Exodus 19:7

I. WHAT IS DEMANDED ERE THE REVELATION CAN BE IMPARTED.

1. The will must be surrendered to God, "All that the Lord hath spoken we will do" (ver. 8).

2. The filthiness of the past must be put away; "Sanctify them" (ver. 10). There must be loathing of, and separation from, sin.

3. There must be a sense of the distance sin has put between the soul and God; "Take heed to yourselves that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it" (vers. 12, 13).

II. HOW THE REVELATION IS IMPARTED.

1. In the awful manifestation of his majesty (vers. 16-19). The first step is the recognition of the livingness and greatness and holiness of God. Hitherto he has been to the soul a name only; now the Creator, the Holy One, against whom and in whose sight all sin has been wrought, the Righteous Judge from whom there is no escape, from whose face death itself affords no covering.

2. In the glorifying of a Mediator, to whom he speaks, and who shall declare him to us. This is reflected in the Christian's experience -

(1) Sinai, the knowledge of sin;

(2) Calvary, peace through the blood of Jesus, acceptance in the Beloved. - U.







All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.
1. Command received from God by His ministers — they must go and call them whom they must bespeak.

2. Orderly proceeding to acquaint the people of God's will by their heads is rational.

3. Proposition and exposition of God's words must be made to souls that they may know them.

4. All God's words, and no more but His, Jehovah commands His ministers to speak to His people (ver. 7).

(G. Hughes, B. D.)

The subject of this paragraph (vers. 7-24) is God's revelation of Himself, — the call to receive it, the manner in which it was made.

I. WHEN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF MAN IS SUMMONED TO ATTEND. This is uniformly God's method. First the call, then the revelation. "Hear, O Israel," then, "the Lord thy God is one Lord." "This is My beloved Son, hear ye Him," then the New Testament dispensation. Moses was a type of the ministry of the Son of Man, and an example to Christian ministers in the manner in which he summoned men to God. He spoke —

1. Authoritatively.

2. Clearly.

3. Completely.

4. Successfully.

5. Moses spoke for the people to God.So does Christ combine our poor prayers with the mighty eloquence of His intercession.

II. WHEN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF, MAN MUST BE PREPARED FOR THE REVELATION (ver. 10-15).

1. Man must attend to the herald who proclaims God's coming.

2. Man must be prepared by personal sanctification.

3. Man must be prepared by a ready acquiescence in all that God commands.

4. Man must be prepared at the appointed time. "Be ready against the third day."(1) God has now appointed times in which He promises to reveal Himself to men. The Lord's day. All times of duty and religious privilege. Let no man be unprepared, or plead excuses, or make other engagements.(2) God has now appointed times which He has not chosen to reveal. Death, judgment. We "know not the day nor the hour when the Son of Man cometh." Hence the wisdom of immediate and constant preparation. "Watch and pray."

III. WHEN GOD REVEALS HIMSELF IT IS IN A MANNER SUITED TO THE OCCASION. It was necessary that He should speak to men who for years had been surrounded by idolatrous associations, and who had become debased by years of servitude, in a most solemn, startling, and impressive form. God has other methods than those employed here. Abraham, Elijah. Bethlehem, Pentecost, Patmos, etc. So in each individual ease. Learn then —

1. To listen when God speaks. Faith has a faculty not only of sight, but of hearing.

2. When God calls obey that call, and be prepared for the public revelation which that call precedes. "God now commandeth everyman to repent" (2 Corinthians 7:1).

3. Receive God's revelation of Himself in His own way,

(J. W. Burn.)

I. COMMENDABLE ENGAGEMENT.

1. Because of its righteousness.

2. Because of its advantageousness.

(1)The highest character. "A holy nation."

(2)The highest service. "Unto Me a kingdom of priests."

(3)The highest privilege. "A peculiar treasure unto Me."

3. Because of its unanimity. "All the people answered together."

II. A COMMENDABLE ENGAGEMENT RASHLY MADE.

1. Without due consideration.

2. Without earnest purpose,

3. Without hearty concurrence with the will which they promised to obey.

4. Without any realization of their need of Divine help in order that they may keep it. "How easily overween we our own abilities!"

III. A COMMENDABLE ENGAGEMENT REPEATEDLY AND TERRIBLY BROKEN. Their sin in violating this solemn promise was the more heinous because of

(1)God's great goodness to them.

(2)His invariable faithfulness in His portion of the covenant.

(3)The comparatively trivial circumstances and slight influences which proved sufficient to induce them to break their engagement.Notwithstanding the strongest obligations to fulfil their promise, they broke it upon the slightest provocation. Conclusion —

1. Let us heed well our obligation to do all that the Lord commands.

2. Let us be careful in the utterance of religious vows.

3. Let us be humbled by the recollection of the many religious vows we have made but not kept, and seek forgiveness for our failures.

