Exodus 19: The Birth of A Nation

Way back in Exodus 3, God promised that once his people were freed from Egypt, they would worship him on the mountain.

Now in Exodus 19, they have arrived.

Though I am not sure any of them were expecting what happened when they got there.

God and Moses lead the people through a ceremony resembling an ancient wedding. They have three days to prepare themselves to meet God and when they do, they aren’t allowed to get too close because the covenant has not been established.

Kind of like a couple that is almost married, but not quite yet.

Just before this ceremony takes place, God shares with Moses his dreams for this new nation:

“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 obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation.

My Treasured Possession

There is something special about Israel. God treasures them. They are uniquely valuable to him.

I’m trying to think of things that are treasured possessions to me. My guitar. My books. My computer.

But what about people? I have a hard time thinking of a person as a possession, but I have no trouble thinking of them as treasured.

I treasure my fiancé.

I care about other people, but I would drop anything for her if she needed it.

I like doing nice things for other people, but there is something different about doing something nice for her.

I like talking to other people, but I would rather talk to her.

Is that what it means to be treasured?

A Priestly Kingdom

I think this could mean one of two things, or maybe both.

1) The people of Israel are to be priests. Every one of them will be able to interact with God and speak to others about him and on his behalf. No celebrity pastors. No uber-intelligent scholars. No one who has a leg up on someone else when it comes to relating to God.

Everyone has a say. Everyone is a priest. Or . . .

2) The nation itself will serve as the priest for other nations. They will be the pastor and the scholar for the world. The way they live and operate will speak volumes about God and on God’s behalf.

Not a bad calling.

A Holy Nation

If it wasn’t clear yet, Israel is going to be different. They have a unique calling among the nations.

I am eager to find out just what, aside from the things I already mentioned, will make them different . . .

Those were my interpretations. Any thoughts on what God’s hope for Israel was?

One response

  1. And then–right then–as Moses is getting the law: Boom! “We wanna go back to Egypt.” How like us: having a much fuller revelation, having all of grace, and yet… still a stiff-necked people. “This is America, God, lemme show You how it’s done here.”

    Or something like that.

    I’m God’s hope was that, rather than hoarding Him, Israel would’ve been that city on a hill for all the world to see. Much like we should be be as individual believers today (having the Spirit inside us).

    *Sorry: these are some random thoughts that came after only 4 hours of sleep. Too many nights like that of late.

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