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Author:Rev. Mendel Retief
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Congregation:Free Reformed Church of Kelmscott
 Kelmscott, Western Australia
 frckelmscott.org
 
Title:Walk in the fear of the Lord
Text:Exodus 20:20 (View)
Occasion:Regular Sunday
Topic:Life in Christ
 
Added:2015-03-01
 

Order Of Worship (Liturgy)

Old Book of Praise (2004)

Ps. 9: 1, 4, 5, 10

Ps. 86: 4

Ps. 119: 24, 45

Ps. 19: 4 – 6

Ps. 25: 6, 7

 

Scripture reading:       Heb.12: 12 – 29; Ex. 19: 1 – 20: 21

Text:                          Ex. 20: 20

* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.


The Fear of the LORD                                           

Ps. 9: 1, 4, 5, 10

Ps. 86: 4

Ps. 119: 24, 45

Ps. 19: 4 – 6

Ps. 25: 6, 7

 

Scripture reading:       Heb.12: 12 – 29; Ex. 19: 1 – 20: 21

Text:                          Ex. 20: 20

 

Beloved congregation of our Lord Jesus Christ,

 

The words of our text are surrounded with thunder, fire and smoke.   But the epistle to the Hebrews says that we have now come to a different mountain; not Sinai but Zion.   What does that mean?   What exactly is the contrast?  

 

Many are quick to say that Sinai is harsh and terrible, a mountain of condemnation, while Zion is peaceful; a mountain of reconciliation.   But is the letter to the Hebrews saying that?   Was the old covenant harsh and terrible, while the new covenant is kind and loving?   Was the old covenant one of thunder and lightning, while the new covenant is one of peace and gentleness?    Is the old covenant a covenant of condemnation, while the new covenant is a covenant of reconciliation?

 

No, brothers and sisters, that is not the contrast which the writer to the Hebrews makes.   He does not announce a change in the nature of the covenant; instead, he declares an increase in glory.   What he is saying in Hebrews chapter 12 is this: If the lesser glory of Sinai made the hearers to fear and tremble, how much more should the greater glory of Zion make as fear and tremble!   

He argues from the lesser to the greater.

And thus he concludes that we, in the new covenant, should serve God with reverence and godly fear, because: our God is a consuming fire – Hebr.12: 28, 29.

 

The God who came down in fire on Mount Sinai and spoke with thunderbolts, is the same God who now speaks to us in the gospel.    He has not changed.  

Neither did He introduce a total different covenant, or changed the nature of His covenant with us.  

 

The Old Testament administered Christ in shadows.   The New Testament administers Him to us as the fulfilment of that same covenant.   In Christ we have the full reality of that which was still veiled in the Old Testament.   And so the relation between the old and the new covenant is that of promise and fulfilment.   

The new covenant is the glorious fulfilment of the old covenant.  

In the new covenant we see the realisation and the fullness of everything that the old covenant contained.  

 

But there is no change in the nature, or the doctrine, or the content of the covenant.   The relation is that of truth and truth fulfilled; glory revealed and glory more clearly revealed.

The shadows have come to its full reality.  

Yes, we see the majesty of God’s glory much more clearly on Zion than on Sinai.  

And thus the argument in the Epistle to the Hebrews runs like this:

 

“…if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven…” – Hebr.12: 25.

 

It is a warning that our judgment will be much heavier than that of any Israelite if we refuse to listen to God; for at Sinai they heard a voice on earth, but now we hear God’s voice from heaven.   The majesty of God’s heavenly glory has been revealed to us much more clearly than to them.   Therefore, let us serve Him with fear, he says, for our God is a consuming fire.   If anyone feared the fire and thunderbolts of Sinai, then we have much more reason to fear this God in the New Testament now that we have seen His glory in Christ!

 

Dear congregation, it is important to understand this, for our text, here in Exodus 20, does not deal with a shadow that has no meaning for us in the New Testament.    Rather, it is a shadow that finds its full reality in the New Testament.   Sinai is a shadow and a picture of Zion!

Sinai is a picture of God’s heavenly temple!

