Exodus 19:1 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 And when they set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain. 3 And Moses went up to God, and 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: 4 You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
This is my poetic representation of God’s word using verbatim phrases from this portion of Exodus 19 with the goal of seeing the place God is creating for Jesus. I have the advantage of hindsight and knowing the reality of God’s desire is to make a place for Himself within the people of His own heart. Moses hoped the Instructions God gave him to give to the people he’d led to this mountain would become a convenient working arrangement between them, but God had something greater in mind. He intended those Ten Words to become the promise of direct priestly access.
The third new moon after
the land of Egypt,
they came into the wilderness of Sinai.
There Israel encamped before the mountain.
Moses went up to God.
The Lord called to him
saying, Thus you shall say –
You have seen what I did
how I bore you on eagles’ wings
and brought you to myself.
if you will obey my voice
and keep my covenant,
you shall be my own possession among all peoples
you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. RSV
It’s taken three months to get to this place of wilderness at the foot of the Mountain of God. “The word conventionally translated ‘wilderness’ is not a sandy desert, but grazing country, not settled by man.”a Some scholars believe God has brought Moses back to the same place of the burning bush where He first spoke audibly to Moses. Now Moses has heard the voice of God for a second time and been given the Ten Commands from God that are meant to offer tired, hungry, irritable and lost people a place of worship where they will finally have direct access to God within their memory, their mind and their heart. Come, Lord Jesus!
aEnduring Word commentary