Reading: Exodus 19:7-25
God is preparing Israel to receive and accept His law. Through the mouth of Moses God speaks to Israel to impress upon them His majesty, power and covenant mercy. However, God needs to do more to address Israel’s stubborn pride, spiritual sleepiness and rebelliousness. God therefore adds another lesson; He will Himself descend upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people to show them the brightness of His glory (vs 11). Furthermore God will publicly show that He, and not Moses, is the author of the Ten Commandments. But first Israel must be consecrated, wash their clothes and the men are not to come near their wives. Israel is sinful and God is holy. Israel must therefore put aside earthly matters, seek forgiveness of their sins, meditate on God’s goodness, majesty and holiness and worship Him. This will make them more ready to meet God and receive His commandments.
On the third day, in the morning, Mt Sinai is covered in a thick cloud. There is thunder, lightning and the very loud sound of the trumpet. All the people in the camp tremble. Moses leads the Israelites to the foot of the mountain and then the Lord descends in fire, accompanied by a great earthquake; the trumpet sounds louder and longer. These awesome and terrifying wonders are necessary to humble the proud and awaken others from their lazy, sleepy and careless spiritual states. The people, now very alert to their sins and God’s judgment, need to tremble, so that they might flee for refuge to God’s mercy. What a mighty and impressive lesson for the Israelites; they will never forget it.
We thank the Lord for including Exodus 19 in the Bible. We too must learn to be teachable, humble, and avoid spiritual sleepiness so that we will accept, in faith, God’s commandments and admission to the heavenly doctrine of salvation.
Key verse: Exodus 19:10-11 “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.’ ”
Question: How does Exodus 19 help you to meditate on God’s law?