 

Do you see the fearful glory of God on Sinai?   The fullness of that glory dwells in Zion (Ps.68: 16 – 18)!  And the temple on Zion is in turn a picture of God’s heavenly temple.

 

In other words, the writer to the Hebrews says that we have now much more reason to fear God than those who stood at mount Sinai, for we have seen the fullness of His glory in Christ, and through Christ we draw near to Him, the holy God.

 

I preach God’s Word to you with the theme…

Walk in the Fear of the LORD

 

We will note…

  1. What the fear of the LORD means
  2. How this fear relates to the covenant
  3. How it regulates our conduct

In the first place we want to know…

What does the fear of the LORD mean?

 

“…it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very load, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled…Mount Sinai was completely in smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire.   Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly…the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder…all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled…Then they said to Moses, ‘You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die”

With that fearful appearance God revealed to the children of Israel something of His awe inspiring majesty, so that, knowing the terror of the LORD, they may be persuaded to live in His fear and to obey His commandments.    They stood before God trembling, fearing that they would die if this awesome God would speak to them any longer.   And in this context we read the words of our text:

“…Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin”.

In the first part of the text he says: “Do not fear”, and in the second part he makes clear that they have to fear.   

When God says “Do not fear”, He is saying: Do not think that I came as your enemy.  I am not giving you this frightening revelation of my awesome majesty to make you flee away from Me.   I did not come to kill you.   Do not fear; I come to you as your God.   I come to you, my children.   Do not fear; I do not reveal Myself in this way so that you may die, but in order that you may live.

And then, when He says at the same time that the fear of God must be before their eyes so that they do not sin, He does command them to fear Him as the almighty and holy God.

Dear congregation, there are many who think that the first part of our text applies to the New Testament: Do not fear!   But that the last part, the fear of the Lord – which includes an acute awareness of His revelation at Sinai – no longer applies in the New Testament.    That is something that fits Sinai, but not Zion, they reckon.

Many in our day reckon that the fear of the Lord is something that belongs to the old covenant; in particular to the covenant made at Sinai.

However, only a quick scan of the New Testament will free us from such an illusion.

The apostle Paul speaks about the promises of the covenant, and says:

“…having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” – 2 Cor.7: 1.

He says this to a congregation in the New Testament: that the highest sanctification for which they are to strive is a holiness which is only realized in the fear of the Lord.

Our Lord Jesus is described to us as filled with the Holy Spirit and with the fear of the LORD:

“The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.  His delight is in the fear of the LORD…” – Isaiah 11: 2, 3.

And it is the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of the fear of the LORD, that also dwells in His church (Acts 9: 31).

Those who believe in Christ, tremble at His word, as the Lord said:

“…on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66: 2)

Our Lord Jesus refers back to that prophesy when He says:

            “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt.5:3)

The kingdom of heaven will only be given to those who are of a contrite spirit, who trembles at the word of the LORD.  

In the preaching of the gospel the thunderings of Sinai are overwhelmed by the thunderings that now proceed from God’s heavenly throne.   Never were the righteousness and holiness of God and His judgments been spelled out as clearly as in the new covenant.   No one ever spoke as much about hell as Jesus did in his kingdom parables.  The thunderbolts did not become less, but more and louder.  

The fear of the Lord, which also includes fear for His judgements, has become even more in the heavenly Zion than at Sinai!   We are to tremble more than they, for we have seen and heard more than they did.   When we get a glimpse of His throne in heaven, we see how all creatures fall down before Him, in awe, in worship, in the highest reverence, humbling themselves before His majesty.

When we turn to the book of Revelation we hear how the thunderbolts proceed from God’s heavenly throne.   Yes, the sound of the trumpet becomes louder and louder the further we read.

 

Brothers and sisters, if we are exhorted that the fear of the Lord should constantly be before our eyes, then we need to understand what is meant by this expression “the fear of the LORD”.

The Lord says that He revealed Himself at Sinai, in the way He did, for this purpose:

“…that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin” (Ex.20: 20b)

Clearly, then, the fire and the thunderings and the shaking of the mountain was meant to make the fear of the Lord all the more real to them, that they may experience it all the better and may always remember it.   And this fear of the LORD, He says, is meant to keep them from sinning.  

