Reading: Exodus 19:5-6
God is preparing Israel to receive and accept His law. God not only brought Israel to Himself; He also made a legal agreement (the covenant) with them. He promises to be their God and care for them, without fail. Psalm 105:8 says “He remembers His covenant forever, the word which He commanded, for a thousand generations”. God also promises in vs 5 and 6 “you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’
The whole earth and the nations belong to God. Through sin the nations turned away from God and serve idols; they live in darkness, slaves to sin and Satan. But Israel is chosen to be the Lord’s special people. Israel is not better than the other nations; they do not deserve God’s compassion, therefore their adoption by God is pure grace.
The Israelites shall be God’s “treasured possession” and “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Israel, the Old Testament church, is very precious to God. As priests Israelites are to present themselves to God as living sacrifices of thankfulness and obedience. Peter explains why the church is “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people”: so “that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy” (1 Peter 2:9-10).
To continue receiving such great blessings, Israel must be faithful to God by obeying God’s voice and keeping His covenant (vs 5). Obedience is the greatest sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Keeping God’s covenant means keeping the Ten Commandments. Later God strengthens this request by threatening Israel with covenant curses if they do not obey.
Key verse: Exodus 19:5-6 “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. 6 And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’
Question: How in your daily life are you a priest to God?