Unlike your ancestors, you didn't come to Mount Sinai - all that volcanic blaze and earthshaking rumble -
to hear God speak. The earsplitting words and soul-shaking message terrified them and they begged him to stop.
When they heard the words - "If an animal touches the Mountain, it's as good as dead" - they were afraid to move.
Even Moses was terrified.
No, that's not your experience at all. You've come to Mount Zion, the city where the living God resides. The invisible Jerusalem is populated by throngs of festive angels
and Christian citizens. It is the city where God is Judge, with judgments that make us just.
You've come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel's - a homicide that cried out for vengeance - became a proclamation of grace.
So don't turn a deaf ear to these gracious words. If those who ignored earthly warnings didn't get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings?
His voice that time shook the earth to its foundations; this time - he's told us this quite plainly - he'll also rock the heavens: "One last shaking, from top to bottom, stem to stern."
The phrase "one last shaking" means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.
Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander.
He's actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won't quit until it's all cleansed. God himself is Fire!
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)