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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

September 6, 2017

Exodus  19:1-20

  1. Verses 1-2. It took them three months of trusting God to get to this place, but they finally arrived. They saw God's deliverance from Egypt, received His guidance on the way to go, they saw His glorious victory at the Red Sea, they saw God provide food and water miraculously, and they saw a prayerful victory won over the Amalekites. Israel will stay in the Wilderness of Sinai until Numbers 10. More than 57 chapters of Scripture are devoted to what happened to Israel in the year they camped at Mount Sinai. In one sense, all that went before was meant to bring them to this place. This was the beginning of the fulfillment of what God said in Exodus 3:12: “this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Sinai was the place where Moses had his “burning bush” experience with God. The whole nation of Israel would soon experience some of what Moses had before. If the people would meet God at this mountain, it could only happen because Moses had already been there. The people could not go farther than their leader.

  2. II. Verses 3-6. Moses, led by God, went up on the mountain to meet with God as he had before and the LORD spoke to Moses again.

    1. “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob.” With this title, God associated the nation with the weakest and most carnal of the patriarchs. At this point, they acted more like Jacob than Abraham or Isaac. God gave a message to Israel through Moses. a message regarding His purpose and destiny for Israel. This destiny was based on what God already did for them in the great deliverance from Egypt.

    2. God's love and care was shown for Israel already, as “He bore you on eagle's Wings.” It is said that an eagle does not carry her young in her claws like other birds; the young eagles attach themselves to the back of the mother eagle and are protected as they are carried. Any arrow from a hunter must pass through the mother eagle before it could touch the young eagle on her back. The deliverance (I bore you on eagles’ wings) was for fellowship (brought you to Myself). God didn't deliver Israel so they could “do their own thing,” but so they could be God's people.

    3. “Then you shall be a special treasure to Me”: God intended for Israel to be a special treasure unto Him. He wanted them to be a people with a unique place in God's great plan, a people of great value and concern to God. “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests”: God intended for Israel to be a kingdom of priests, where every believer could come before God themselves, and everyone could represent God to the nations. Peter reminds us we are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9), those who serve God as both kings and priests (and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father (Revelation 1:6).

    4. And a holy nation: God intended for Israel to be a holy nation, a nation and people set apart from the rest of the world, the particular possession of God, fit for His purposes. Peter reminds us we are a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). As God's people, we must be set apart, thinking and doing differently than others in this world.

    5. “If you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then”: All this could only be fulfilled if Israel would stay in God's word. The word then is an important word here. Apart from knowing and doing God's word, God’s destiny for the nation would never be fulfilled. “Keep My covenant”: the covenant was greater than the law itself. The covenant God would make with Israel involved law, sacrifice, and the choice to obey and be blessed or to disobey and be cursed.

  3. Verses 7-9. The people will later be challenged to receive the covenant again, after they heard its terms, and they received it again (Exodus 24:1-8). As Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD, he is acting as a true priest, as an intermediary between God and the people; yet, God spoke audibly to Moses (that the people may hear when l speak with you) so everyone would know that it was really God speaking to Moses.

  4. Verses l0-13. God was going to appear to Israel in spectacular fashion; and before this could happen, the people had to prepare themselves. The people had to perform a ritual cleansing. The coming of God to Mount Sinai did not mean the people were free to go to the mountain and fellowship with God. They had to keep their distance behind a barrier, and the penalty for failing to keep their distance was death. Any person or animal killed for getting too close would be regarded as so unholy they could not even be touched, they had to be executed with stones or arrows. You shall set bounds for the people: If there is anything basic to human nature, it is that we need boundaries. In setting these boundaries and providing the death penalty for breaching them, God showed Israel that obedience is more important than their feelings. The people could only come near at God's invitation, and the trumpet signaled that the invitation was open. All of this was so to give the people a sense of awe to who God was. God is HOLY.

  5. Verses 14-15. Scriptures do not teach that there is any inherent uncleanness in sexual relations, but God wanted the people to demonstrate their desire for purity by putting on clean clothes and restraining from the flesh. This is a picture of a virgin bride waiting for the wedding night. The meeting with God could only come at the third day. Anyone who tried to meet with God before the third day tried to come before God opened the way.

  6. Verses 16-l9. With Thunderings and lightnings, and a thick cloud God demonstrated his power and glory to the people. Beyond all one could see, hear, and feel, then came a long, loud blast of a trumpet, a trumpet coming not from the camp but from heaven itself - no wonder all the people who were in the camp trembled. Then, Moses led the people right up to the barrier at the very foot of Mount Sinai, where they could see, smell, hear, and virtually taste the fire which engulfed the mountain - as well as feel the earth shake under their feet when the whole mountain quaked greatly. In the midst of all this, the sound of the trumpet blast became longer and louder and longer and louder, until Moses spoke to God - perhaps asking Him to stop.

  7. Verse 20. God came in a special presence to Mount Sinai, ready to meet with Moses as a representative of the whole nation of Israel. As the people trembled in terror at the foot of the mountain, Moses needed courage to go to the top and meet with God. It took courage for Moses to go up in the midst of all the thunder, lightning, earthquakes, fire, and smoke. But Moses knew God not only in terms of this awesome power, but also in terms of His gracious kindness.

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