These moments between God and Israel were meant to instill the fear of the Lord. This covenant they have entered with God is serious stuff because God is unapproachably holy, and His holiness demands obedience. Friends, the sad part of reading Exodus is that while the people came to see God’s holiness, the Law alone had no power to keep them from sin. It made people labor in their own strength, in futility, always trying to measure up to God. We see this today. People might not even know about the Law, but they’re laboring in their own strength – trying to be moral, trying to be a bit more put together or successful or generous than the next guy, trying to feel like they measure up and can finally approach the unapproachable God. But it doesn’t work. He’s too holy. Our sin makes us dry timber for His fires of judgement. This moment in Exodus was preparation for Christ. For grace – what Jesus did for us when he lived out the Law on our behalf and died on the cross to take the wrath of God for our sins – to make sense, God’s holiness must make sense. To appreciate how we can now approach the throne of God in confidence, we must first see that, apart from Christ, approaching God is utterly impossible.