All the people, experiencing the thunder and lightning, the trumpet blast and the smoking mountain, were afraid - they pulled back and stood at a distance.
They said to Moses, "You speak to us and we'll listen, but don't have God speak to us or we'll die."
Moses spoke to the people: "Don't be afraid. God has come to test you and instill a deep and reverent awe within you so that you won't sin."
The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)