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Sinai Teaching

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Sinai Teaching

Exodus 19:1-25
We’re going to continue in our study of the Covenants.
Turn to Exodus 19. I’ve asked certain individuals to read for us this morning.
Exodus 19:1-8 Jim
Exodus 19:1–8 CSB
1 In the third month from the very day the Israelites left the land of Egypt, they came to the Sinai Wilderness. 2 They traveled from Rephidim, came to the Sinai Wilderness, and camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob and explain to the Israelites: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, 6 and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.” 7 After Moses came back, he summoned the elders of the people and set before them all these words that the Lord had commanded him. 8 Then all the people responded together, “We will do all that the Lord has spoken.” So Moses brought the people’s words back to the Lord.
Exodus 19:9-15 Lauren
Exodus 19:9–15 CSB
9 The Lord said to Moses, “I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear when I speak with you and will always believe you.” Moses reported the people’s words to the Lord, 10 and the Lord told Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. They must wash their clothes 11 and be prepared by the third day, for on the third day the Lord will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put boundaries for the people all around the mountain and say: Be careful that you don’t go up on the mountain or touch its base. Anyone who touches the mountain must be put to death. 13 No hand may touch him; instead he will be stoned or shot with arrows and not live, whether animal or human. When the ram’s horn sounds a long blast, they may go up the mountain.” 14 Then Moses came down from the mountain to the people and consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 He said to the people, “Be prepared by the third day. Do not have sexual relations with women.”
Exodus 19:16-22 Garrett
Exodus 19:16–22 CSB
16 On the third day, when morning came, there was thunder and lightning, a thick cloud on the mountain, and a very loud blast from a ram’s horn, so that all the people in the camp shuddered. 17 Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was completely enveloped in smoke because the Lord came down on it in fire. Its smoke went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the sound of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and God answered him in the thunder. 20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai at the top of the mountain. Then the Lord summoned Moses to the top of the mountain, and he went up. 21 The Lord directed Moses, “Go down and warn the people not to break through to see the Lord; otherwise many of them will die. 22 Even the priests who come near the Lord must consecrate themselves, or the Lord will break out in anger against them.”
Exodus 19:23-25 Kerry
Exodus 19:23–25 CSB
23 Moses responded to the Lord, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, since you warned us: Put a boundary around the mountain and consecrate it.” 24 And the Lord replied to him, “Go down and come back with Aaron. But the priests and the people must not break through to come up to the Lord, or he will break out in anger against them.” 25 So Moses went down to the people and told them.
This morning I want us to understand that In all contracts there are rules or statues that that need to be followed. The Old Testament is a place where we see rules that God’s people must follow. Some of those rules are the Ten Commandments. But if we only see rules, we miss the larger relationship that is being presented in the God of the Bible.
Many will think of the Sinai or Mosaic Covenant at the 10 Commandments. It is not.
The 10 Commandments are a result of the covenant.
I want each of us to look at this beautiful Covenant God made with His people:
-The Promise: God and Israel will enjoy a unique relationship
-The Condition: Israel's obedience in keeping the Covenant
-The Consequence: Israel would forfeit God's blessings if disobedient
(Additional References: Ex 19:1–24:8, Ex 34:10, Ga 4:24–25, Heb 9:1, and Heb 9:18–21)

Let’s start in the promise:

Exodus 19:2–6 CSB
2 They traveled from Rephidim, came to the Sinai Wilderness, and camped in the wilderness. Israel camped there in front of the mountain. 3 Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob and explain to the Israelites: 4 ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, 6 and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.”
God rescued the Hebrew people from their bondage in Egypt.
God called Moses to go up to Mount Sinai so he could create a covenant with the Hebrew people. “There Israel encamped before the mountain, while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: “You yourselves 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 will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel’”
In the Mosaic covenant, the sacrificial system and the law are given to God’s people. “The unique feature of the Mosaic covenant was the Law, summarized in the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:10–17).
By promulgating the Law, God established Israel as a distinct people and nation, existing under His own theocratic rule.
God promised Israel that they would be His special possession, His ‘holy nation,’ and the Lord promised to be their God (cp. Exod. 19:5–6; 20:2).
Exodus 20:2 CSB
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.
Side note, the Hebrew Word for possession is “segullah” which means special possession or treasure. It is used only once in Exodus and a total of only 7 other instances in the entire OT. God’s love for Israel was beyond a simple relationship, this covenant would make them His Treasure, His priceless Treasure.

Next is the condition:

This promise was conditioned on Israel’s obedience to the Law.
God’s grace singled out Israel as the recipient of this covenant (Deut. 7:7), but they were warned that the temporal blessings promised would be theirs only if they kept his commandments (Deut. 7:12–26; 28:1–14).

