Exodus 19

* The people come to Sinai, God's message to them, and their

answer. (1-8) The people directed to prepare to hear the law.

(9-15) The presence of God on Sinai. (16-25)

1-8 Moses was called up the mountain, and was employed as the

messenger of this covenant. The Maker and first Mover of the

covenant, is God himself. This blessed charter was granted out

of God's own free grace. The covenant here mentioned was the

national covenant, by which the Israelites were a people under

the government of Jehovah. It was a type of the new covenant

made with true believers in Christ Jesus; but, like other types,

it was only a shadow of good things to come. As a nation they

broke this covenant; therefore the Lord declared that he would

make a new covenant with Israel, writing his law, not upon

tables of stone, but in their hearts, #Jer 31:33; Heb 8:7-10|.

The covenant spoken of in these places as ready to vanish away,

is the national covenant with Israel, which they forfeited by

their sins. Unless we carefully attend to this, we shall fall

into mistakes while reading the Old Testament. We must not

suppose that the nation of the Jews were under the covenant of

works, which knows nothing of repentance, faith in a Mediator,

forgiveness of sins, or grace; nor yet that the whole nation of

Israel bore the character, and possessed the privileges of true

believers, as being actually sharers in the covenant of grace.

They were all under a dispensation of mercy; they had outward

privileges and advantages for salvation; but, like professing

Christians, most rested therein, and went no further. Israel

consented to the conditions. They answered as one man, All that

the Lord hath spoken we will do. Oh that there had been such a

heart in them! Moses, as a mediator, returned the words of the

people to God. Thus Christ, the Mediator, as a Prophet, reveals

God's will to us, his precepts and promises; and then, as a

Priest, offers up to God our spiritual sacrifices, not only of

prayer and praise, but of devout affections, and pious

resolutions, the work of his own Spirit in us.
9-15 The solemn manner in which the law was delivered, was to

impress the people with a right sense of the Divine majesty.

Also to convince them of their own guilt, and to show that they

could not stand in judgment before God by their own obedience.

In the law, the sinner discovers what he ought to be, what he

is, and what he wants. There he learns the nature, necessity,

and glory of redemption, and of being made holy. Having been

taught to flee to Christ, and to love him, the law is the rule

of his obedience and faith.
16-25 Never was there such a sermon preached, before or since,

as this which was preached to the church in the wilderness. It

might be supposed that the terrors would have checked

presumption and curiosity in the people; but the hard heart of

an unawakened sinner can trifle with the most terrible

threatenings and judgments. In drawing near to God, we must

never forget his holiness and greatness, nor our own meanness

and pollution. We cannot stand in judgment before him according

to his righteous law. The convinced transgressor asks, What must

I do to be saved? and he hears the voice, Believe in the Lord

Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The Holy Ghost, who made

the law to convince of sin, now takes of the things of Christ,

and shows them to us. In the gospel we read, Christ hath

redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for

us. We have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness

of sins. Through him we are justified from all things, from

which we could not be justified by the law of Moses. But the

Divine law is binding as a rule of life. The Son of God came

down from heaven, and suffered poverty, shame, agony, and death,

not only to redeem us from its curse, but to bind us more

closely to keep its commands.
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