Exodus 20:20 Vision–Fear of the Lord!
Scripture reading for January 24: Exodus 19-20
Have you ever been afraid of God? God carried the whole nation of Israel out of slavery in Egypt with a display of His power in the plagues. The Israelites were protected and experienced God’s deliverance as they walked out of Egypt, laden down with silver and gold and other valuables. God’s presence guided them in the Pillar of Fire and in the Cloud. God was in their midst and provided miraculously for them again and again in sending the manna and quail and then providing water from the Rock. These children understood the mercy of God, but the fear of God was not what it needed to be! This holy fear or respect is a foundation for wisdom and life. (Proverbs 1:7)
God led the children of Israel to Mt. Sinai where He gave instructions through Moses to the people. They were to refrain from sexual relations, wash their clothes, and consecrate themselves to hear God’s voice speaking to them. (Exodus 19:10-16) On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud, and a loud trumpet blast. When the trumpet sounded, everyone in the camp trembled with fear! (Exodus 20:18-19) The people begged Moses to speak to them, but did not want God to speak for they feared death if they heard Him speaking! This must have been a very fearful encounter with God. Fire and smoke, clouds, thunder and lightning, and a very loud trumpet created a atmosphere where people felt uncomfortable and under conviction. Why would God bring these special people out of slavery to do this to them?
God’s stated purpose was to instill in them the “fear of God to keep them from sinning.” (Exodus 20:20) He wanted them to have 20:20 vision and understanding that sin brings death. God’s Word is holy and forever settled in Heaven. It cannot fail or be changed! (Matthew 24:35) The ten commandments that Moses received revealed sin in the heart of man. They are the mirror of our soul showing our need of mercy and forgiveness. They drive us to God for mercy through His Son, Jesus Christ. It is only by grace that we are saved from the penalty of sin. (Ephesians 2:8-10) Our own efforts cannot keep the law because sin is ingrained in us through Adam. (Romans 5:12-14) When we understand that God’s holy Word is truth, we can repent and be forgiven.
As you read Exodus 20:1-17 today, ask the Lord to reveal his holiness to you and open your eyes to your need for holy fear. Look at each commandment and see how these commands help us to love God and love our neighbor. If you are breaking any of them, take time and confess with repentance. This is the only way to perfect vision! May you see clearly today and each day till you see Him face to face!
“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.” Exodus 20:20