Questions for Littles: Describe the mountain in v18-20 (the one that we have not come to)? When the people heard the sound of the trumpet and the voice of the words, for what did they beg (v19)? What had been commanded to do to a beast if it touched the mountain (v20)? Who else said that he was exceedingly afraid and trembling (v21)?In the sermon this week, we heard at first about what Sinai is like without Christ.
Now, those last two words are very important, because Sinai was not without Christ. The Ten Commandments begin with an announcement of salvation: covenant relationship (“I am the Lord, Your God”) and divine redemption (“who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”). And though Moses was exceedingly terrified as a sinner before God, his hope in God’s mercy proved true—precisely because God acted according to His saving purposes toward us in Christ.
But what would Sinai—what would God’s law—be like without Christ? It’s a perfect law. It’s an holy law. It’s a just law. So, what is that like?
Terrifying. Horrifying. There can be nothing more frightening than the Law without Christ. It looks like a mountain—immense, immovable, unclimbable. And who would want to climb it? For, it burned with fire and smoked and shook.
Sometimes, sinners who are pushing down on the knowledge of God say things like, “If I could just see Him” or like Thomas and the risen Lord, “if I could just touch Him, I would believe.” No. No they wouldn’t believe.
Or, how about, “If I could just hear God speak to me…” Really? The people who heard His voice apart from faith in Christ begged that they would never have to hear Him again.” It is not some kind of magically inspiring experience. It is absolute terror to be before someone so holy that even a beast—just for being a creature—would be executed for coming near Him without holiness.
Apart from faith in Christ, if we could meet God, up close and personal, it would be horrifying and devastating. We would be sure that the very next thing to come is fiery punishment from the Lord. It would be with us as with Isaiah, “Woe is me! I am undone!”
But thankfully, just as there was atonement for Isaiah, there is atonement for us. We have Christ. When we come to His commandments, we don’t even come to Sinai. We receive His commands at Zion.
As He did with Thomas, Christ comes to us in gentleness, and in resurrection power He presents to us the marks of our redemption, and we fall at His feet and say, “My Lord and My God.” This is how we are to come to His commands!
Which response do you tend to have to God’s law: fear or joy? Does this tell you that you are coming to His law with faith in Christ? Or without Christ at all?Suggested Songs: ARP130 “Lord, From the Depths to You I Cried” or HB275 “Amazing Grace”