Ex 20:18-20 “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mtn in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” 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.”
There have been many times in my life that I’ve prayed to see God move powerfully. Sometimes I feel like the people of Israel with Jesus “Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from from you!” I understand and feel exactly the same way. I want to see God move powerfully, I want to see God.
In his book “The Pentateuch as Narrative” when writing about the verses that I just read John Sailhamer writes “the proper response to the recognition of God’s power is not a fear that causes them [the children of Israel] to flee from his presence but one which causes them to submit to him in godly living.” (pg 288)
God is not interested nor does He need to prove Himself to the world, to you or to me. He could care less about showing off. He does not need to win Mr. Popular or most-powerful or even ‘god of the year.’
What He does care about is having someone who walks with Him in holiness. When God reveals Himself to us in powerful ways yes it is to cause us to respond to Him in fear BUT that fear is to cause us to submit, obey, and seek Him even more diligently than before.
Wanting to see God isn’t bad, even Moses wanted to see God’s glory. But why do we want to see God? Is it to see something extremely cool and amazing so that we can talk about it with everyone and feel special bc “I saw God!” Or, do we want to see God so that we can begin to fear God, hate sin, and submit to the Holy One even more than we already do?
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy One of Israel Himself come down among us, may He reveal Himself to us and when that happens may our response be fear, awe, worship, recognition of sin, repentance, and even great obedience.