Dave Burnette's Commentary

Exodus Chapter 19

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Deliverance of Israel (c 1-40)
Theme: Israel at Sinai (c 19-40)
Message: Giving the Law  (v 1-24)

Exodus 19 Commentary

(19:2-3) Mount Sinai - Mount Sinai is one of the most sacred locations in Israel's history. Believed to be located in the south-central Sinai Peninsula, this mountain is where Moses met God in a burning bush (Horeb in Exodus 3), God made his covenant with Israel, and Elijah heard God in a still small voice (1 Kings 19:8-12). Here God gave his people the laws and guidelines for right living. Here they learned the potential blessings of obedience (Exodus 34:4-28) and the tragic consequences of disobedience (Exodus 32).

(19:4-6) God Tells Isreal His Plan - God had a reason for rescuing the Israelites from slavery. Now he was ready to tell them what it was: Israel was to become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation so that the whole world would know God through his people. But the people's sin kept them from entering God's presence directly--and also from fulfilling their role as priests for the world. So God established Aaron's descendants from the tribe of Levi as priests (Leviticus 8-9) to represent the entire nation before God. And with the coming of Jesus Christ, God has fulfilled his plan by making it possible for all believers to become holy, "a royal priesthood" (L Peter 2:9). The death and resurrection of Christ has allowed each of us to approach God freely and to share his love with the world.

(19:5-8) God's Promise is Realized - God had made a covenant with Abraham, promising to make his descendants into a great nation (Genesis 15; 17). Now that promise was being realized as God restated his agreement with the Israelite nation, the descendants of Abraham. God promised to bless and care for them. The people promised to obey him. The covenant was thus sealed. But the good intentions of the people quickly wore off. Have you made a commitment to God? How are you holding up your end of the bargain?

(19:5) God Honors His Promise - Why did God choose Israel as his nation? God was honoring his promise to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3). God knew that no nation on earth was good enough to deserve to be called his people, his peculiar treasure, He chose Israel not because of anything the people had done but because of his love and mercy-and in spite of the wrong the nation had done and would do. Why did he want to have a special nation on earth? To represent his way of life, to teach his Word, and to be an agent of salvation to the world. "All the nations of the earth" would be blessed through Abraham's descendants (Genesis 18:18). Gentiles and kings would come to the Lord through Israel, predicted Isaiah (Isaiah 60:1-3). Through the nation of Israel, the Messiah, God's chosen Son, would be born. God chose one nation and put it through a rigorous training program so that one day it could be a channel for his blessings to the whole world.

(19:9-11) Moses Sets God's People Apart - Moses was told to sanctify the people. This meant getting them physically and spiritually ready to meet God. The people were to set themselves apart from sin and even ordinary daily routines in order to dedicate themselves to God. The act of washing and preparing served to get their minds and hearts ready. When we meet God for worship, we should set aside the cares and preoccupations of everyday life. Use your time of physical preparation to get your mind ready to meet God.

(19:23) The Holiness of God - Because God's glory and power were so strong, and because God is completely holy, the people could not come to him. God did this to show that he was not like the idols of Egypt that could be seen and touched. Now, however, we are invited to approach God because of what Christ has done for us (Hebrews 12:18-24). Jesus is superior to Moses because Jesus opens the way for us to come to God with great joy.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

Sanctify Yourself for Worship

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Exodus with Chapter 19 and in today's text we see Moses and Israel being led to Mount Sinai where God is about to give the Law in the familiar account of the 10 commandments. Many applications can be made from each days text but today verses 9-10 catches my attention when the Lord told Moses to sanctify the people - meaning they were to set themselves apart from sin and their daily routine to meet God for worship. In making application we too need to sanctify ourselves for worship. We need to pray and prepare our hearts as well as setting a day apart for Him so we can hear from His Word. Worship is about giving and receiving as we lift up our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To do this properly we must apply today's text and sanctify ourselves. How about you? Do you set apart your Sundays for worship and attend Church or do you halfheartedly approach the day, then complain because you don't get anything our of the Services? Let us learn from our text today to sanctify ourselves for Worship.  


Exodus 19

Exodus 19

 1In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.

 2For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

 3And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

 4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.

 5Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:

 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

 7And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.

 8And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.

 9And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

 10And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

 11And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.

 12And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:

 13There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

 14And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

 15And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.

 16And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.

 17And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.

 18And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.

 19And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

 20And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.

 21And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.

 22And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.

 23And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.

 24And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.

 25So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.