The Story Chapter 5 - New Commands and a New Covenant
These are just a few things that stuck out to me as I read chapter 5.
- Exodus 19:4 "You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to myself." God tells the Israelites they witnessed first hand what God had done for them. He sent 10 plagues, the rescued them from the hand of the Egyptians, and he divided the waters of the Red Sea that allowed them to walk across on dry ground. And when their pursuers entered the water God brought the waters on top of them. The Israelites were witnesses to all of these events. They knew who Yahweh was as He demonstrated His power before them. Yet, we shortly find out who they believe their God really is.
God then says in 19:5 that if they keep his covenant then they will be a treasured possession, a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. 1 Peter 2:9-10 picks up the same language but not directed towards the Jewish people rather it is directed towards Christians.
- Exodus 19:9 God is going to reveal himself by coming down in a dense cloud so that the people will hear him speak and put their trust in Moses. But first the Israelites are to consecrate (dedicate a person or something to God's service) themselves.
- Exodus 19:16-20 This passage is one of my favorite. God's presence descends on Mount Sinai. Also, after the thunder, lightening, , a thick cloud over the mountain, and a loud trumpet blast the people are fearful as it says, "everyone in the camp trembled."
- Exodus 19:20-25 Moses goes up to the mountain and then back down and instructs the people. In Exodus 20 God gives the Ten Commandments. Verse eighteen picks back up with the people are trembling in fear that they tell Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." God earlier told Moses He would speak so that the people would hear and they would put their trust in Moses. The people begin to put their trust in Moses...but for how long?
- Exodus 25:8 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them." Moses is on top of the mountain and God tells Moses his intention is to dwell with his people but a dwelling place for God must be made. This is the first attempt after Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden for God to once again dwell with his creation. After they sin (Exodus 32) God states that his presence will no longer go with them.
- Exodus 32:1 "Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him." I'm not sure what the Israelites were thinking other than they think Moses died on top of the mountain. It is interesting though that the mountain is still filled with dark clouds and so God would have been very much present on top of the mountain. They were witnesses to what happened in Egypt so why would they go another direction? Why would they want to create something to represent the Lord? There's a lot of questions that are involved in this verse. It appears that they are looking for something tangible like Moses to go before them.
- Exodus 32:7-14 I love this exchange Moses has with God. This is a friend talking with a friend. God first calls the Israelites "your people, whom you brought up out of Egypt, have become corrupt" when he addresses their sin to Moses. Then Moses turns it back on God. "O Lord, why should your anger burn against YOUR PEOPLE, whom YOU brought out of Egypt with great power and a mighty hand?"
- Exodus 32:30-32 Moses says that he will go up to the Lord in hopes of making atonement for their sin. This is one of the first times atonement is mentioned. Moses pleads with God to forgive the people of their sin. Back in Genesis 18 God has a conversation with Abraham and in it Abraham is asking God to not bring destruction if there are "x" amount of righteous people in the city. There is no offer of forgiveness. Moses seems to be the first to intercede on behalf of Israel. In the New Testament Jesus intercedes on our behalf. "Father forgive them for they don't know what they are doing." Hebrews 4:14-5:10 We have a great high priest who intercedes on our behalf.
Like I said earlier "just some thoughts." Hope this helps just a little.
The photo is from The Simpsons.