Clearly this fear of the Lord has a religious and ethical purpose.  In fact, the fear of the Lord determines all our conduct.   The fear of the Lord has everything to do with the covenant which the LORD has made with His people there at Sinai.   It has everything to do with the covenant which He made with Abraham, and with us. 

Yes, the fear of the Lord is the most basic in our covenant relationship with Him.

But before we look at that, we first want to know: What does it mean to fear God?

Scripture uses the word “fear” in two ways.   The word fear is very often used in the sense of being afraid.   But the same Hebrew word may also express the highest form of respect and reverence.  

When Jacob hears that his brother Esau is coming to meet him with four hundred armed men, he immediately fears that Esau is coming to kill him together with his wives and children, and we read that Jacob was greatly afraid – Gen.32: 7.   In such a passage it is clear that the Hebrew word “fear” has the meaning of being afraid.   It is a word that you will find in a context of trembling, dread, and terror.   Then it clearly has the meaning of being afraid.  But the same Hebrew word is also used, for example in a text like Lev.19: 3, where we read:

            “Every one of you shall fear his mother and his father…”

In such a text it is clear that the same Hebrew word may be translated with “revere” or “highly honour”.  

In one context it expresses the fear of being afraid; in another context the same word expresses reverence and honour.  

There is also a second Hebrew word in Scripture which we translate with “fear”, and again that Hebrew word is also used in both senses: for being afraid, and for the highest form of veneration.

Now, it will immediately be clear to us that we are not to be afraid of God as if He is our enemy.   Through Christ we are reconciled to God, so that we are no longer His enemies, and He is no longer our enemy.   We do not have to flee away from God as if His appearance means death to us.  

And it is immediately clear that the second meaning of the word “fear” applies to our relation with God.   We adore God for His majesty.   We adore Him with awe, and worship Him.   As soon as we realise and see His glory, we bow down in worship and we honour and revere Him.  

But, does the first meaning of the word “fear” not apply at all?  

It is clear that we have to honour and respect God, but should we not also be afraid of inflicting His wrath on us?   Is the believer not afraid of offending God?   And is this fear not something that should characterises our life and our conduct?  

There are many who say: “No, only reverence and honour apply, but nothing of the word fear in its first meaning”.  

For that reason, because there are so much confusion and loose thinking on this subject, we need to make sure what Scripture teaches us.   What does our text mean when it says that this frightful appearance of God was necessary to teach them the fear of the LORD?

 

Dear congregation, also the fear for God’s judgments is a holy fear.   It is part of the fear of the Lord, and it is part of our Christian ethics, and it is part of the reason why we flee from sin.

We need some discernment, for there is also a fear for God that is caused by our sin.   That is a fear that we see in Adam immediately after his fall into sin, when he says to the LORD:

“…I heard Your voice…and I was afraid…” (Gen.3: 10).

It was the response of a guilty conscience, the response of a sinner who turned away from God.   Adam, who was created for communion with God, went and hid himself from the face of God.   He became afraid of God because of his sin.   His own sin was the only reason why he became afraid of God.  

But, we also have to note this, that once he became a sinner, the absence of this fear and dread would be the most extreme foolishness, and the utmost form of godlessness.   If Adam was not afraid after he sinned, he would have been a senseless fool.   It is the utmost impiety not to be afraid of God, when there is reason to be afraid.   Whenever we become liable to God’s righteous judgement, Scripture prescribes the necessity of this fear of God.   And it is characteristic of the ungodly that they lack this fear.

But even when we have not fallen in a specific grievous sin or deeply grieved the Holy Spirit, then it is still part of our normal Christian life to fear any transgression of God’s law; to fear lest we offend God.  

Our Lord Jesus said:

 “…Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.   But rather fear God who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” – Mt. 10: 28.

The Lord Jesus prescribes the necessity of that kind of fear which comes by considering the wrath of God which He will execute in hell.   

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews is speaking to covenant children when he reminds them of the “fearful expectation of judgment” for those who wilfully continue in sin.   And he concludes his warning that it is “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”. 

