And Israel said to Moses, you speak to us and we will listen, but let not God speak to us, lest we die… And the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was (Exodus 20:18-24).
When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid themselves from the presence of God, at the sound of His voice while walking through the garden (Gen.3:8). A routine of the day when God would come to commune with them in the cool of the day, became a fearful experience. Peace was replaced by fear and guilt, when they made the decision to believe the serpent, instead. Sin had taken them away from the presence of God and robbed them of their relationship with Him. No longer could they feel comfortable in the presence of the holy God. What was so important to them, they lost in the decision they had made. Now, instead of welcoming God in their midst, they hid from Him as if to tell Him, leave us alone. When Israel experienced the holiness of God marked by thunders, smoking mountain, lightning, they feared Him and begged Moses to speak to them, instead. It had been three months since Israel had left Egypt in a supernatural and powerful way, when God expressed His love, His faithfulness through miracles and signs, when He walked ahead of them providing shelter from the sun and light for the night through a pillar of clouds and fire, when He opened the Red Sea and guided them through it in dry land and at the same time killing their enemies. But seemly, Israel lacked God’s holiness, and in their sinful condition, they acted like Adam and Eve – fearful.