About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Chapter 19
Verses 1 and 2 gives us a
frame of reference when it comes to a timeline.
It was three months after Israel
was delivered from Egypt
that this chapter took place. Israel
came to the mountain as stated in verse 2.
This mountain would be the mountain where God spoke to Moses in
the burning bush, and where God told Moses that he and Israel
must return to and worship Him.
If you remember, Moses
told Pharaoh on a number of occasions that God wanted to take
We know that this
mountain is where God spoke to Moses because Moses returns to this
mountain expecting to here from God again.
Verse 3 tells us that Moses went up to the mountain, and then it
tells us that God called him. This
tells me that God did not call Moses to the mountain.
Moses went to the mountain on his own free will, and most likely
expected to hear from God. Then,
once Moses got to the mountain, at that point, God called him and spoke
When God told Moses to
tell Pharaoh that he must let Israel
go free to worship at this mountain, we now realize that this time of
worship was not some general time of worship.
This time of worship was to be a specific time of worship, for
specific reasons. It was all
about the giving of the Law to Israel. This is why we saw God
tell Moses to tell Pharaoh to let my people go to worship[ so many
In verse 4 God reminds
Moses what He did to
The point to be made in
verse 4 is that God delivered
It is the same with
Christians today. God calls
us to salvation, in all of its varying aspects, but what He calls us
mostly to, is Himself. God
Himself is our salvation. He
has called us all to be His sons and to have fellowship with him.
Evangelicals often preach that God calls us to salvation, and
they are right. But the
important thing that is often missed in the gospel is that God calls us
to Himself. That's the real
Verses 5 and 6 are
important verses in understanding how
Notice the word
"covenant" here. I
need to ask, "what covenant is being referred to here?"
Some might say that it is the Abrahamic Covenant, but I don't
think so. I believe what God
is referring to here is the Mosaic Covenant, the Law of Moses, which God
was about to give to Moses. The
Law of Moses is in fact a covenant.
The main difference between the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic
Covenant, is that the Abrahamic Covenant had no conditions.
God would fulfill that covenant no matter what.
With the Mosaic Covenant, there were stipulations to be made.
did certain things, God would do certain things. If
they did not do certain things, God would respond appropriately.
Another thing to note is
that many parts of the Law of Moses, the Mosaic Covenant, that would
soon be given to Israel, God had already spoken to them about.
One example is the seventh day of rest as we saw in Exodus 16.
Animal sacrifices had been around for quite some time.
Many laws in the Mosaic Covenant were already being practiced by
the Jews. The Law of Moses
only codified much of what was already being done.
We need to remember that
Abraham had two sons, as Paul puts it in Galatians.
Hagar, the slave women gave birth to Ishmael.
Sarah, Abraham's real wife, gave birth to Isaac.
Paul says that this is an allegory.
Ishmael, the son born of the slave woman represents the Law or
works. Isaac, born of the
free woman represents grace or faith.
God had two covenants for Israel. The first covenant was that of grace.
That was the Abrahamic Covenant.
Abraham could do nothing but believe to receive the promises of
the covenant. The second,
the Mosaic Covenant was that of works.
had to do work to keep it in order to receive the promises stated in
I think it is important
to understand the distinction between these two covenants and how they
apply to Israel. One way in which I believe
these two covenants apply to
The big difference
between the two covenants is that the Mosaic Covenant was temporary
while the Abrahamic Covenant is eternal.
In Romans 10:4, Paul states that Christ is the end of the Law.
Thus, the Mosaic Covenant came to and end with Jesus.
It still exists, but for prophetic reasons only.
It is not a Law to be obeyed for the purposes of salvation, not
for the Jew, and especially not for Gentile Christians.
In verses 7 and 8 Moses
spoke to the elders of
It is interesting to note
that Moses had such a relationship with God that he could converse back
and forth with Hm. That
being said, I believe this was a special time in Moses' life.
I'm not convinced that God and Moses conversed like this on a
daily basis throughout his life.
In verse 9 God tells
Moses that He will speak to him in front of the people, but He will
appear in a dense cloud. The
reason why God wanted to speak to Moses before the people was in order
for the people of Israel
to put their trust in him. God
to trust Moses as a divinely appointed leader.
Yet beyond that, the words "put their trust in you,"
makes me wonder if Moses at this point, and in this sense of the word,
is prophetic of Jesus Himself. We
as Christians are to trust one another to a certain degree, but nowhere
in the New Testament does it say to put your trust in a man.
