Whenever I would read about the early Israelites, I used to feel a pang of jealousy. After all, they had God in their midst. They encountered first hand His wonders and signs. And they were constantly in His presence as He both provided and traveled with them. Oh how I wished I too could have been on that journey. And so I never understood how, when presented with the opportunity to actually hear God speak at Mt. Sinai, they turned away in fear. But that was before I experienced the worst thunderstorm I can remember.
It was a warm September night and while sleeping, I was suddenly jolted awake by a thunder clap with such intensity it chilled me to my bones. The storm was directly overhead. The wind was raging as the rain beat against the house. Flashes of lightening lit up the sky and the thunder was nothing I had heard before. Each boom was louder than the last, leaving me trembling and filled with dread.
As I anxiously waited for the storm to pass, I thought about those Israelites standing at Mt. Sinai. After two days spent consecrating themselves to receive God, “On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled.” (Ex. 20:16) Face to face with the awesomeness of God, they were afraid. And as that terrible storm raged around me I too was afraid of the awesomeness of God. This led me to a new found appreciation for their fear and amazement.
Many are the attributes of God. He is our loving Father. Our Protector, Healer, Comforter, Savior, and Friend. Yet just as He has the gentleness of a Lamb, He also has the ferocity of a Lion. A mighty Warrior, none can stand against Him. He is the living God; Ruler and Creator of all things. He is Lord of lords, and King of kings.
After witnessing the strength of God’s righteous wrath against the Egyptians the Israelites declared, “Who is like You among the gods O Lord? Who is like You majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders.” (Ex. 15:11) With His mighty right hand God “shatters His enemies”. In the greatness of His excellence He “overthrows those who rise up” against Him. He is all powerful, commanding over enemies, elements, and circumstances. He is glorious, holy, and none can compare.
Hebrews 12:28-29 reminds us that we must, “worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Israel was privy to some pretty amazing miracles God performed on their behalf. A display of majesty, power, and holiness, proving that the Lord alone is worthy of our respect, worship, and faithfulness.
As the storm rolled away that night, I thought about the complete fullness of God. Of how one day I would stand before the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End, the Maker of the lightening and thunder that scared me so. And as I laid my head on my pillow I was filled with both awe and wonder at the majesty of the Lord, and how in His magnificence He loved and redeemed a sinner like me!