The Israelites saw the fire of God on the mountain, a big version of the burning bush. They heard His voice. They know they’ve seen the glory of God. They are afraid.
These Israelites were terrified they were about to die because they had seen God’s glory and heard His voice. They ask, “Who can see and hear God and live?” They say they are going to get out of there, but they say to Moses, “You go talk to God.”
The Israelites act as if it’s impossible for them to see and hear God and live. God basically confirms their viewpoint, but there are two problems with it.
One, they just heard and saw God and lived. They should be grateful for what they just experienced. It was used by God to knock some much-needed fear of the Lord into the people.
With God, all things are possible. If He did that for them once, He certainly could do it again, but God does say they are right. One thing that couldn’t happen at this point would be for them to act like it’s nothing to see God and speak to Him.
God can only be approached two ways: in fear or in love.
That leads us to the second problem with them acting like it’s impossible to hear God’s voice and live. And that is that Moses does it. The people stood before God in fear. Moses stood before God in love; he was a friend of God.
When we approach God, we all first have to approach with the fear of God. The fear of God leads us to the cross. We realize He’s a holy God and we’re sinners.
We ask for forgiveness and ask for God’s life to fill us. We ask for the Holy Spirit and Jesus pours His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
We ask and receive by faith, and when we have God’s love in our hearts, His perfect love drives out fear. That love also drives obedience, a joyful obedience.
1 John 4:18 says if you fear God’s judgment, you haven’t been made perfect in love yet. So, if you still have a fear of judgment and hell, come to the cross and receive forgiveness, but then ask for the Holy Spirit, God’s love, to be poured into your heart.
Jesus said that God loves to give the Holy Spirit when we ask! (Luke 11:13)