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Personal Covenant Relationship with God (Exodus 19,20)

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CHAPTER 19 Feb.10 
God Proposes a Covenant
In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2When they had departed from Rephidim, and had come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain. 3Moses went up to God, and Yahweh called to him out of the mountain, saying, This is what you shall tell the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: 4‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself. 5Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My very own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine; 6and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation’. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel. 7Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which Yahweh commanded him. 8All the people answered together, and said, All that Yahweh has spoken we will do. Moses reported the words of the people to Yahweh. 9Yahweh said to Moses, Behold, I come to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever. Moses told the words of the people to Yahweh. 10Yahweh said to Moses, Go to the people, and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments, 11and be ready against the third day; for on the third day Yahweh will come down in the sight of all the people on Mount Sinai. 12You shall set bounds to the people all around, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t go up onto the mountain, or touch its border. Whoever touches the mountain shall be surely put to death. 13No hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot through; whether it is animal or man, he shall not live’. When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come up to the mountain.
The Need to Respect God’s Holiness
14Moses went down from the mountain to the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes. 15He said to the people, Be ready by the third day. Don’t have sexual relations with a woman. 16It happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. 18Mount Sinai, all of it, smoked, because Yahweh descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. 20Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. 21Yahweh said to Moses, Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Yahweh to gaze, and many of them perish. 22Let the priests also, who come near to Yahweh, sanctify themselves, lest Yahweh break forth on them. 23Moses said to Yahweh, The people can’t come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it’. 24Yahweh said to him, Go down and you shall bring Aaron up with you, but don’t let the priests and the people break through to come up to Yahweh, lest He break forth on them. 25So Moses went down to the people, and told them.


19:4 The eagle tries to teach its young to fly independently by casting them out of the nest and flying beneath them to catch them if they fall, as well as the draft from it’s own wings keeping them in motion. God wants His people to fly independently, not just be carried by Him.
19:6 We in Christ are His Kingdom of priests (1 Pet. 2:9). The priests were from the tribe of Levi, and the kings from Judah. But God’s intention was that all His people should be priests, rather than giving the responsibility for spiritual care and welfare to a select group of specialists. Nearly all religions delegate spiritual care to some group of specialists, but amongst God’s true people we are all intended to be priests. Although Christ was from the kingly tribe of Judah, He is a priest too (Heb. 7:11-13)- and we who are in Him can therefore be a Kingdom of priests even now, and in the future be king-priests who shall reign eternally on earth (Rev. 5:10). Whilst the full physical manifestation of God’s Kingdom is yet to come at Christ’s return, we who are under the Kingship and dominion of God are in that sense His kingdom in embryo, in the sense that the people ruled over by a king are his ‘kingdom’.
19:19 According to Heb. 12:18-29, Moses was very frightened by the earthquake and sound of the voice. That passage draws a comparison with the voice of the blood of Christ, which is yet more powerful- having the power to shake all things to their very core.
19:24 God judges people in a manner appropriate to their sin- if the people broke through to gaze at Yahweh, He would break through in judgment against them.