This chapter gives us a great picture for understanding things better in the future. It is a chapter of preparation, for the change that G-d wanted to bring about in the people.
v1: The third month of the Hebrew calendar is called Sivan.
v2: In verse 1&2 the location (wilderness/desert/place of emptiness) has been emphasised three times. This shows how significant it was. G-d brought them here for the purpose of
teaching them how dependent they were on Him for their physical wellbeing but, more importantly, for their spiritual. They needed His revelation in order to know His character. When we know G-d’s character we are more likely to trust Him in every aspect of our lives.
v3: House of Jacob: Jacob was a man who did not give up, but he pursued the reward of G-d (Genesis 32:24-30). He was committed to the birth right and the blessings that were attached to it. He wanted all of the promises of G-d. By referring to Jacob this verse reminds us of these things.
v4: What I did: G-d judged their faithless enemy – Egypt. Egypt was not interested in the promises of G-d.
· Bore you on eagles wings: Biblically, when the heavens are emphasised, it is speaking of a supernatural occurrence – something only G-d can do. G-d brought the children (to Himself) out of Egypt in a mighty way. Miraculously (see also Revelation 12:14)
v5: G-d is speaking to Moses for the purpose of preparing the people.
· Obey…keep: Used twice, it implies giving double attention to what is being said.
· You shall be: G-d is saying what He wants to bring about for His people, but it’s dependent upon hearing and obeying.
· Treasure: Something of great value.
· Once again we see that this covenantal promise has a connection to the land. Do not underestimate the land of Israel in G-d’s plan.
v6: A kingdom of priests: Those who minister to G-d (Isaiah 61:6).
· A holy people: A people sanctified and set apart.
Note: G-d was telling Israel His future plans in order that they could be encouraged.
v7: Moses was faithful to carry out the instructions that G-d gave him.
v8: The people wanted to be that treasure, that kingdom of priests, that holy nation. They wanted to carry out the purposes of G-d, and experience His Presence.
v10: Go to the people: Meaning, ‘Everything’s been agreed upon.’
· Sanctify – to get ready, to prepare yourself, for a purpose.
· Washing of their clothes shows that a physical preparation had to take place for a spiritual purpose. This is foundational. We do physical things for a spiritual purpose/outcome.
v11: Let them be ready: Matthew 24:42
· ‘Three’ again mentioned – three = the giving of revelation, also has something to do with victory.
· This happening (G-d coming down) is connected with Mt Sinai – the people were warned to prepare for not only the revelation of G-d, but also the Presence of G-d (His coming).
v12: Here G-d is setting a boundary (Psalm 16:6). If the boundary is crossed it will result in death (This was only a Holy mountain when the Presence of G-d was on it. When G-d’s Glory was not being manifested on it the boundaries were removed and people could again touch it/walk on it etc) These are borders of restraint – for the preservation of life. We need to restrain ourselves from violating the Word of G-d or transgressing His commandments. When we restrain ourselves, the outcome is revelation – which leads to a changed life (we behave differently).
v13: Those who transgress what G-d says (man or animal) will die.
· Trumpet sounds long: Long blasts on the shofar (The shofar figures predominantly at Mt Sinai, and also in some of John’s visions in Revelation). The shofar speaks of salvation, provision and also about change.
v15: Do not come near your wives – separation is underscored. There is a preparation for worship – based upon the revelation of G-d.
v16: Morning has to do with light/a term of revelation – bringing things out in a visible way.
· All the people – no exceptions.
v20: A meeting is going on. The people down below are witnessing this. This is the same place where Moses saw the burning bush. The fire didn’t consume the bush and Moses’ life was changed after that encounter. Now these people are seeing Moses being called up into this smoke and fire. Like that bush, Moses is not going to be consumed. Was this encounter going to be life changing for these people?
v21: G-d sent Moses to give the people additional revelation. Only through revelation and your obedience to that revelation can the potential to change become a reality.
· ‘Break through’ is the word for destroy – speaking about destroying those borders that were set up. They may have got caught up in the emotion of this worship experience, but they were not yet prepared for what G-d wanted to bring them into. They had to submit to the stages of worship – one step at a time. (When we allow our emotions to rule and overtake our worship our worship becomes polluted, contaminated and is an invitation for demonic influence. Don’t allow emotion to override the instructions of G-d)
v23: Moses is thinking the people are going to do what G-d has told them to do. G-d knows the people better than Moses does though.
v24: The L-rd was very insistent that Moses obeyed Him and went back down the mountain to rewarn the people.
· If G-d breaks out against the people it will be in judgement – He would consume them.
v25: Moses did what G-d told him to do. Moses may have thought that the people were ready and prepared. He may have thought that they were going to obey the instructions, but they were not. Moses, going down to warn them again, is a picture of G-d’s mercy, a picture of His desire that no one should perish but all should find life.