Do Not Be Afraid

“When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, ‘Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning.’ The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” (Exodus 20:18-21) 
 
What a dramatic scene at the base of Mt. Sinai – thunder, lightning, the trumpet, and smoke all struck fear in the hearts of God’s people. They needed reassurance from Moses, and he spoke words of hope and instruction from God. “Do not be afraid, God is testing you.” 
 
Two types of fear are evident in this passage – the fear of man and the fear of God. Dark times cause people to look at outward circumstances and tremble with fear, but the fear of God causes you to look inward and keeps you from sinning.  As fundraisers, we meet people who are reluctant to give because of these fearful times. Your best response is to share God’s word, “Do not be afraid, God is testing us.” Demonstrate your calm leadership and faith. 
 
The most breathtaking moment in this passage is, “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” Our world is facing darkness. You might be facing darkness organizationally, professionally, or even personally. Don’t stand at a distance in the fear of man. Be courageous and walk toward the darkness where God is. 
 
“Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous” (Psalm 112:4). 
 
May you have a Spirit-led week! 
 Ron

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