Man's True Attitude Before God
Deuteronomy 5:28-29
And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when you spoke to me; and the LORD said to me…

There were three sentiments referred to when God declared of the Israelites that they had well said all that they had spoken.

1. That sinners must be consumed if they stood by themselves before God in His majesty.

2. That they need a Mediator.

3. That a Mediator once appointed must be unflinchingly obeyed. And forasmuch as God distinctly avouches His approval of that which the Israelites had uttered, we learn at once that to have a dread of His majesty, a desire for an Intercessor, and a determination to obey, make up the characteristics which the Creator searches after, and delights in, amongst His creatures. We have now to show that the three sentiments, into whose expression this speech is reducible, do virtually recognise the leading truths of religion; and there will then be no difficulty in understanding whey God should have declared — "I have heard the voice, etc. Now we suppose that the secret spring of all impiety and all irreligion is the want of a due sense of the awfulness of God. Oh! for the trumpet peal, the thunder, and the lightning which heralded and announced the presence of the living God on Sinai! Something of the like scene takes place, something of the like instrumentality is introduced, whenever the Holy Spirit effects the work of conversion. The man is made actually to feel that God is to be reverenced, feared, and dreaded; that He is, and must be, a consuming fire to His adversaries. And then, when man is brought to the discovering by the law the infinite number of his offences against God, and the distinct impossibility that anyone should be forgotten or overlooked — then, for the first time, can he be said to know rightly the awfulness of God; and then, for the first time, will he be softened in heart, and stricken in spirit, and confess from his very soul that the Almighty is terrible. But we go on to inquire what course it will be which the awakened man adopts when made thoroughly conscious that God is thus awful? It is enough if he discern but something of the spirituality of the law, of its infinite demands, of its unmitigated penalties; for he instantly perceives that it were as idle to think of grasping the sun and the stars as of obeying this law for himself, and there is at once wrought in man the persuasion that he cannot stand in his own strength and in his own merit, face to face with his Maker. He will be ready to lie down in the dust, and leave himself to be crushed beneath the weight of indignation, unless, indeed, he can find some being mighty enough and pure enough to rise as an intercessor, and plead his cause with the Most High. Add to this the third sentiment, and the illustration of our text will be complete. "Speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee, and we will hear and do it." You understand from this that the Israelites had, so far, right apprehensions of the office of the Mediator, as the expression may witness — not only to shield them from wrath, but to teach them their duty. There is no lack under the Gospel dispensation of a readiness to be delivered by Christ from the anguish which is the portion of those who die unregenerated. But unless Christ Jesus be received under all His characters, it is not possible that He should be received under any. Prophet, Priest, and King to His Church, I must submit to His teaching, and I must bow before His sceptre, if ever I look to be reconciled by His sacrifice. Those whom He washes in His blood, He instructs as a master, and reigns over as a monarch.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the LORD said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee: they have well said all that they have spoken.

WEB: Yahweh heard the voice of your words, when you spoke to me; and Yahweh said to me, "I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you: they have well said all that they have spoken.

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