THE RESPONSE OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL
Now all the people witnessed thundering, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘You have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. You shall not make anything to be with Me—gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves. An altar of earth you shall make for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you. And if you make Me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for if you use your tool on it, you have profaned it. Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.’ (Exodus 20:18-26).
The reaction of the children of Israel to all the thundering and lightning while He spoke to them was normal. They were sore afraid that they stood afar off to watch the Almighty God in His glory displayed through those natural phenomenon which are the works of His hands. The Almighty God had to reveal to them a little glimpse of WHO HE IS so that His FEAR will be in them, and they will not sin against Him. God reminded them that they only heard His voice from heaven, and therefore should not make any image to represent Him. They were allowed to make an altar from the earth, where they can offer sacrifice to Him, but must not use hewn stones because that is already contaminated by their tool. The offering made on such an altar will not be acceptable to God because of the contamination. Can we now look back on all that we have done in the Sanctuary that we use to worship God? No one would have been able to do it right if our God had not overlooked all our shortcomings and placed us under GRACE. Remember that No one except the High priest was able to enter the Holy of Holies once a year before. But the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ put an end to all these. The Bible says His death on the cross made the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the people to split into two making it accessible to everyone. Thank God for Jesus Christ that we can now boldly approach the throne of Grace to ask for help in time of need.
The same blessing He promised when He spoke to the children of Israel on the Mount applies to us as well .He says “Wherever I record My Name, I will come to you, and I will bless you” This means that God must place His Name in the place where we worship. So it is not all places where people gather to worship has the Name of God there. For people to be blessed , the God of heaven must give approval to placing His Name there. Therefore there are many churches where no prayers are being answered because His Name is not there, or rather He is not present there. They might be calling His Name, but there will not be any response from Him because He did not give approval in the first place. There could be a situation where there was approval from the beginning, but along the line, mistakes or sin were committed that will make the presence of God to depart from such a place. That brings to remembrance the words of Jesus, that says that in the last days, some will say to Him, “In your name, I performed miracle, and I will tell them I do not know you, you workers of iniquity”
Our purpose on this earth must be to do the will of our Father that is in Heaven. We must make every effort to please God on a daily basis in everything we do. We cannot afford to be a “thermometer that goes up and down according to our mood”. We must be consistent like a “thermostat” that is constant because it regulates the temperature to a fixed level no matter what goes on around it. Our spiritual life should not be dictated by what happens around us, we must fix our gaze on our Lord Jesus Christ “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” May the Lord keep us to the end in Jesus Name, Amen.