You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you
on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now if you obey Me fully
and keep My covenant, then out of all nations you will be My treasured possession.
Although the whole earth is Mine, you will be for Me a kingdom
of priests and a holy nation (Ex 19:4-6).
The descendants of Abraham had grown into a numerous people. By the hand of God, they would become the nation Israel . . . after He rescued them from bondage.
God would have to deliver the chosen ones of the covenant promise. Then they would need some preparing to walk with Him in the land promised.
The sacred text tells us that God heard their groanings and responded in faithfulness to His covenant. He would bring them out of their Egyptian slavery with a mighty hand and free them from the grip of a tyrannical Pharaoh.
His chosen servant, Moses, led them out across the land. Then God provided a most miraculous escape route, across the dry bed of the Red Sea, and quashed the enemy that pursued them.
Camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, God prepared a people. Over the course of the following year, He readied them to be His people. God would, yet again, create. He would create a new people, a nation. By His presiding power, they would conquer and possess the land He gave them.
It was there that God legislated their communal and religious systems. It was there that He first spoke the words that would govern them relationally, spiritually, morally, and socially. The Law, inscribed by the finger of God, was to be their civil code and method for worship. Their obedience to that Law provided a means of fellowship with God. And set them apart from other peoples. It provided their standard for living a blessed life.
God would bless the nation that chose to obey. He would be their God and they would be His people and possess the land—a land flowing with milk and honey. They would multiply upon the land until the fullness of time came for God’s Messiah.
God would provide all they needed to live in the land as a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. He provided all they needed to live the prepared life. In the shadow of that great mountain, and before the splendor of God’s voice from the cloud, He prepared the Law . . . the People . . . a Nation . . . and set before them a choice.
Contained within His words to them blazed a holy but if. They wrongly chose but if. They failed to trust and obey—their hearts unprepared by the faith needed to follow. So, God went about preparing the next generation—to be led by the Lord and Joshua into the land of covenant. What should have taken 11 days, now spanned 40 years of desert wandering.
That choice extended by God was the one from the beginning—between blessing or curse, life or death. Obedience or disobedience.
The same choice is ours. Because now it is the Lord Jesus who is preparing for Himself a people—as His holy priesthood. Citizens of His kingdom.
Will we follow the way of the world? Or the prepared way of the Lord?