“And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that His fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.” Exodus 20:18-21 (KJV)
This follows the event of receiving the Ten Commandments. The people have witnessed the seemingly stormy, troubling, loud, odorous, and fearful scene, and are very much afraid to approach the Lord GOD. However, this was an unwarranted, undesired fear. God is an awe-inspiring God.
The lives, and words of the people following this event show that their fear was not what was a godly fear; but a “Sorry I am here” fear which kept them from God, rather than drawing near to Him.
Moses, drew near to God. The “Darkness” mentioned shows us that God is unapproachable, except we come to Him His way. Moses approached God and “drew near unto the thick darkness where God was”.
Moses tells the people “Fear not” yet there is a fear of God that keeps us from sinning against Him. When we come to Him through His Son Jesus He accepts us, and welcomes us into His blessed and holy presence. That is when we do not fear.