And God spoke all these words, saying,…
I. GOD IN COVENANT WITH MAN IS THE CONDITION OF THE EXISTENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF MAN'S SPIRITUAL LIFE. The despair of the sinner, but for God's mercy, would crush him. And what know we of God's mercy? For ages our forefathers have been living consciously in a covenant, and all our ideas of God have been formed by it. But ask that agonized father, plunging the bare knife into the throat of his daughter, or flinging his tender infant into that seething cauldron of fire, what man, ignorant of the covenant, knows of the mercy and forgiveness of God. Man lives on the covenant; he builds his life on the promises; it is the condition of his living at all in the sense in which a man may live.
II. GOD WAS SEEKING THE COVENANT, NOT MAN. It is God who acts, man who accepts; God who gives, man who receives; and thus the hope of man has its strong resting-place, not on the strivings of his own weak will, not on the searchings of his own too easily bewildered and blinded intellect, but on the eternal purpose and love of God. God cannot dispense with man's heart, will, and intellect; He led that people there that He might engage them in His service. Refuse Him that service, and the covenant is worthless to you, nay, is a witness against you to condemnation; yield them to Him, and rest in the assurance that your salvation depends not on your own weak work but on the strong arm of God.
III. You will find two grand features in that which was transacted there on the Mount of God: GOD REVEALING HIMSELF — GOD DECLARING HIS LAW. This was God's covenant; the people had but to say in heart and with voice "Amen."
1. Nature, circumstance, the currents of life, master us, till we know the Divine Name. We know ourselves in knowing Him, and find in ourselves the broken features of His likeness. The first step towards the establishment of the covenant was the revelation of the Divine name.
2. It was a merciful name which the Lord made known: "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. I am the God of thy fathers." How tender, how blessed the assurance!
3. The Lord's name is holy. "The Lord thy God is a holy Lord." A sensual-hearted man will fashion gods like unto himself. A wise and earnest-hearted man will "give thanks at the remembrance of God's holiness."
(J. B. Brown, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And God spake all these words, saying,