Through the whole Book of Hebrews, the author constantly urges Christians to continue to trust God. They should stand firm during their troubles. They should develop and become mature in their relationship with God. And they should desire the closest possible relationship with him.
The author has given many reasons why Christians should do these things. And here, he adds one more reason. They should be grateful to God, because he has been so very kind to them. He has not spoken to them in a manner that made them very afraid. He has not caused them to feel great fear of himself. Instead, with great love, he has invited them to have a relationship with him. He has offered them wonderful things. There is joy without limit for them.
These facts should cause Christians to love God deeply. But he is still the same God who spoke to Moses. His character has not changed since he spoke his commands. He still deserves great honour, and we must respect him. He is the God who never changes (Hebrews 13:8; James 1:17).
Hebrews 12:18-21 refers to the occasion when God spoke his commands to Israelís people. You can read about that event in Exodus chapters 19 and 20. It happened at the mountain called Sinai. God came down in a fire; smoke covered the mountain. The people stood round the mountain; God did not allow them to go upon it. They were very afraid (Exodus 20:18).
That was how God dealt with them then. His purpose was that they should know the fear of God. If they felt the fear of God, they would obey his commands (Exodus 20:20). We should still feel fear of God, but we should be grateful too. He has made it possible for us to serve him in a manner that pleases him (Hebrews 12:28). Because of the death of Christ, we can have a right relationship with him (Hebrews 9:14).
Next part: When God spoke his commands (Hebrews 12:19)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.