Exodus 20:18-26

Intro: Tonight we come to the end of Ch. 20 – where we see the peoples reaction to God’s giving of the Law

A)We started this section – you might recall in Ch.19 w/ the Lord – telling Moses to remind the people of His Heart

B) How He delivered them out of bondage and how He bore them up on eagles wings

  1. The Lord wanted THAT to be in their minds before this whole scene unfolded – because He knew it would freak them out

C) See God wanted His Law – Awesome Holiness to be seen in light of His Loving Heart – the two always go together

In 1 John 5:3 3For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

  1. This is the love of God – Not this is how you Earn it or Merit it / No God’s love is unconditional – we already have it in Christ
  2. So it is not how you Earn it / Merit it / But This is how you Experience it / this is how you Enjoy it /
  3. 1)this is how you Live in the love of God to the Fullest ………..

  4. Which is Why these could be called the Tender Commandments – Not our way of earning God’s favor – but now that we are saved –
  1. Give us insight into how we are to live & the direction that the H.S. is seeking to take us – Work He is seeking to do in us as we yield to Him


Read v.18-19



So the people hear the Lord speak – they hear the thunderings / the trumpet blaring/ they see the lightning flashing / mountain smoking

A)Their reaction is – Moses don’t let God talk to us any more – they trembled & stood a far off !!!!!- You talk to God …. Tell us what ….

Isa encounter w/ the Lord Woe …. Woe is me – Undone ……….

B) Listen that is the purpose of the Law is to show us that we are UNDONE we are BANKRUPT need a Savior / we need a Mediator –

  1. that is what the people wanted in Moses / That is what Jesus became – the Savior of sinners / Mediator between God & man

So after God speaks the People are Stunned

C) This illustrates the power of the word of God – in our lives

  1. The word is sharper than a two edged sword – it pierces our hearts

Divides between the soul & Spirit / Joints & the marrow

  1. When The Word of God is taught it – attacks our Flesh – Challenges our flesh / deals a death blow to our flesh
  2. 1) It Pierces me / penetrates to the Core of my heart / if a person is caught up in the flesh /- it makes them feel uncomfortable

    E)Because of that some peoples reaction is like – the people of Israel here don’t let God speak to us

    1) – I don’t want to go to Bible study – Challenged

  3. Those area’s of their lives that are not right – get attacked – convicted – they simply respond – I don’t want to here that anymore / had enough

One of the reasons why so many – FEEL GOOD churches today

A)Not going to talk about sin / not going to talk about responsibility / a lot of people like that – tell me how great I am / how be better

B) Wife – I don’t want to go to that Church – always feel convicted / or makes me feel uncomfortable

C) People go from Pastor to Pastor – not heeding the word – Because it attacks the area of their flesh – they don’t want to Change

  1. People quit going to Bible study / quit picking up the word – drop out of fellowship – Because it makes them feel uncomfortable

D)But in some ways studying the word is like –working out/ process is uncomfortable – reminded – need lose weight / weak / sweat

  1. Can’t do what I used to be able to do – ( Washed up) / I can come up w/ 100 excuses of why I can’t do it –

E)But I always feel better afterwards – so glad that I did

  1. How the Word is – attacks the flesh / shows areas that need to Change / but when I embrace what it says – allow the Lord to do surgery / so glad


So the Peoples reaction is fear – but Moses responds v.20 And Moses said to the people, "Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."

A)Now this almost seems like a Contradiction / don’t be afraid – but the Lord has come to test you, that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin."

B) God doesn’t want us to be afraid of Him / but He wants us to have a Healthy Fear of Him – Rev. / respect for the Lord

Charles Bridges

" The fear of the Lord is that affectionate reverence, by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law.

b)A Healthy dread of doing anything that would displease Him – because we love Him so much


C)Why would the Lord want His fear to be Before us ?

So Both knowledge and wisdom, the ability to use knowledge, starts by fearing the Lord.

D)Matthew Henry points out that not only means our days will be more in number, but they will be more full, in the sense of joy and gladness.

  1. This is the same idea taught in Proverbs 19:23, where it says, " the fear of the LORD leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction."



Solomon had it all. He had all the money, power, and women he could ever want. Yet as he came to the end of his life he declared all was vain. A)Solomon realized that there was only one chief end to man, and that was to fear God, keeping His commandments.

B)The wisest man to ever live looked back on his life and this was his ultimate reflection. We too must learn what it means to fear the Lord.