Finally, is the Consequences:

Failure to keep God’s commandments would result in calamitous curses including being ‘divorced’ by God and no longer being His special people
Deuteronomy 8:19–20 CSB
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods to serve them and bow in worship to them, I testify against you today that you will certainly perish. 20 Like the nations the Lord is about to destroy before you, you will perish if you do not obey the Lord your God.
Turn to Deut 28, verse 15
Let’s look at the consequences of breaking this Covenant.
Deuteronomy 28:15–68 CSB
15 “But if you do not obey the Lord your God by carefully following all his commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you: 16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. 17 Your basket and kneading bowl will be cursed. 18 Your offspring will be cursed, and your land’s produce, the young of your herds, and the newborn of your flocks. 19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 20 The Lord will send against you curses, confusion, and rebuke in everything you do until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of the wickedness of your actions in abandoning me. 21 The Lord will make pestilence cling to you until he has exterminated you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will afflict you with wasting disease, fever, inflammation, burning heat, drought, blight, and mildew; these will pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky above you will be bronze, and the earth beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your land into falling dust; it will descend on you from the sky until you are destroyed. 25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will march out against them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions. You will be an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will be food for all the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth, with no one to scare them away. 27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, tumors, a festering rash, and scabies, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness, and mental confusion, 29 so that at noon you will grope as a blind person gropes in the dark. You will not be successful in anything you do. You will only be oppressed and robbed continually, and no one will help you. 30 You will become engaged to a woman, but another man will rape her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you and not returned to you. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people, while your eyes grow weary looking for them every day. But you will be powerless to do anything. 33 A people you don’t know will eat your land’s produce and everything you have labored for. You will only be oppressed and crushed continually. 34 You will be driven mad by what you see. 35 The Lord will afflict you with painful and incurable boils on your knees and thighs—from the sole of your foot to the top of your head. 36 “The Lord will bring you and your king that you have appointed to a nation neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, scorn, and ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you. 38 “You will sow much seed in the field but harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant and cultivate vineyards but not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but not moisten your skin with oil, because your olives will drop off. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not remain yours, because they will be taken prisoner. 42 Buzzing insects will take possession of all your trees and your land’s produce. 43 The resident alien among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you won’t lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail. 45 “All these curses will come, pursue, and overtake you until you are destroyed, since you did not obey the Lord your God and keep the commands and statutes he gave you. 46 These curses will be a sign and a wonder against you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve the Lord your God with joy and a cheerful heart, even though you had an abundance of everything, 48 you will serve your enemies that the Lord will send against you, in famine, thirst, nakedness, and a lack of everything. He will place an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the ends of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you won’t understand, 50 a ruthless nation, showing no respect for the old and not sparing the young. 51 They will eat the offspring of your livestock and your land’s produce until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine, fresh oil, young of your herds, or newborn of your flocks until they cause you to perish. 52 They will besiege you within all your city gates until your high and fortified walls, that you trust in, come down throughout your land. They will besiege you within all your city gates throughout the land the Lord your God has given you. 53 “You will eat your offspring, the flesh of your sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you. 54 The most sensitive and refined man among you will look grudgingly at his brother, the wife he embraces, and the rest of his children, 55 refusing to share with any of them his children’s flesh that he will eat because he has nothing left during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you in all your towns. 56 The most sensitive and refined woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground because of her refinement and sensitivity, will begrudge the husband she embraces, her son, and her daughter, 57 the afterbirth that comes out from between her legs and the children she bears, because she will secretly eat them for lack of anything else during the siege and hardship your enemy imposes on you within your city gates. 58 “If you are not careful to obey all the words of this law, which are written in this scroll, by fearing this glorious and awe-inspiring name—the Lord, your God— 59 he will bring wondrous plagues on you and your descendants, severe and lasting plagues, and terrible and chronic sicknesses. 60 He will afflict you again with all the diseases of Egypt, which you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also afflict you with every sickness and plague not recorded in the book of this law, until you are destroyed. 62 Though you were as numerous as the stars of the sky, you will be left with only a few people, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as the Lord was glad to cause you to prosper and to multiply you, so he will also be glad to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be ripped out of the land you are entering to possess. 64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 You will find no peace among those nations, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a despondent spirit. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be in dread night and day, never certain of survival. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ and in the evening you will say, ‘If only it were morning!’—because of the dread you will have in your heart and because of what you will see. 68 The Lord will take you back in ships to Egypt by a route that I said you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
“The Sinai Covenant” was “the covenant established between God and Israel at Mt Sinai.”
It “is the focal point of the covenant tradition in the OT.
It was anticipated in the covenant of Abraham and lay behind the covenant of David and the proclamation of the prophets.
It was central to OT religion, laying down the foundations of Judaism which continue into the modern world.
The Sinai covenant was the formal institution of a relationship between God and his chosen people, Israel”
There was eventually a renewal of the Sinai covenant in Deuteronomy.
Sometimes we might view the Mosaic covenant as a contract where when the godly person follows the rules, God rewards them.
Think of the phrase quid pro quo. This phrase means “something given or received for something else.”
Sometimes we view our Christian walk in this way. We do something nice, and we feel God is obligated to do something in return.
But it is impossible to quid pro quo God. We can never equal his blessings or love. Just as the Noahic and Abrahamic covenants did not fully fulfill God’s plans, neither did the Mosaic covenant.
They pointed ahead to God’s coming new covenant.
As we close this morning’s study, what can you glean…personally to apply, from this Covenant?

Close in Prayer

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