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Previous Lessons: 1
On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. 9 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you forever.”
When Moses told the words of the people to the Lord, 10 the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments 11 and be ready for the third day. For on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 And you shall set limits for the people all around, saying, ‘Take care not to go up into the mountain or touch the edge of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall be put to death. 13 No hand shall touch him, but he shall be stoned or shot; whether beast or man, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds a long blast, they shall come up to the mountain.” 14 So Moses went down from the mountain to the people and consecrated the people; and they washed their garments. 15 And he said to the people, “Be ready for the third day; do not go near a woman.”
16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain. 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly. 19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to the Lord to look and many of them perish. 22 Also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves, lest the Lord break out against them.” 23 And Moses said to the Lord, “The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for you yourself warned us, saying, ‘Set limits around the mountain and consecrate it.’” 24 And the Lord said to him, “Go down, and come up bringing Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the Lord, lest he break out against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Questions to Consider:
1. Refresh your memory on the answers to the bullet point questions from Lesson 1 (link above). What are the major events that led Moses and Israel up to the point where they are now in chapter 19? Do you see the steps God has taken to call Israel out of slavery and begin establishing them as a nation? In what ways has God demonstrated that He has a right to rule over Israel? How does God’s right to rule Israel lay the foundation for God giving the 10 Commandments?
2. Briefly review Exodus 18:13-26. How would having a codified set of laws (i.e. the 10 Commandments) have helped the people as well as Moses and the elders as they judged cases? Do you see how this passage helps show the need for the 10 Commandments to be laid down?
3. In chapter 19, verses 3-6, which words and phrases show God’s goodness, kindness, tenderness, love, and care for His people? How do these verses indicate God’s authority over His people? Verses 5-6 outline what we now call the Mosaic Covenant. In this “if/then” pronouncement, what are the “ifs” required of the people and the “thens” God promises them in return? Is this a unilateral or bilateral covenant? What was the people’s response to the covenant? (7-8)
4. Did the Mosaic Covenant promise people right standing with God as long as they simply obeyed His laws with their outward behavior? How did faith and the attitude of the heart factor into Old Testament obedience and righteousness? How is this similar to God’s expectations of obedience for Christians today?
5. What actions were the people to take in preparation for God’s appearance on Mount Sinai? (10,14,15) How do verses 9-25 demonstrate God’s power and holiness? The seriousness and solemnity with which the people should treat His presence and His words? How did the people respond? Do you think the church today reveres God and His word as deeply as Israel did that day? Should we? Why or why not?
6. What does the word consecrate mean? How should physically consecrating themselves (10,14,15) have been an object lesson to Israel that they were to be spiritually consecrated to God as well? What does it mean for Christians to consecrate ourselves to the Lord?
7. How do verses 11, 16-17 give us a mini-foreshadowing of the resurrection of Christ?
Ask God to reveal any areas of your life or worship in which…
…you do not treat Him or His word reverently and solemnly
…you need to consecrate yourself, or set yourself apart from worldliness, more for Him.
Repent where you have fallen short. Is there any tangible action you can take to help you revere God more or pursue holiness to a greater degree?