10. a. & b. The question suggests there are two types of fear in Exodus 20:19-20. I came up with three.
- Sight and sound—The flashes of lightning and thunder, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking in verse 18 were enough to make them naturally terrified.
- The tangible presence of God—In the presence of a holy God, mankind is undone. It reminds me of the scene in Isaiah 6:1-5.
“And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;”
In God’s presence, the Israelites recognized they were sinful and unworthy. They demanded Moses to be their mediator. Thankfully, we now have Jesus.
Interestingly, Moses had the same reaction at the burning bush. God said,”“I am the God of your own fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” This terrified Moses—he began to tremble and looked away in fear. The voice continued: “Take off your sandals and stand barefoot on the ground in My presence, for this ground is holy ground.” Acts 7:30-33
- Moses spoke of a healthy reverence of God. The people had a graphic reminder that theyare chosen by an all-powerful God. When He asks them to abide by the ten commandments, He wants them to remember why they should obey.God was after their hearts. He wanted a relationship with them.
11. a. In Exodus 20:22-23 God tells Moses how not to worship and not how to worship. What am I missing?
b. God required the Israelites to worship Him without a physical representation made of silver or gold. When God spoke to them, He did not show them what He looked like. They had no way of making a likeness of Him unless they just reverted back to the familiar symbols of Egypt. *spoiler alert* Forty days from this, that’s exactly what they did.
c. Principles of worship that apply to us—
- We recognize our all-powerful God desires to have a relationship with us. He wants to speak to us directly.
- God recognizes we are undone in His presence.
- God recognizes we are unable to live up to His standards.
- God sent His son, Jesus, according to Acts 7:28 He became the sacrifice for the sin and disease of all mankind. Through faith in Him we are found worthy.
12. Reasons God might have told the people to build only simple altars of earth or plain stones—
- They were on the move. This was not their destination.
- No time and expense should be expended in elaborate construction.
- If the people contrived something from their own minds, it would resemble Egyptian idolatry.
- Beautiful workmanship might sway their focus perhaps.
13. “Wherever I choose for My name to be remembered, I will come to you and shower blessings upon you.” Exodus 20:24c
This reminds me of Jesus words recorded in Matthew 28:20—”teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And this in Ezekiel 34:26—”I will make them and the area around My hill a blessing: I will send down showers in their season—showers of blessing.”
God knows us, sees us, remembers us, and will shower blessings on us. Still love that I’m under the New Covenant with even better promises.
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