It does however, tell us to put our trust in Jesus.
In verse 10 God tells
Moses to have the people consecrate themselves by washing their clothes
for two days. The KJV uses
the word "sanctify".
The washing of clothes is somewhat symbolic.
God wanted Israel
to prepare themselves to meet him. He
wanted them to get their hearts and minds ready to hear what He had to
say. They were to be set
apart for the Lord on the day He
would speak to them. I
believe that in like fashion this is what we should do when we come
together as a gathering of the saints, but this is not always the case.
The washing of clothes
might be symbolic of the two days after Jesus' death, and before His
resurrection on the third day. In
one sense of the word, He washed our clothes for us.
I'd like to tell a story
at this point. One of my
sons told me once that he always new when Sunday came. I
asked him why he knew that. He
answered, "because you always listen to Christian music before we
go to church." He was
right. The reason why I
listened to Christian music, and especially worship music, was that I
was preparing myself for the gathering of the saints I would be part of
. My guess is that very few
people prepare themselves before meeting with God's people, and God
Himself. One reason why
Christians don't prepare themselves before gathering is that there is no
reason to do so. The meeting
is simply a program you watch from your pew.
People in the pew don't participate.
If they were to participate, they would have to prepare their
hearts and minds.
Verse 11 says that God
This would be the moment
of worship that had been anticipated by Moses for a long time.
Remember, when God called Moses to return to
In verses 12 and 13 God
tells Moses that no one can touch any part of the mountain, and if he
does, he will die. God says
that those who touch the mountain will be shot with arrows.
I believe this is symbolic language.
As we've said before, even though the Bible speaks of "the
hand of God", God does not have a hand.
By the same token, He does not shoot arrows.
The idea here is not that
people can't survive in the presence of God.
The idea is about obeying God.
He says don't touch the mountain, so you don't touch the
mountain. If you disobey,
you will die. The same type
of command was given to Adam. God
told Adam that if he eat from the Tree of Life he would die.
Sin causes death. This
is what should be learned in this verse.
God also states that when
the ram horn sounds, then people can touch the mountain.
I'm not sure who blows this ram horn.
It might well be blown by and Israeli at the command of Moses,
when he knows that God has left the mountain.
Or, it might well be blown by an angel of God.
Verses 14 and 15 tells us
that Moses left the presence of God and went down the mountain to tell
the people to prepare for the third day, the day when God would visit
them. He also tells them not
to have sexual relations between then and the third day. I
can't be one hundred percent sure why Moses, and I assume God, did not
allow for sexual relations on these two days.
My thinking is that the act of sex between two people is the
ultimate in giving of one's self to another person.
You enter into each others personal space in the act of sex that
is not experienced at any other time.
In one sense of the word, during the sex act, you are
consecrating yourself to the person who are having sex with.
You are actually in the act of mutual worship.
With this in mind, God apparently did not want people to
consecrate themselves to anyone else during this time other than to Him.
He only wanted the people to fully give themselves to Him.
Once the time of visitation with the Lord is over, then the
people can go back to having normal sexual relationships.
This tells me something
about the act of sex that I have believed for years.
It is symbolic of our intimacy with our Lord.
What we experience with our spouse in a physical sense, we should
experience with our Lord in a spiritual sense.
That being said, for the most part, both acts of intimacy have
been distorted and abused by humans. The
true meaning of both have been lost, both to the non-Christian, and I
believe to most Christians as well.
Verse 16 tells us that on
the third morning, there was aloud thunder and lightening.
This must have been more severe than a normal thunder storm
because the people were terrified. They
would have experienced thunder storms before, but this one must have
been one great storm. This
was the visitation of God. God's
central or immediate presence came into the physical existence of
humanity. I use the
term "central or immediate presence of God", because in one
sense of the word, God is everywhere, yet, there is one place, somewhere
in the spiritual world, where He is centralized, if I can say it that
way. This whole event
reminds me of the resurrection of Jesus on the third day.
In verses 17 through 19
Moses led the people out to
From verses 20 to 25 we
see Moses going up the mountain to meet with God.
It is clear that Moses had special permission to climb the
mountain. He didn't die.
Once on the top of the mountain God told Moses to return and warn the
people not to touch the mountain. He
also told Moses to bring only Aaron back with him.
No priests could come up the mountain.
The word priests is used
twice in this passage. This
is the first mention of priests in