2019-09-18 - Outline and Introduction to the Law
Introduction: When we reviewed the first two sections of this chapter, we saw Israel choose to place herself under the Law. We speculated the choice may have been between following after the Lord on strictly a basis of faith, as they had supposedly been doing, or becoming the people of The Law. They opted for being under the Law.
In section two, God gave them the word of preparation. They were called to ritual cleanliness and warned of the danger of approaching God's presence on Mt. Sinai. The danger of death was to both men and animals who set foot on the mountain. The message was intended to show the seriousness of communion with the One True God.
Now, let’s pick up with the last section of the chapter. - God’s appearance on the mountain naturally caused fear and awe in the nation. God’s giving the Law was a frightening time for the people. Its seriousness was not to be taken lightly. The passage is reminiscent of Christ’s death on the cross, with darkness and thunder, etc.
“Now from the sixth hour, there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:45, 51 ESV).
It is interesting these occurred with the giving of the Law and again at the Cross, which was the freeing from the results of breaking it. The surrounding incidents are very similar. The sounds heard were like those of a trumpet. The presence of God was manifest before the people. He appeared in the midst of smoke and fire, and Moses spoke to Him.
God, in turn, spoke to Moses. He answered with thunder. Moses understood the Lord’s word. And while the people didn’t, they did know it was God Who was speaking. Moses was called to the top of the mountain by God, who sent him back down with a warning. “Don’t try to see Me, for My Presence will bring you death!”
Next comes one of those confusing verses. God warned that even priests must prepare for His presence, in order to approach Him. The question is: Who were these priests? Some argue this verse was misplaced, as the Levitical Priesthood had not yet been established. Others believe any nation would have some kind of priesthood, even if God hadn’t established it. Another view is this was a priesthood made up of the consecrated firstborn or a reference to Aaron and his sons, for by the time Moses wrote his account, they would have been priests. I don’t really have an opinion, except to say that any view that says this verse doesn’t belong here, is one with which I am very uncomfortable.
Anyway, Moses and Aaron were instructed to come up the mountain, to receive God’s Word. The people, including the priests, were again reminded to stay off the mountain - or die. The Law was to be given and that is what we will examine next, over the next weeks.
Exodus Study to be continued.
You will find more info about Pastor Geoff Kragen at GKragen.com, and you may find more of his Bible Studies at http://cfdevotionals.org/links/authgeof.htm
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