Here we note that when Israel first arrived at Mt. Sinai God gave them the ten commandments by speaking to them. But they couldn't stand to hear his voice and begged Moses to hear from God for them.
Ex 20:19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.
So God then gave them the Law written in stone. In doing this they rejected the path of direct communication with God and chose to use an intermediary. In other words they chose to be under the law rather than hear from God for themselves.
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