“Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be peculiar treasure unto me above all people; for all the earth mine.” Exodus 19:5
TEXT: Exodus 19:1-25
CONDITIONS FOR BEING GOD’S PECULIAR TREASURE Exodus 19:4-6
Before God began to speak with Moses, He introduced Himself to Moses as Almighty God that rescued them from their task master in Egypt in order to refresh the mind of Moses. He said, “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.
- Agreement—Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) Can two walk together, except they be agreed? The Heavenly King desired to dwell among His people. But it is impossible for Him to change from His holy nature and blend with sinful weaknesses of humanity. It is the mankind that needs transformation. It is man that needs to change. The commandment of God is the divine article of association that governs the covenant relationship between God and the Israelites, in our time—the believers.
- Desire of God—God always seek for man to bless him. The relationship of God with Abraham began with a promise when God found him and told him to get out from his country and go to a land that He will show him. It grew from promise to covenant with Abraham and from covenant to swearing an oath when God appreciated the faithfulness of Abraham. Genesis 22:15-18
- Obedience—When God wants to bless His people He always packages His blessing along with His commandment. The intended package of blessing of God about the Ten Commandment was revealed to the Israelites so as to encourage them in their preparation to receive the law of God and be able to keep it. “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (Isaiah 1:19-20)
- Glorious Exhibition—God wants to showcase His children to the entire world and provoke the heathen nations to jealousy so that they too can embrace and worship God of Hebrews that loves and blessed His people. 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.” (Exodus 19:4-6)
- Heaven on Earth—Finally, the whole embodiment of the conditions is, undoubtedly, the key note of the culture of Heaven where peace, orderliness and holiness reign supreme. It is the desire of our Heavenly God that the dwelling place of mankind on earth may be the extension of Heaven. That is why He gave us His commandment.
HOLINESS, DISCIPLINE AND DECENCY IN THE CONGREGATION Exodus 19:14-15
Moses went down to get the congregation prepared for the great occasion as God had commanded him. This preparation was both physical and spiritual. The spiritual preparation to receive the law of God included—consecration, sanctification and refraining from sexual relationship with their spouses for an agreed number of days as part of waiting in the Lord.
This was not the first time that God will demand this type of preparation. The only common trend is that it occurs whenever God want to meet with His people. When God wanted to meet with Jacob and his family, He demanded for preparation. “Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. (Genesis 35:2, 4)
Consecration means setting oneself apart in holiness in preparation to appear before God. The old priests in Israel were consecrated before they could serve in the temple. Sanctification means separating self from worldliness unto holiness and righteousness of God for the glorious services in the Lord’s vineyard.
The physical preparation included washing of their clothes, and following all the security protocols in force during for the great event. You can now understand why we have the ministry of ushers in the Congregation. Washing of clothes might mean appear in one’s best cleansing form physically. Refraining from sexual relationship with one’s spouse within the three days of their preparation is a form of sacrificial self-denial and separation of self exclusively unto God. This is part of spiritual exercise that believers always incorporate into fasting and prayer when they are seeking the face of God.
Spiritual preparation included bringing ones cleansed spiritual vessels before God in preparation to meet with Him. This might include seeking the face of God in prayer for repentance of the past sins. Malice, grudges and forgiveness are done away with. Angers and misunderstandings issues are resolved. It included consecrating and sanctifying self in holiness before God. “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:7-8) 11:44-45
Being spiritually ready means do away with all elements of besetting sins and turn on one’s spiritual receptivity by doing the blessed will of God as directed by their spiritual leader. The Lord was simply saying, “Appear before me in holiness and in the righteous frame of mind.” “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” (Hebrew 12:14)
The people of God set their minds on the divine appointment, in readiness to receive God’s divine directions and His abundant blessings. This is the expectation of God for His people any time we come to the presence of God for fellowship. If we want to see Him face to face at last we need to get ourselves prepared spiritually. The Lord will help us.
MAJESTIC PRESENCE OF GOD UPON THE MOUNT Exodus 19:16-20
On the appointed third day there was a great angelic celebration on the mount. Heaven came down upon the earth upon Mount Sinai and the glory of God filled the Mount. In the midst of thick cloud of the glory of God, the earth quaked but Moses His servant was divinely preserved in the midst of the angelic fireworks. The lightning flashed and thunder strike yet the lives of His beloved were preserved. The Shekinah glory of His divine presence known as Pillar of Cloud and Fire engulfed the entire mountain top. The sounds of the angelic trumpets drown the fearful and squeaky crying of mortal men.
The monumental celebration of the angelic hosts on the mount was part of God’s visitation. We all know that the earthly leader does not make a public appearance in any place without entourage swarming around him. God intended that His glory might be imprinted upon the hearts of the Israelites so that His messages would be register in their hearts. The Israelites beheld the glimpse of presence of the Heavenly God and they were trembled and troubled.
And above all, the Lord glorious visitation upon His people denoted the height of the Heavenly Father’s humility. The Psalmist tells us that the “LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! (Psalm 113:4-6) The LORD declared in Isaiah, “The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool …” (Isaiah 66:1) The mystery of His love for man that mingled with purposefulness of His precepts made Him to leave the glory of His Majesty high above the heavens and condescended so low to the level of coming to the abode of humanity on earth to dialogue with man.
The Lord God in His infinite mercy needed to make His glorious presence felt among His people so that they can differentiate the real God from the lifeless idol gods they were worshiping in Egypt. They needed to experience and witness the awesome power of Almighty God the Creator of Heaven and earth on the mount. They needed to imagine His ability and the authority behind every single statement of the law that proceedeth from His mouth. This would help them to prepare and make up their minds to receive the law wholeheartedly, and live absolutely by it. That was why God told Moses to prepare them physically and spiritually for three day days before the divine appointment on the mount.
Our Heavenly Father had not changed. The presence of God is here with us today. He still wants to manifest His glory among His people. If you are in the presence of God today, you are not in the wrong crowd, he will bless you if only you can obey His commandments. Let us seek His face in prayer.