Chapter 19 – Mount Sinai (also called Mount Horeb) is one of the most sacred locations in Israel’s history. It is where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. God is preparing Moses to prepare Israel for the laws to keep the people safe and on the proper path. Look at verses 3-7:
Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now IF you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my TREASURED POSSESSIONS. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
God tells Moses IF you obey me fully and keep my covenant THEN out of ALL nations YOU WILL BE MY TREASURED POSSESSION. Oh… how I love those words – “treasured possession.” Doesn’t it bring you a great peace?? God had a reason for delivering the Israelites out of Egypt. God was now ready to tell them the reason. Israel was to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation who could approach God freely. WHY did God want to have a special nation on earth? So he could represent HIS way of life, to teach HIS word, and to be an agent of salvation to the world. Through his “treasured possession” he would bring the Messiah, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who brings salvation to ALL who would CHOOSE to BELIEVE in HIM. Did Israel DO anything to deserve this ?…. No it was completely out of HIS love and mercy that HE chose them…… as it is today with all who choose to ask Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Will Israel be able to maintain an unbroken covenant??? Ummmmmm… I’m kind of betting no….. I mean they are people just like you and me…. They are sinners as we all are. Now they have already been grumbling and murmuring before the Lord as we have seen in the past two days. AND, Moses was given advice by Jethro to delegate his duties as a judge (so he was having to judge something.. you know what I mean??)
Moses was told to consecrate the people… to get them physically and spiritually clean…ready to meet God … by the THIRD DAY.
Chapter 20 & 21– The Ten Commandments. These are not just a list of “rules” to live by. They have a purpose then, and now. When you read them you will see that the first 4 pertain to our RELATIONSHIP with God. The last 6 pertain to our relationship with people, which God cares deeply about. The commandments are also paired up into categories…God, Religion, Family, Humanness, and Social Life. The commandments were designed to lead Israel to a life of practical holiness so they could see the NATURE of God and his plan for how they should live. Jesus said this about the law in Matt 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to FULFILL them.” I have heard people say that the Ten Commandments are no longer valid. Obeying them has NOTHING to do with salvation but has everything to do with the way God WANTS us to live for our safety and as a Christian. I see the 10 commandments as boundaries to guide us along the way.
The 10 commandments really are a vehicle to become MUCH closer to God and each other. Did you ever really think all this lying, deceit, sex, violence, rebellion, grumbling, etc. was in the Bible? (You cannot MAKE THIS STUFF UP!! 🙂 ) I mean we are ONLY in Exodus and we have seen it ALL!! The Ten Commandments were given to US at the time of the Israelites so that they would clean up, and live more according to God and to help us do the same. Look at Matthew 5: 18-22
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment…
James 1: 22-25 states:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
As you read the 10 commandments with fresh new eyes … read them by inserting your name in them to make them personal and see how God speaks to you through HIS Word. For example I would say: “Gina will not have other gods before ME.”
Psalms 119:18 says: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Psalm 19:7 states: “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.“
Psalm 119-72 states: “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold. “
After the 10 Commandants you find the Bible starts reciting how to handle situations. This is Called the Book of the Covenant (20:22-23:33). First God gave the 10 Commandments and then he shows to APPLY them, examples of how they should be used. The examples really go into detail, and many of them made me think of some of our laws we have today. The Old Testament has been referred to as the Canon, the Old Testament Canon. Canon means “reed” or “measuring stick”. God is laying out the handbook for us. This Bible is our Manual, so guess what??? LIFE DOES COME with an instruction book :-).
Here are a list of 10 scriptures from the WORDS of Jesus. Look them up so you can see what the New Testament says about the Commandments. Click on them….they will sound familiar especially after re-reading the 10 commandments.
Sharing HIS love,