Then it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain; and the sound of the trumpet was very loud, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled. (Exodus 19:16)
As I mentioned previously, the sight they beheld that third day morning was overwhelming; in fact, it was meant to be overwhelming and awe inspiring. Lightning, thunder, voices and the mountain quaking under the weight of God’s glory was collectively to impress upon the people of Israel the magnitude of the event. It was to be something they would never forget and, more importantly, the purpose of this meeting was to impress upon them the need to be faithful to what they agreed to do — keep His covenant.
Later, the writer of Hebrews, in chapter 12, would refer to this scene when making an important point to those who would be living in the last days. Having made mention of the fact that those who witnessed God’s Presence upon Mount Sinai “begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore” (Hebrews 12:18-19), he alerts the last day generation not to make the same mistakes they made.
“See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, ‘Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.’ Now this, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.” (Hebrews 12:25-27)
Put simply, the next time God speaks in such dramatic fashion, His voice will shake more than just a desert mountain — His voice will shake heaven and earth, in other words, everything. Every nation, every institution and every individual will be shaken to determine what is worthy of remaining and what is not. Therefore, as His people we must be prepared to hear what He says and we must be committed to receive what He says. Those who fail to do so will find themselves in an undesirable situation and thus the admonition, “Don’t refuse Him who speaks.”
The days that are upon us will, at times, seem overwhelming. Messiah said that, in the last days, signs in the heavens and distress on the earth will cause the hearts of some men to fail from fear “those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken” (Luke 21:25-26). But He did not conclude His message with those alarming statements; He made sure to let us know that, when these things begin to happen, that we should not lose hope nor give into fear. As God begins to shake heaven and earth, we are to lift our heads and look up because this is the time of our redemption.
Blessings and Shalom,