Exodus 19 is something of a Preparation for Worship email to Israel. Remember, according to 3:12, Israel is to worship Yahweh at Mt Sinai. God is preparing his people to worship him. That worship will involve the declaration of God’s Word. In the thick cloud, God prepares his people to believe him and his messenger, Moses. In so doing, Israel learns three crucial lessons about approaching God’s presence to receive God’s Word.
Exodus 19–24 is one of the most important passages of the Old Testament and entire scriptures. The covenant God makes with Israel in these chapters becomes the framework through which the great majority of the Old Testament is to be understood.
Our passage is really about God. He is a God of manifold grace, and that grace is seen in the covenant of Sinai. The text makes clear that what happens at Sinai represents his glorious desire for his chosen people. When we pause to look at how God is treating his people in Exod 19, we ought to be ready to proclaim the excellencies of this God who graciously cuts covenants with mankind.
As Baptists, we are committed to New Testament authority because it is Christ’s will that his church be built upon the apostles’ teaching. This authority touches on the question of who has authority to govern local church. This morning, we will see that the New Testament clearly places the government of a local church into the hands of the members themselves.
The story of Jethro is primarily given to us to make this important point: All men ought to give the true God glory for his wonderful works. Even during this time of salvation history where God is dealing primarily with Israel, God’s dealings with them is intended to bring all the nations to confess that Yahweh is the true God. Every man, woman, and child ought to give God the glory due his name.
Our text this morning is the story of Israel’s first conflict after defeating Egypt. This morning, I think it’s better to approach our text from the ground up. I want us to understand what’s going on, and then draw lessons for us from what the passage reveals.