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Distant Respect or Intimate Relationship?

“And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.” (Ex. 20:21) Both Moses and the Israelites experienced some level of fear the day that God delivered the Ten Commandments.  Yet, the type of fear they experienced was expressly represented by each of their actions.  When the Israelites experienced the thunder and lightening at the mountain, they were afraid of God and wanted to move farther away from Him.  On the other hand, Moses’ fear was a deep respect for God that drew him closer to God, not farther away.  This type of fear creates in us a desire to know more about the ways of God and what pleases Him.  The more we draw close to Him to get to know Him, the more God draws near to us and reassures us that He is not “out to get us”, but rather loves us deeply and wants an intimate relationship with us.  The Israelites knew who God was and respected Him from a distance.  Despite Moses’ pleadings with them, they believed that they were safer away from God than near Him.  Ironic isn’t it?  For the Believer knows that true safety is only found in Jesus Christ and that our lives are worthless without Him.  Many people fear God because they know about Him.  However, let us make sure that our fear draws us closer to God and not farther away.  Let us not settle for a distant respect for God when we can have an intimate relationship with God!

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