Lesson Info:

Lesson 3 Fall Quarter
Lesson Text:  Exodus 19:1-6; 24:3-8
Golden Text:  Exodus 24:3

Listen to Today’s Lesson


In our lesson last week, we saw the children of Israel making preparation for Passover.  Our lesson this week follows the children of Israel after they have been freed from the bondage of Egypt and crossed over the Red Sea on dry ground.  Today’s lesson is being taught from Exodus 19:1-6; 24:3-8.

God Calls For Obedience

This week’s lesson opens in the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt (v.1).  From our lesson last week, we know that the children of Israel left in Nisan (March-April).  For the Hebrews, the third month would have been Sivan (May-June).

God’s Covenant at Mount Sinai

We are told that on the same day in the third month the children of Israel came to the wilderness of Sinai.  Now, I do not know if you will recall the foreshadowing that I spoke of in the first lesson of this quarter so I will remind you of that here.  In the first lesson of this quarter, I spoke about the foreshadowing of Moses leading God’s flock to Horeb when he was tending to Jethro’s flock (Ex. 3:1).  In this moment, we see that foreshadowing fulfilled as Moses has now brought God’s flock, the children of Israel, to Horeb – Mount Sinai (v.2).

Before the mountain, Moses, we are told, went up to God and the Lord called to Moses from the mountain (v.3); the Lord had a message to deliver to the children of Israel.  To the children of Israel, the Lord said, “‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.  Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine (vss.4-5).”

So, God was calling for obedience from the children of Israel.  Look at what obedience would lead to for the children of Israel.  The Lord said that the children of Israel would be a special treasure to the Lord above all people.  This same thing holds true today for all who genuinely believe in His only begotten Son.

You see, God was making a covenant with the children of Israel – this was their covenant.  If the children of Israel were to be obedient and keep the covenant, the Lord said they would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (v.6).  This, again, was a covenant that was made to the children of Israel first.

Now, Christ, as we know, is a new covenant – a covenant made through His shed blood.  Through the shed blood of Christ, we find forgiveness and salvation through our faith.  Those that believe in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).  Through Christ, we have an heavenly promise that we will one day reign eternally with Him.  When you are obedient and keep the way of Christ, you will be blessed and highly favored in God’s eyes.  Again, all of this requires one to obediently follow the Lord.

Keeping God’s Covenant

After receiving these words from the Lord, our lesson skips to Exodus 24, and we see where Moses came and told the people the words of the Lord (v.3).  To the people, he shared God’s commandments and judgments – His law.  The people were given a choice as to whether or not they would keep the covenant that the Lord was making with them.  When it came to the covenant, the people said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”

So, the children of Israel, we should understand, were making a vow – a promise of obedience – to keep the Lord’s judgments and commandments; they were vowing to keep God’s law.  Vows, promises made to the Lord, should never be thought of lightly because they are very serious.  The reason why promises are serious with the Lord is because is not one to ever break His promises – He is always going to keep His promises.

On this note, Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools.  Pay what you have vowed — Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.  Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error (Eccl. 5:4-6).”  So, we should take the covenant that we have made with God when we believe in His only begotten Son very seriously.

After the children of Israel said that they would do the words of God, Moses wrote all the words of the Lord (v.4).  This is interesting because we know that the Lord would later write these words down on stone tablets when Moses would go up into the mountain.  In fact, Moses would later have to write these words on another pair of tablets after the first pair would be destroyed because of Israel’s great sin at the mountain.

When Old Meets New

Within that same verse, we are told that Moses woke up the next morning, built an altar at the foot of the mountain and raised twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel (v.4).  Moses was preparing to worship the Lord; I genuinely believe that Moses was thrilled with the choice of the people.

In preparation, Moses sent young men who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings to the Lord (v.5).  Burnt offerings were offerings to the Lord that was a sign of being totally committed to the Lord.  Peace offerings were offerings that would bring one into peace and fellowship with the Lord.

Moses took the blood of the sacrifice and sprinkled half of it on the altar (v.6) – this was done to purify the altar.  After doing this, Moses took the Book of the Covenant and read it in the hearing of the people.  After hearing the reading of the covenant, again, the people said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient (v.7).”  So, again, the children of Israel were making a promise of obedience to keep the covenant of the Lord.

Now, we know that the children of Israel would immediately break this covenant with the Lord which is honestly very saddening; the children of Israel did not quite understand the covenant that they were coming into agreement with.  James said it best when it came to the Mosaic Law, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all (Jas. 2:10).”  For this reason, Jesus, the new covenant, needed to come to the world.

After they said again that they would keep the covenant of the Lord, Moses took the other half of the blood from the sacrifice and sprinkled it on the people (v.8).  This, again, was done to purify the people who were sinful and to bring them, as a nation, into fellowship with the Lord.  Moses said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

Now, we would be remiss if we do not consider the new blood of the covenant.  The new blood of the covenant, again, is Jesus Christ.  As I said in last week’s lesson, Jesus’ shed blood covers the believer from suffering God’s wrath against sin.  We, genuine believers, are washed (purified) by the blood of Jesus and by the blood we are brought together in fellowship with Christ.

Obedience still required

So, you see how this – the Old Testament – is all tied in together with the New Testament.  Some people believe that the Lord changed between the Testaments but God does not change.  The only difference between the Testaments is Christ; rather than words, God gave us His only begotten Son.

The Lord still calls for obedience today.  Our obedience to keeping the way of Christ leads us towards entering into the Lord’s heavenly kingdom.  So, let us be obedient today; let us keep the word of the Lord.

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