With that kind of warnings he urges them to respond to God with faith and obedience.   It is a fear for God prescribed to covenant children in the New Testament.   And only the ignorant fool and the hardened sinner are destitute of this terror.  

The apostle Paul says:

“…we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.   Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” – 2 Cor.5: 10, 11.

The apostle says that he and the other apostles know the terror of the LORD, and he derives this knowledge by a consideration of Christ’s judgment seat.

Brothers and sisters, Scripture clearly presents to us the dread or terror of God as part of the fear of God that characterises the true believer.

While it is true that we are reconciled to God, and that in Christ He is no longer our enemy, but our loving Father, yet the fear to offend Him should still remain; a fear that comes also by considering the frightful measures of His wrath. 

If the warning that it is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God does not have any effect on you, then the lack of fear testify of unbelief.

Even where there is no sin, and therefore no existing wrath, we can still not do away with the fear of bringing God’s displeasure over us.   This was illustrated in the Garden of Eden.  When Adam was still without any sin, God said to him:

            “…in the day you eat of it you shall surely die” (Gen.2: 17).

As long as he trusted in God and believed His word, that threat would keep him from sinning.   It was a threat functioning in Paradise in a context where there was as yet no sin.   It was a fear for God’s judgement that had to operate even in a sinless conscience!

This fear became much more complicated after we sinned, for now it is often hard to distinguish between a guilty conscience and the holy fear that keeps us from offending God.

Now, since we are born in sin and by nature inclined to incur the wrath of God on us, how much more then are we in need of this dread and terror of the Lord – now that we are so prone to stumble and to sin!

When we understand this, then we are no longer surprised when we hear the confession of a believer, where David says:

            “My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments” – Ps.119: 120.

The same David wrote elsewhere:

“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?   The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” – Ps.27: 1.

Yet he trembles and fears in the presence of God and of His judgments.   The same David who confesses his trust in the Lord is also afraid of God’s judgements.  

God’s children are not yet free from sin.   The saint knows that his sin is displeasing to the Lord, and he is keenly aware of the demands of God’s holiness, and therefore we seek the will of God not only with merriness, but also with fear and trembling – Phil.2: 12, 13.

We could continue to multiply the proofs from the New Testament that the fear of the Lord also includes a fear for His judgments, but with these examples it should already be abundantly clear.

The believer trembles at God’s word, not only because of God’s glory in general, but also because he is aware of God’s holiness and, knowing the terror of the LORD, fears to offend God in any way.  

This is a holy fear which characterises the believer.

Congregation, having said all this, we have to understand, however, that the fear of God, which is the essence of godliness, involves much more than the terror of the LORD and a fear for His judgments.   The dread of judgment will never of itself make us to love God, nor will such dread create in us a new heart.   There is another aspect of the fear of God that will serve this purpose: adoration for His glorious majesty, awe that makes us bow and worship.

When Isaiah saw the LORD sitting in His temple (Isaiah 6) the seraphim cried out:

            “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!”

The posts were shaken and the temple was filled with smoke.   What was Isaiah’s reaction?

“Woe is me, for I am undone!   Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts”

Do you see the difference in reaction between the seraphim and Isaiah?   The same appearance of the LORD which is adored by the angels, causing them to worship in awe, causes Isaiah to cry out: “Woe is me!”  

That is not because Isaiah does not know the gospel, or because he is an unbeliever, but because he has an acute awareness of his own sinfulness.   He is keenly aware of his own unworthiness to appear in the holy presence of the King, the LORD of hosts.  

If he had no sin, his reaction would have been the same as the angels.   But Isaiah is still a man on this earth, and therefore his awe and adoration cannot be separated from that fear which makes him tremble in the presence of God. 

We may then conclude that there are two things combined in the fear of the Lord: the highest awe, adoration and veneration, but also a fear for His judgments and a fear to offend Him.   That is part of the holy and necessary fear that characterises the true believer.   

