Exodus 19* The people come to Sinai, God's message to them, and theiranswer. (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 themessenger of this covenant. The Maker and first Mover of thecovenant, is God himself. This blessed charter was granted outof God's own free grace. The covenant here mentioned was thenational covenant, by which the Israelites were a people underthe government of Jehovah. It was a type of the new covenantmade with true believers in Christ Jesus; but, like other types,it was only a shadow of good things to come. As a nation theybroke this covenant; therefore the Lord declared that he wouldmake a new covenant with Israel, writing his law, not upontables 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 bytheir sins. Unless we carefully attend to this, we shall fallinto mistakes while reading the Old Testament. We must notsuppose that the nation of the Jews were under the covenant ofworks, which knows nothing of repentance, faith in a Mediator,forgiveness of sins, or grace; nor yet that the whole nation ofIsrael bore the character, and possessed the privileges of truebelievers, as being actually sharers in the covenant of grace.They were all under a dispensation of mercy; they had outwardprivileges and advantages for salvation; but, like professingChristians, most rested therein, and went no further. Israelconsented to the conditions. They answered as one man, All thatthe Lord hath spoken we will do. Oh that there had been such aheart in them! Moses, as a mediator, returned the words of thepeople to God. Thus Christ, the Mediator, as a Prophet, revealsGod's will to us, his precepts and promises; and then, as aPriest, offers up to God our spiritual sacrifices, not only ofprayer and praise, but of devout affections, and piousresolutions, the work of his own Spirit in us. 9-15 The solemn manner in which the law was delivered, was toimpress the people with a right sense of the Divine majesty.Also to convince them of their own guilt, and to show that theycould not stand in judgment before God by their own obedience.In the law, the sinner discovers what he ought to be, what heis, and what he wants. There he learns the nature, necessity,and glory of redemption, and of being made holy. Having beentaught to flee to Christ, and to love him, the law is the ruleof 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. Itmight be supposed that the terrors would have checkedpresumption and curiosity in the people; but the hard heart ofan unawakened sinner can trifle with the most terriblethreatenings and judgments. In drawing near to God, we mustnever forget his holiness and greatness, nor our own meannessand pollution. We cannot stand in judgment before him accordingto his righteous law. The convinced transgressor asks, What mustI do to be saved? and he hears the voice, Believe in the LordJesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. The Holy Ghost, who madethe law to convince of sin, now takes of the things of Christ,and shows them to us. In the gospel we read, Christ hathredeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse forus. We have redemption through his blood, even the forgivenessof sins. Through him we are justified from all things, fromwhich we could not be justified by the law of Moses. But theDivine law is binding as a rule of life. The Son of God camedown from heaven, and suffered poverty, shame, agony, and death,not only to redeem us from its curse, but to bind us moreclosely to keep its commands.
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