He "exceedingly quaked and feared!"
I love the descriptive KJV words.... do they not stir your emotions ?
And just who is this talking about ?
None other than Moses - the man who spoke with God face to face , the man who was closer to God than any one else, the man whose face shone when he came from God's presence.
And why was he so afraid ?
Let's go back. God had declared that He was going to show Himself to His people - that He was going to physically come down on Mt. Zion and speak with them.
I can only imagine the excitement in the camp as the people followed the directions they were given to ready themselves for this incredible event!
They were to wash their bodies and their clothes. A fence was erected at the foot of the mountain to protect the people. If anyone so much as touched the mountain when God was on it they were under penalty of death !
Only Moses would be allowed to climb the mountain .
When God came down .. His voice roared like a trumpet blast that just got louder and louder ! His Presence was veiled with smoke and covered the mountain. The glory of God appeared as a blazing fire ! The ground shook ! Thunder rolled and lightening flashed.
The people were terrified and instead of crowding closer to God they all fled backwards, away from the mountain and watched from afar!
They begged for mercy....and for God not to speak to them anymore - they feared for their lives!
God knew that if He revealed Himself, the people would pull back in terror. Showing Himself physically on Mt. Zion was His plan B. He knew all along that plan A was the perfect one!
He did not enact plan B to prove anything He did not already know... He enacted it to show US why He chose plan A.
In Hebrews 12 verses 18-21 is the description of the plan B Mt Zion!
"For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest,
and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
(For they could not endure what was commanded: "AND IF SO MUCH AS A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT SHALL BE STONED OR SHOT WITH AN ARROW."
And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I AM EXCEEDINGLY AFRAID AND TREMBLING.") "
The description starts out with the words... "For you have NOT come to the mountain that can be touched!"
We, of the New Covenant are not part of plan B !
What then was plan A ??
The writer of Hebrews tells us about plan A.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. "
In plan A God does not come to us wrapped in smoke....He does not physically appear before us.
He has made Himself totally invisible and comes to us 'spiritually'. That way our physical bodies will be not terrified of Him!
We have come not to the physical Mt. Zion that is on an earthly map of Israel but the spiritual Mt. Zion that is the Lord's dwelling place among us. The Mt. Zion of God's Presence in His city... the heavenly Jerusalem and His angels.
If we don't understand the symbolism, it is spelled out for us ... We are part of the church, our names are registered in Heaven , we dwell in God and He in us, and we are joined with the saints of all ages. And best of all... we have a Mediator, a King who understands our flesh, He took it upon Himself to bring us into the spiritual New Jerusalem!
In plan A there is no 'fence' to keep us from drawing too near to God. The separation veil was rent in two when Jesus' dealt with the sin issue that kept us from God's Presence.
Spiritually we are not afraid of God ... not afraid to enter His Presence and not afraid to have His Holy Spirit live within us.
I often hear people say that it would be easier to walk with God in the OT where He revealed Himself physically. No, it wouldn't... we too would be terrified!
God in His gentle mercy has covered Himself, not to hide Himself, but so that His children will come to Him without fear.
One day when we escape these fearful physical bodies we WILL see Him face to face and be filled with awe at His Holy Majesty and Power. But then we will recognize the One whom, though we have not seen , yet we have known. He will not make us afraid - we will know Him as our Father!
Because of Plan A !!!