Brothers and sisters, both of these aspects of fear determine how we live in the covenant relationship with the Lord.   We note that in the second place…

How the fear of the LORD relates to the covenant

 

It is not by change that the giving of the Ten Words of the Covenant has been accompanied with such a frightful appearance of the LORD.   These covenant obligations have been given to be kept unbroken, and a curse is attached to any breaking of them.   But we should not view the giving of the covenant at Sinai as a covenant of condemnation.   These Ten Words of the covenant are not naked laws; they are laws imbedded in the gospel.   The very introduction to these laws speaks of God’s covenant faithfulness and the liberation of His people:

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex.20: 2)

“I am the LORD your God…” – that means: I have adopted you to be my children by virtue of the covenant.   Therefore Moses was able to address the whole people of Israel saying:

            “You are the children of the LORD your God…” (Deut. 14: 1).

The commandments given at Sinai are the law of the covenant, they are the covenant obligations.   And they are given to people who have already been adopted by the LORD to be His covenant children, children to whom He has already shown His covenant faithfulness by redeeming them from Egypt according to His promise.   

And thus the people of Israel stand at the foot of Mount Sinai not as a condemned nation, but as people who have been chosen by God to be His people, people who have been delivered by the Lord, people to whom the LORD reveals Himself as the LORD their God.

The thunderings and the lightnings and the shaking of the mountain are therefore not sings of condemnation.   God did not appear in such a frightful way because He came to kill them.   No, instead, the terror of the LORD has to serve another purpose: that they may live before His face in the fear of His Name, so that they may not sin.

And therefore the first words of our text are: “Do not fear…”   Do not think that the LORD has come to kill you; do not think that He came as your enemy.   It is the LORD your God who wants you to live with Him in a covenant relationship.   And for this reason God has come to you in such an appearance:

“…to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin” – verse 20.

The fear of the LORD should be before them.   It means that they should constantly live in the fear of the LORD.   His fear must constantly be before their eyes; it must constantly be in their mind, they have to live in this fear of the LORD.   This is exactly the same as with the first making of the covenant, when the LORD said to Abraham:

            “…I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” – Gen.17: 1

In these words to Abraham you find exactly the same elements that are now further revealed at Mount Sinai.

By making His covenant with Abraham, God established a covenant relationship with Abraham.   It is a relationship of communion with God, a relationship that includes every aspect of life.   Everything that Abraham does he must do within this relationship with God.   Everything he does he must do before the eyes of God Almighty.   He must know Him to be God Almighty who tests all His ways, and he has to live accordingly.

The covenant relationship with God is an all-inclusive God-consciousness.   Or as Scripture calls it: walking before the LORD.   It is a constant awareness of His presence, a constant awareness that He sees me and tests me.   And it is this awareness of the presence of God Almighty that is given as the most basic element of communion with God.

            “…I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Gen.17: 1)

It is this God-consciousness, the awareness of living before the face of God Almighty, in which the fear of the LORD exists.   And it is this most basic element of the covenant relationship with God that is now imprinted on the people of Israel at Mount Sinai.

The LORD wants His fear to be always before our eyes in all that we do and in every situation of life, so that we may not sin.   And thus we read:

            “…by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil” – Prov.16: 6

The fear of the LORD causes us to depart from evil.

Here in our text Moses says to Israel:

The LORD appeared to you in this way, He appeared to you as the God before whom the mountains quake and shiver, yes, He appeared to you as the almighty and holy God, that His fear may always be before you, so that you may not sin.   This fear of the LORD must determine all your actions.   We note that in the last place…

How the fear of the LORD regulates our conduct

 

“…God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin”

In these words of our text we see that the fear of the LORD regulates our conduct.   Whoever fears the LORD, shuns evil.   Thus we also read:

“The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” – Prov.14: 27.

The fear of the LORD is a safeguard against sin; by the fear of the LORD we flee from sin.

But the fear of the LORD also positively makes us obedient.  God tested Abraham when He told Him to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering (Gen.22: 1, 2).   Abraham promptly obeyed and went to the mountain where he had to slaughter his own son.   The knife was already in his hand to execute the final act, when the LORD stopped him and said:

“…Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” – Gen.22: 12.

