After a drought, a thunderstorm was approaching our valley in the Hill Country. I climbed the highest hill around and watched as it approached. The clouds rolled and boiled as they came closer. Because the sun was setting, the colors of the sky were constantly changing, creating a heavenly light show. Beauty and power were both manifest. The voice of the storm was fierce as the thunder reached my ears. It sounded like speech, but I couldn't understand the words; however, I was awed by the intensity of the sound. I thought I must be feeling a little of what the Israelites felt when they approached Mount Sinai just before God gave the Ten Commandments.
The Lord said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you . . .
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 . . .then Moses spoke and the voice of the Lord answered him. Exodus 19
It was a frightening encounter for the former slaves, so frightening that they decided they no longer wanted God to speak to them directly; they chose to keep their distance and let God speak to them through Moses. (Exodus 20:18).
How blessed we are to be on this side of the cross! Our sins have been dealt with, the Holy Spirit has been given, and we can now be led by the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, whose voice produces peace in us rather than fear (Gals. 5:22).