Frightening Words

June 9, 2009 at 8:33 am | Posted in Biblical Violence, Exodus | 12 Comments
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The Old Testament law, given by God to His people, was first presented to them with a great show of power. The noise and sights it produced caused great fear of its Giver. In fact, there were those present who feared that the Word of God would kill them.

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

Exodus 20:18-20

Today, Christians are “under grace,” not “the law.” (Romans 6:14) However, the law itself was given for God’s glory, and the people’s good. It inspired a fear which was a healthy reminder of the seriousness of obedience to God. The real problem was not Old Testament law. The real problem was – and it remains today – man’s sinful condition which kept him from keeping the law, thus pointing the way to our need for a Savior Who could truly save from sin. We have that Savior today in the resurrected Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Trust Him today, and be eternally saved!

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  4. […] between God and man. In fact, God did meet with Moses the Law-giver on Mount Sinai, and the people cowered in fear when they saw it […]

  5. […] The God-Mastered Man 2. When God Condones Violence 3. Panicked Pressing 4. Frightening Words 5. The Grudge-Match of the Century: The Lion of God vs. Double-Wicked Cushan 6. Up for the Count 7. […]

  6. […] whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one [point], he is guilty of […]

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  8. […] was the last time you actually shook and trembled for fear at God’s awesome power while you were worshiping? The mystery of trembling with […]

  9. […] This was a very solemn vow, and it was characteristic of a suzerainty treaty. There is no indication that this was done grudgingly on the part of the people, although certainly it was done with fear and trembling. […]

  10. […] God’s glory shines in our life. In Moses’s case, it was literally visible, though, and it terrified the people. They could not honestly question the fact of Moses’s appoint by God as their […]

  11. […] 20:7-8) * 34. Catechism Question 2 (Exodus 20:11) 35. The Horizontal Words (Exodus 20:12-17) 36. Frightening Words (Exodus 20:18-20) 37. Reverence as a Warning Against Idolatry (Exodus 20:18-26) 38. A Justice […]

  12. […] demonstrated His glory and Deity on the mount of transfiguration. In a common Biblical formula, the demonstration of God’s glory is closely followed by the proclamation of God’s […]


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