The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?” (Num 17:12-13)
The Israelites who had grumbled against the Lord have now seen his power repeatedly displayed, and finally they fear him. This is an important step in their spiritual development, but it is not yet the whole story. There is a progression that many follow in coming to know the Lord, and that the Israelites were following. Initially they were ignorant of God altogether. Then they came to understand him as one of many gods. Now at last they have understood that he is the one true, all-powerful God and they fear him. But there is one more step each of us must take – to know that he is our God and he loves us. Perfect love casts out fear. (1 Jn 4:18) God is fearfully strong. But because I know he is good and loving I know that he desires only what is best for me. Saved by his grace I can rest secure in his arms. Our High Priest Jesus has made atonement for us. “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence,” not fear. (Heb 4:16)
Lord, thank you that you have made a way for us to boldly come before you. Not by our righteousness but by your grace. Thank you that I need not fear your presence! Amen.