The LORD tested Abraham, and He tested Him with regard to his fear of God.   Abraham’s obedience was the proof that he fears the LORD.  It was because he feared the LORD that He obeyed.   Abraham, now I know that you fear God, because you obeyed His voice.

It is the same testing, and the same fear of the LORD, that we find here in our text.   Israel’s obedience to the commandments will prove whether they fear the LORD or not, and by the fear of His Name they will shun evil.   In the fear of His Name they will obey, or by the lack of fear they will transgress these commandments.

Yes, the fear of the LORD is the fruit of faith; a lack of the fear of the LORD is a proof of unbelief.   The fear of the LORD correlates with the obedience of faith.

Dear congregation, the fear of God is the essence of godliness.   If someone does not fear God, then He simply does not know God.   If someone does not fear God, then he serves another god.

Our conduct is determined by our knowledge of the Holy One.   Whom we worship determines how we act.   If we know God in His transcending holiness and majesty and power, then our life will show it.

Dear congregation, we live in a time where the fear of the LORD is almost disappearing.   We have become almost hesitant to describe a Christian as someone who fears the LORD.   There are so many in our day who call themselves Christian, but show so little of the fear of God, that we are hesitant to characterise them as God-fearing.  And what about ourselves?   Are our lives marked and characterised and governed by the fear of the LORD?

The fear of the LORD can be seen when we live holy lives.   The fear of the Lord can be seen when we obey His Word; when His Word regulates our whole life, when we listen to His Word with holy fear.

The lack of fear for the LORD can be seen when church members become comfortable in this world, and start to reinterpret God’s word to suit their own desires.    The lack of the fear of God can be seen when His law is now longer read from the pulpits, or when His law is replaced by a manmade version, to fit our own time and culture; when church members want to adjust themselves to this world and listens to the word of man.

Brothers and sisters, whenever there is a decline in the fear of God, you may be sure that it is the result of a false gospel and a false religion.   The more we grow in the true knowledge of God, the more we will fear Him, and the more our lives will show it.

This is not theology of the Old Testament, neither is this a covenant of condemnation; no, it is the Spirit of Christ, which is the Spirit of the fear of the LORD, that dwells also in the church of the New Testament.   And it is a fear that will be perfect and full on the new earth where righteousness dwells.

When the apostle John says in 1 John 4: 18 that there is no fear in love, but that perfect love casts out fear, then he is not speaking of the fear of the LORD.   Love for God does not cast out the fear of God.   No, John speaks in that verse of a guilty conscience that accuses the sinner that he may expect nothing but the torment of hell.   It is the fear of devils, and the fear that torments the guilty conscience.   That is not the fear of the LORD.   The one who lives in the fear of the LORD is careful to obey the LORD, not because he sees God as his enemy, but because He loves God and highly honours Him and are careful not to evoke His wrath.

Let us then not make a false contrast between Mount Sinai and Mount Zion, but see the real contrast: on Zion the fullness of God’s glory dwells.   Those who see His glory at Zion fears Him even more than those who stood at Sinai.

Yes, the trumpet will sound again, and the earth will be shaken once more.  

“…the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled…the blast of the trumpet sounded long and became louder and louder…” (Ex.19: 16, 19)

And the trumpet will sound again; not with God descending in a cloud on Sinai, but with our Lord Jesus Christ descending on the clouds of heaven.   The trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised and we shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.   It is in such a context, expecting Christ’s return, that the apostle Paul says:

            “Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men…” (2 Cor.5: 10, 11)

Knowing the fear of the Lord, we live in the expectation of His coming.   The earth will once more be shaken, and fire will once more descend from heaven, and the trumpet will sound.  

Knowing the fear of the Lord, let us live accordingly – not as enemies fleeing from God, but as beloved children in Christ who knows the glory and the majesty of our holy God.  

God Almighty has made a covenant with us in order that we may know Him and live before His face.

He has revealed Himself to us so that the fear of His holy Name may constantly be before us, so that we may not sin.

Amen.




* As a matter of courtesy please advise Rev. Mendel Retief, if you plan to use this sermon in a worship service.   Thank-you.
(c) Copyright, Rev. Mendel Retief

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