29 May 2020

There are a lot of people who talk about images of the Glory of God. Most of them don’t consider what they are talking about. God is not contained or depicted in any art: the only image of himself he has given is Christ.

We are commanded not to make such images, for that is an error, and Calvin comments that the descriptions we have of his glory are such that we cannot penetrate them, for they are fire, and smoke and a glory we cannot bear.

In the old commandment, we are at the foot of the mountain, trembling. For our God is one who inspires awe, and we fear.

Exodus 19:16-25

16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits round the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.

The difference with the new covenant is that God did come and deal with our sin. We are now told not to fear, for we are of him. This is something we cannot comprehend. The enormity of this should not merely make us humble, it should make us do the will of God and not what we want to do.

Romans 8:14-17

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.