- Fear of God is demonstrated when Moses drew near to God – Nagash
Background story: God came down and gave Moses instructions on Mount Sinai
Exodus 19 The Israelite are now out of Egypt for more than two months (in the third month) camping out at Wilderness of Sinai and God is ready to issue them the Ten Commandments. Moses went up to the mountain to meet God and there he receives instruction from God on how to prepare the people to meet God…Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.” …On the third day, God came down and 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….
When we approach God today, let us be careful on how we enter His presence.
- We must recognize that God is holy, HE is not to be treated as common.
- Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. Moses himself feared greatly.
- Moses was the only man who meet and talk with God directly and at one time, for 40 days and 40 nights, yet he trembled with fear when he is in the presence of God in Hebrews 12:21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.”
- But the fear of Moses drew him near to God – The fear of Moses is Nagash
2.1 God seeks to Test us
Exodus 20:18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, 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.”
- Devil seeks to bring about ungodly fear that drives us away from God
- But God wants to speak to you directly rather than through Pastors or Prophets.
- Contradiction? Moses say do not fear and then he says His fear may be before you?
- “Do not fear” speaks of the tormenting fear that comes from both guilt and danger.
- “That His fear may be before you” speaks of a reverential fear resulting in an attitude of honour, submission and obedience.
- The awesome power of God manifested before them is to imprint upon their hearts and minds so that the people will remember to fear Him and obey Him fully.
- Testing – God sets boundary around them to see if they will break through this boundaries.
- Exo 19 You shall set bounds …. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death
- However the main purpose of this boundary is to protect them.
1 Corinthians 3:12-15 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.
- The Ten Commandments given is to show God’s moral expectations, revealing God’s nature.
- The manifested awesome power of God is to show them the power and holiness of God
- The test is to show them the boundaries that will lead to life, otherwise death.
- A person who has godly fear has nothing to hide, but a person with ungodly fear shows that he has something to hide – The fear of God is an attitude of obedience
- The purpose of Testing is so that we know our weaknesses and we can improve on them
But Testing is not God’s final purpose.
2.2 God seeks to Restrain us from sinning
Exodus 20:20 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.”
- God’s boundaries to reveal His expectations of us morally, and His power creates Godly fear
- Healthy fear of God restrain us from sinning against God – protecting us from the test of fire
- God is a refiner’s fire – Malachi 3:2-3 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness.
- God is a consuming fire – Deut 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
- Genesis 19:24 The LORD rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven
- God the consuming fire has completely consumed the sin in all of us who believe through Jesus who paid the penalty of our sin at the cross.
- Heavenly Father has poured out His consuming fire of wrath on Jesus in our place
But Testing and Restraining is not God’s final purpose.
2.3 God seeks to draw us near Him – Nagash
Exodus 20:21-24 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..
- Nagash: Draw near, to approach, draw near to worship
- Godly fear draws us near to God, but those who have unhealthy fear, distance themselves.
- God’s instructions to Israel – do not commit idolatry, instead offer yourselves as sacrifices
- Exodus 20:24 In every place where I record My name I will come to you, and I will bless you
- Draw near to God by doing all for His Name à He will draw near to us and bless us.
- The fear of God is to revere Him, obey Him, submit under the authority of the word of God, and to worship Him daily and Nagash – draw near to God
This is the final purpose of God: He wants to draw near to us and bless us.
Choose the fear of the Lord by starting each day with thanksgiving and committing the whole day program unto the lord