For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned! The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling.) Hebrews 12:18-21 HCSB

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address took on an unusually solemn, religious quality. And for good reason—by 1933 the Depression had reached its depth. The people were gripped with fear about what the future held. His famous line, “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is…fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

The writer of Hebrews reminds his readers of the events of the past when the people of Israel came before God with fear and trembling. Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Word from God. The people were commanded to stay away from the mountain. Any person or animal that touched the mountain would die. The Israelites feared for their lives. God is holy and the people were sinners, therefore unworthy of even being in God’s presence.

Challenge: Do you fear God or have a reverence for God? Because of our redemption through Jesus Christ, we no longer need to fear God. Praise God that through Jesus Christ we are assured that our sins are forgiven and we have the right and ability to approach His throne and enjoy a personal relationship with Him.

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