Making a Nation Out of a Mob, Part 2 (The Covenant & the Cross #73)

Today’s passage of Scripture is Exodus 19:3-6 which reads: “And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”

Today’s quote about the Bible is from Chip Brogden. He said: “Knowing the Word of God does not necessarily mean that we know the God of the Word.”

Our topic for today is titled “Making a Nation Out of a Mob (Part 2)” from the book, “The Promise and the Blessing” by Dr. Michael A. Harbin.

The Law Based on What God Had Done

The third key point that must be kept in mind is that the Law did not establish a relationship between God and the people. We have already observed how the original audience had been given the entire prehistory of the nation, which made clear that the relationship had been established initially with Abraham. It had been reinforced through the blessing line and amplified to the entire people when Jacob blessed all of his sons. It was verified by the Exodus. Now God was giving the people instructions on how to live within the relationship.

This point is demonstrated when we look at the overall passage. The Ten Commandments begin with the declaration, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Ex. 20:2). Thus, there is an implied cause-and-effect relationship between this declaration and the ten words. Because God delivered the nation from Egypt, the people were to respond by heeding the commandments.

The principle is further demonstrated when we note that there is no provision for revoking the covenant. The people may be obedient within the covenant and prosper. Or they may be disobedient within the covenant and suffer. At this point, God merely indicates the good things that will come if they are obedient. Later we will find warnings of the consequences of disobedience. However, these never include being cast away. There is also a note of caution in that God warns the people that the upcoming conquest will not be a one-time event. It will take several generations to drive out the inhabitants of the land so that the land will not become fallow until they have increased enough to fully occupy it. Implied in this caution would seem to be a challenge to win the inhabitants of the land to Yahweh.

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