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Sermon25 Ex19 Guide

Ex 19:1-8 recitation verse Ex 19:5

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

During last few weeks, we saw that God, after calling Abraham into the faith journey, led his descendants into Egypt to make them into great nation of 2.5 M, and saved them to return to the promised land Canaan through the leadership of meekness of Moses. This week, we would like to learn how faithful God is by seeing that God led the Israelites first to Mount Sinai (Horeb), the Mount of God to make a covenant with them in order to make them His people as He promised to Abraham.

1) Although the land of Canaan was the Promised Land, it was not easy for a small family to root to there as God's call and to grow into a great nation, rooting their identity in God’s calling, in that small and baren land among violent Canaanites. So as God had already told Abraham, “Your descendants will be foreigners in the Gentiles and serve them, and they will afflict your descendants for four hundred years” (Gen 15:13), God made Jacob's twelve sons and all of their descendants of 70 people go down to Egypt through the famine that struck the whole earth.

2) And as He said to Abraham, “I will punish the nation they serve, and after that your descendants will bring great wealth” (Gen 15:14), God brought them out from Egypt and made them cross the Red Sea (Ex 12:40-41), and began to lead them to Canaan after 430 years later since the Israelites lived in Egypt.

3) However, God did not lead the Israelites along the road near the coast where the Philistines lived and led the Israelites along the road through the wilderness, because he worried that they would turn their hearts and return to Egypt if they were in war. (Ex 13:17)

4) And in the midst of the firing bush, as God called Moses and said, “So now, go, I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt and I will be with you and this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you (Ex 3:10,12),” God led Moses and more than 2.5 million people (estimated) to arrive at the Mount of God, Mount Sinai (Mt. Horeb). By letting them stay on Mt. Sinai for a year, until they left Mount Sinai to conquer Canaan (Num. 10:11), God made a covenant with them, and gave them His law and the ordinances of the tabernacle to transform them into God's people.

5) Today's text is the content of that covenant at Sinai, consisting of the preface to the covenant in verse 4, the promise of God in verses 5-6, and the response of the people in verses 7-8. The preface in verse 4 reminds the Israelites that all the Israelites saw how God defeated the army of Egypt and brought them out as an eagle embraced their young with wings. This provides the motivation and strength to keep the covenant. And God's promise in verses 5-6 indicates that when the Israelites obey God, they not only become the 'most precious possession' of the world but, also a kingdom of priests as mediators between God and the people of the world and also a holy nation who convey the will of God, after being consecrated from the world, while enjoying the privilege of communion with God's love and revealing His holiness of glory to the world.

6) By the way, when we try to understand the Sinai covenant, i.e., the Mosaic Covenant, one thing we have to remember is that this Mosaic Covenant should not be understood as a means to obtain God's salvation, rather we have to understand it under God's covenant of grace (Gen 12:1-3) which is given to Abraham, i.e., the covenant at Sinai including the Ten Commandments, the sacrificial law and social law, etc., is not the way to achieve the salvation by keeping them, rather it is the instruction of God which shows how His people who were redeemed by grace of God should live and worship God in the land of Canaan. The preface to the covenant at Sinai “You have seen that I took you up and brought you to me (Ex 19:4)” and the preface to the Ten Commandments, “I am the Lord thy God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slaves (Exodus 20:2)” clearly show that.

7) But why do you think God brought them out from Egypt? As Duet 7:6-8 and Hosea 11:1, it was because He loved them, His son and also He was faithful to keep His covenants with their ancestors, in other that His people remember His love and faithfulness to keep His covenant to be His holy people and the nation of priests.

8) Therefore, all of us, as God's chosen people, remembering that we were redeemed by the work of Jesus Christ, to become God's royal priests, holy nations, and special possessions of God (1 Peter 2:9), based on this identity, I pray we may live a life of gratitude for the grace of God, to live in holiness and love in pursuit of God's will, and proclaim God's beautiful virtues, giving glory to God.

Activity questions and thought behind

Q1 God said “You are my treasured possession, although the whole earth is mine” in Ex 19:5. How about you? Do you have your treasured possession? How do you treat it? After meditating on how God treat you as His precious possession, I hope you can share your thought and grace with team members.

Q2 God said “You will be a kingdom of priest for me”. God’s priests sacrifice to God (Num 16:40), teach His people (2 Chr 15:3), and also discern and transfer God’s will to His people (Ex 28:30). You are called also as His priest from the world, then how will you live as His priest and for what purpose? I hope you may share your thought with your team members.

Q3 God said “You will be my holy nation.” I wonder how we have to live as His holy nation in our daily life? After meditating on it, I hope you may share your thought and idea with team members.

(Through this question, I hope that we may know we were called to be God's holy people and that it is a time to reflect and think about how that life looks like when we live as a holy people. Empathizing when expressing various thoughts, opinions, feelings and experiences, I hope that you can have active listening and empathetic conversations with your team members, sometimes asking the reason for your thoughts.)

Love you, bless you, and thank you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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