No more awesome sight has ever occurred in history than when Mount Sinai began to shake and tremble under the power of God. Paul records, “Moses himself was so frightened at the sight that he said, ‘I am terrified and trembling’ ” (Hebrews 12:21). The entire mountain was covered with “flaming fire, darkness, gloom, and whirlwind” (v. 18). In addition, all the people “heard an awesome trumpet blast and a voice with a message so terrible that they begged God to stop speaking” (v. 19). This frightening demonstration of sound effects and raw power made even the bravest soul tremble and was intended to bring the Israelites to an unforgettable sense of reverence and godly fear.
Paul said, “Let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29). In worship, we do not approach a physical mountain, but we come to the eternal mountain of God: Zion, “the heavenly Jerusalem”
One day we will stand before God Himself, the One who moves mountains. In the meantime, let us heed the words of the psalmist:
“Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Israel” (Psalm 114:7).