Notes: March 1, 2008 – Exodus 19-20

The effectiveness of new leadership, whether political or business, is often evaluated after the first 3 months. Moses has been at the forefront of Israel’s departure from Egypt; and in today’s reading we see him again as the Israelite closest to God.

Exodus 19

I. Up on the mountain (Ex 19:1-8)

(2) Mount Sinai and the desert of Sinai

(4) Undeniable deliverance by God’s almighty hand

(5-6) Israel in the flesh was told: If you obey, you shall be a peculiar (special) people, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

Israel in the spirit was told (I Peter 2:9):

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Call it what you will, God (s)elected Israel and passed over all other people groups.

(8) Israel’s public and corporate commitment to obey God


II. Down in the valley (Ex 19:9-15)

(9) God intends to speak to the people, and He wants them both to hear and to believe.

Faith comes by hearing (Romans 10:17).

(10) To sanctify something is to set it apart for God’s holy purposes. This public sanctification was in anticipation of God’s presence 3 days hence.

(12-13) Death penalty for all who walk on the mountain, whether man or beast


III. God checks the security (Ex 19:16-25)

(16, 19) A trumpet blared loud and long. Was this a heavenly trumpet?

(17) Like a good shepherd, Moses brought his people to God. Jesus, THE good shepherd, saves His people from their sins.

(21) Moses warned again that nobody was to be climbing the mountain. The need to physically see something was not commendable; it was suicidal.

(22) Priests were to sanctify themselves. What priests?


Exodus 20 – The Ten Commandments

I. The law in 2 parts (Ex 20:1-17)

Part 1: Our obligation to God (Ex 20:1-11)

  • no other gods
  • no graven images devoted to the true God
  • no blasphemous use of God’s name
  • no personal work on the sabbath

Part 2: The law and others (Ex 20:12-17)

  • honor your parents
  • no murder
  • no adultery
  • no stealing
  • no lying about others
  • no covetousness


II. The people are afraid of God (Exodus 20:18-21)

(19) Unwilling to communicate with God directly, the people demand a mediator

(20) God’s powerful presence is a test of their faith


III. Guidelines for worship (Ex 20:22-26)

(23) No silver or gold images

(24-25) No fancy, outdoor altars; no cut or carved stone, no elaborate stairways

(25) Human effort pollutes worship