Psalm 34:11 "Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

David was a famous musician, a statesman, a soldier; but he does not say to the children, "I will teach you to play on the harp, or to handle the sword or spear, or to draw the bow, or I will teach you the maxims of state policy;" but I will teach you the fear of the Lord, which is better than all arts and sciences, better than all burnt-offerings and sacrifices. That is it which we should be solicitous both to learn ourselves and to teach our children

Proverbs 8:13 The Fear of the Lord is to hate evil -

A)Moses declares – God wants to put His fear in You – that reverential Awe so that you don’t sin !!!!!

B)He knows the damage that sin can bring – He hates sin / wants to keep us from it / think twice about it

II Chronicles 14:14, "Then they defeated all the cities around Gerar, for the fear of the LORD came upon them; and they plundered all the cities, for there was exceedingly much spoil in them."

C)it resulted in victory for Israel

D)the Lord came upon them, that is, a fear which God struck them with to such a degree that they had no heart to withstand the conquerors.(from



Here after the Law is heeded an ALTAR is needed

A)When a person really hears the Law of God – you realize – I am a sinner and I need a Savior – Sacrifice is needed to take away sins

B) NOTE THE DIVINE FLOW – God gives the law & then He instructs –build an ALTAR

  1. Tremendous insight into the heart of God – I will make Provision

C) At the foot of Mt. Sinai – after the Law is given – that which would be a school master – man’s need – God says – Make an altar

  1. Preview of the Sacrifice that God would give in His Son

D) Sacrifice of Burnt offerings / Peace …./ all pictures of Jesus –see when we get there


Notice the details concerning this Altar – It was to be an Altar of earth or an Altar of Stone –

A)The altar wasn’t to be of gold or silver – it wasn’t to be ornate or fancy Architecturally – it was to be simple why?

B) So that the focus would not be on the Altar but on the Sacrifice –

  1. Idea was – not come to the Altar and go – WOW – look at that Altar look how Beautiful it is – but the focus on the Sacrificial Lamb

C) Interesting that most of the Typology in the N.T. –about Jesus is from the Tabernacle – not the Temple (God didn’t want Temple – allowed Solomon)

  1. God instructed Moses to build the Tab.- preview of Him who would come & Tabernacle among us

D) Can’t wait to get to that section – Longest single section in scripture 12 Chapters – at first glance – seems boring – Building instructions

  1. Every aspect of it speaks of Jesus Christ

E)But what was the Tabernacle ? It was a Tent – very simple / very basic


The same thing is true about Church – Buildings / Worship / Programs

A)Keep it simple - focus on Jesus

B) Sometimes – distracted by fancy – Art / Architecture – Some Churches are known more for their incredible Structures

  1. Then for the presence of the Lord in that Place

C) In Worship the goal is to see Jesus – Musicians & singers – Invisible

  1. It is interesting that the Further a group gets from the Lord – there is a tendency to get more Grand & complicated in those two areas

D) Ornate Building additions / and Complicated / showy / Performance oriented Music / In some ways it is like a cover up

1)creating a sense of glory & grandeur / because God’s presence not there

So the Lord says – make it out of earth or stone and don’t even Chisel it not manufactured by man –

A)Indicating that the Lord desires that our worship would be simple


B) The second thing that the Lord – points out about our worship is that it would be marked by Humility –

1)No steps to the Altar – so that people would see your nakedness

C) The pagans made altars that were high – priest would climb stairs – in those days – wore Robes – see Rear ends

D) The higher you go the more your FLESH is seen !!


We have a tendency today to develop steps to the Altar

A)12 step program is a good example – ( now I know some people who have been helped thru it )

B) But what those type of programs do is they put a lot of attention on me – my effort – my progress

  1. I am doing well – I am on step seven

C) Self Dependency instead of a God dependency – I am going to Kick this –I am in the program – I am climbing higher & higher

D) The higher we climb the more our FLESH is seen


Listen the way to the Lord is not by climbing up any Ladders or steps

A)Not man going up / but in God coming down

B)The 2nd Chapt. Of the book of Philippians. Describes the marvelous & gracious descent of the Lord Jesus who was in the form of God …..equal w/ God

  1. 5 Distinct steps mark His decent – five being number of Grace
  2. 1)He made Himself of no reputation,

  3. took upon Him the form of a bondservant,
  4. and coming in the likeness of men.
  5. 8And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself
  6. and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

C)Evident from His descent there are no steps for man to climb Religion vs. relationship

D) Salvation comes – thru one Step – Lord have mercy on me a Sinner


So the Lord says – don’t make it w/ steps – I don’t want your nakedness to be seen – but the Sacrifice –

A)Jesus / nothing more / nothing less/ nothing else


B) Behold him who bore our sin

  1. Mommy you have the most beautiful hands & arms I have ever seen !!!!


C) So finish this Chapter on the Law of God / next week goal Ch.21-23 law of Moses

1) Note tonight Between the two – the Lord says an altar is needed