Deuteronomy 4:10-14 -
The revelation at Horeb.
I. OF THE SPIRITUALITY OF GOD 'S NATURE . "Ye saw no similitude" ( Deuteronomy 4:12 ). A wonderful truth to be impressed on the minds of a people fresh from contact with the debasing idolatries of Egypt. A truth:
1. Difficult to grasp.
2. Elevating in its influence.
3. The apprehension of which is necessary for spiritual worship ( John 4:24 ).
II. OF THE HOLINESS OF GOD 'S CHARACTER . The lightnings that played about the mountain, the fire burning in the midst of it ( Deuteronomy 4:11 ), the fiery law that was given,—all bespoke the awful and terrible holiness of him whose voice was uttering words of dreadful import to transgressors.
III. OF THE VERITIES OF GOD 'S LAW . Then were spoken the ten commandments ( Deuteronomy 4:10 , Deuteronomy 4:12 )—the sum and substance of moral duty—the rule of life to believers—the Law which condemns and slays transgressors. Christ is "the end of the Law of righteousness to every one that believeth," and only in him can we escape from its condemning power ( Romans 8:1 ; Romans 10:4 ).
IV. OF THE TERRORS OF GOD 'S MAJESTY , God surrounded himself with these signs of his greatness, power, wrath, and holiness:
1. That we may reverence and fear him.
2. That we may be kept from presumption in our approaches to him.
3. That we may feel the awfulness of his Word. Recalling this scene, the Israelites should have been preserved from ever trifling with it. God's Word should be handled and read with a deep feeling of reverence.
4. These terrors suggested that the Law, in itself considered, is not a saving, but a destroying power. The whole manifestation was overcast with threatening.—J.O.
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