September 2

Exodus 19 / Read

This was an incredible moment for God’s people. It was a moment in which God confirmed his special relationship with them and called them to represent him by receiving and obeying his commands. It was a moment in which they wouldn’t just hear from God, but they would see him descend on Mount Sinai. They were going to experience him like they never had before.

God showed his people that he was fulfilling the covenant he had made with them generations prior in the life of Abraham (see Genesis 15 and 17 and the Daily Readings from March 14 and 19, respectively). He promised Abraham that he would have a child of his own and that the descendants of his family would be too numerous to count. Now those descendants stood at the foot of Mount Sinai, having grown from a family into tribes and waiting to be made into a nation.

The earthly realities of the Old Testament are not simply historical events for those who believe. They also serve as pictures of the spiritual realities that unfold in the New Testament because of Jesus Christ.

Peter, an eyewitness to Jesus and one of his first followers, would write to 1st-Century Christians: “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.” (1 Peter 2:9) These words are nearly identical to those God spoke to Moses about the people of Israel in today’s reading (see vv. 5-6).

This connection makes two things clear to us: First, Abraham’s descendants - that is, the people of God - are a spiritual family that anyone can be part of through faith in Christ. Second, God’s people are always called to be holy - that is, “set apart” or different from the rest of humanity because of their obedience to God’s commands.

  • To what degree do you understand God’s commands for how his people are to live? Have you ever read his commands for yourself? (Exodus 20-23 and Matthew 5-7 are helpful starting points.)

  • In what way(s) have you experienced God most significantly in your life? More specifically, how has he found you when you weren’t looking for him and rescued you when you couldn’t help yourself?

  • To what degree is your life a testimony to who God is to you? Is there any way in which God is calling you to greater obedience? What will it take for you to do so?