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.” (Exodus 19:1-6)
Freed from oppression and bondage, across the Red Sea, and through the wilderness, the people of God have arrived at the foot of the mountain. This was it. This is what was promised in Exodus 3:12, 12 He said, “But I will be with you, and this shall be the sign for you, that I have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.”
So they’re here, at the foot of the mountain, where they’ll camp for the rest of Exodus-for the giving of the law, the building of the tabernacle and a bunch of shenanigans in between.
The Lord leading His people to the foot of this mountain is His way of saying: I promised this way before you guys even started moving. Long before Moses even embraced His calling and went before Pharaoh, before the oppression, before the plagues, before the Passover, before the Red Sea, before the manna and water and war: I, the LORD YOUR GOD, told you I would bring you to this mountain. I’m tried and true. Faithful and steadfast. I have fulfilled what I promised. And I’m just getting started.
God is revealing more of His covenant with His people and these next few weeks (Exodus 19-24) we will see the Mosaic Covenant unfold. This week, we’ll see how God’s love is displayed to His people by reminding them of the covenant, calling them to prepare, and displaying his power, presence, and purpose to the people of Israel.
19:1-8 God’s Fulfilled Promise
19:9-15 God’s Call to Prepare
19:16-25 God’s Power and Presence
20:1-21 God’s Purpose and the People’s Response
Watch this week’s teaching here: