Friday, April 27, 2012

Exodus 19:1-8 My Treasured Possession

"In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt
-- on the very day --
they came to the Desert of Sinai.
After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai,
and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain.

Then Moses went up to God,
and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said,
'This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob
and what you are to tell the people of Israel:

"You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt,
and how I carried you on eagles' wings
and brought you to myself.
Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant,
then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.
Although the whole earth is mine,
you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.'

So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people
and set before them all the words the LORD had commanded him to speak.
The people all responded together,
'We will do everything the LORD has said.'

So Moses brought their answer back to the LORD.

Exodus 19:1-8 (NIV)
This portion of Scripture is very precise about the date on which the Israelites came to the Desert of Sinai and camped in the front of the mountain.  It was exactly three months after they had left Egypt.  No doubt this has some type of significance, for otherwise it probably wouldn't have been so clearly emphasized in these verses.  At this time I do not know just what the precise dating indicates.  Sometimes the dating has a role in bringing light to other portions of Scripture.  I guess we will have to just keep this in mind as we go forward.

The reason why I was interested in this aspect of Scripture was that I had recently been watching a short video by Grant Jeffrey which dealt with date-related aspects of Scripture.  In that case, he was showing how the very date of modern Israel being declared a nation (in 1948) had been prophesied in the Bible.  I have to watch it again and check out the information more carefully, because I do not know much about this man or his teaching.  However, I have seen other parts of the Bible where very precise things have been prophesied, things which no human could have arranged or faked.  I will do posts on these from time to time, or as they relate to a particular passage.  It's fascinating because no other book than the Scriptures has these types of definitive predictive prophecies which are always fulfilled.

In this passage, the LORD gives Moses a message for the Israelites.  After reminding them of the care which He has demonstrated towards them, He lets them know that if they continue to obey Him and keep His covenant, they will be His treasured possession, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  Just as a priest is a representative for the people in religious matters, the Israelites will as a nation be responsible for revealing the knowledge of the true God to the nations of the earth.  They will be a holy nation, consecrated or set apart for the LORD's purposes.

The Israelites respond positively to this news.  They assert that they are willing to do all that the LORD has said regarding these matters.  Moses delivers this answer to the LORD [even though, of course, God knew it already]. 

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