadow of the wondrous ministry of Christ and our ability to dwell with God in submission but without fear.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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