4. Let, us endeavour to perform our vows, looking to God for strength to enable us to do so.

(William Jones.)

I. THE CALL (ver. 7).

1. The elders represented the people. In dealing with so great a multitude some such arrangement was necessary. So it is in many things — in the nation, the family, the Church.

2. God's commands were faithfully communicated. "Laid before their faces all," etc.: nothing was added and nothing kept back. The will of God was made known so plainly that none could plead ignorance; so particularly that none could plead excuse. The truth was communicated to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

II. THE RESPONSE (ver. 8). "And all the people answered together," etc.

1. Prompt. There was no hesitancy.

2. Hearty. There was no reservation.

3. Unanimous. There was no dissentient voice (Acts 2:1). How grand the spectacle! The mighty multitude aa with one heart and voice proclaimed their submission to God. But, alas! the sequel showed, that mixed with their apparent sincerity and enthusiasm there was much of ignorance, presumption, and self-conceit.

III. THE REPORT TO GOD. "And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord" (cf. ver. 9). Such report was necessary to secure the favour of God and the faith of the people. It tended to —

1. Exoneration of conscience.

2. Relief of the heart.

3. Invigoration of hope.

4. Accrediting of character.

5. Success of ministry, Nothing works more to give a man power with men than the belief that he has power with God.

(William Forsyth.)

Moses acted throughout according to Divine command.

I. THE PEOPLE WERE CALLED TO SANCTIFY THEMSELVES. There must be separation from what is not of God, in order to fellowship with what is. Self-consecration required (Psalm 26:6; Isaiah 1:16-18; Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20).

II. THE PEOPLE WERE CHARGED TO RE READY AT THE APPOINTED TIME (ver. 11). Come into God's presence with humility, prayer, hope.

III. THE PEOPLE WERE COMMANDED TO OBSERVE THE PRESCRIBED LAWS AND ORDINANCES AS TO APPROACH TO GOD. Bounds fixed as to place, action, behaviour (vers. 12-14; see 1 Corinthians 14:10).

(William Forsyth.)

The pleasantest thing in the world is to be obedient.

1. Because it is so pleasant to know what we have to do. The word "law" comes from the verb "to lay"; it means "something laid down." The "law" is something that God has laid down quite plain for us to do.

2. Because it is a proof that God loves us. Do you remember, whets Peter was so unhappy, Christ said to him: "Peter, feed My sheep, feed My lambs"? Christ said that to show that He trusted Peter again. Therefore, if God, tells you to do anything, be sure God loves you.

3. Because it is practising for heaven. To obey the "law" is to prepare for heaven. There all will be obedience. Sir Henry Lawrence said, just before he died, "I wish this to be on my tombstone: 'Here lies Henry Lawrence, who tried to, do his duty.'" Duty is preparing for heaven. Somebody perhaps will say, "Oh, but it is so difficult to do one's duty — to love the 'law.'" Listen to what a little girl said to her brother: "I tried with all my might to be good, and I prayed and read my Bible, but I was no better. At last I found Christ, and when I found Christ it was all easy; and from that time I have been so happy."

(Prof. Drummond.)

A boy, when he entered his first place of employment, made an engagement with his master that he was to be in his place at nine o'clock in the morning, For a while the boy was always to be found at his post at the appointed hour, but he began to notice that his master did not come in until a quarter to ten, and he thought it would not matter if he did not come in until ten minutes past nine, for his master would never know. He got on very well for a time, but at length he began to grow very miserable. He had a feeling that he was cheating his master, consequently he was unhappy; he felt he had lost his faithfulness, and made up his mind to go in at the hour appointed, and when he did so his peace and joy returned, because he was conscious that he was doing right. It is the same with Christians in their daily life. As long as they are obeying God's commandments they are happy, but whenever they break one of them they become miserable. Want of faithfulness in the most trivial things often breaks our peace, and stops communion with God.

(George Muller.)

A story is told of a gentleman who visited President Lincoln, and who was in the habit of making promises more freely than he kept them. In order to induce one of Mr. Lincoln's boys, to sit on his lap, the gentleman offered to give him a charm which he wore on his watch chain. The boy climbed into his lap. Finally the gentleman arose to go, when Mr. Lincoln said to him," Are you going to keep your promise to my boy?" "What promise?" said the visitor. "You said you would give him that charm." "Oh, I could not," said the visitor. "It is not only valuable, but I prize it as an heirloom." "Give it to him," said Mr. Lincoln, sternly. "I would not want him to know that I entertained one who had no regard for his word." The gentleman coloured, undid the charm, and handed it to the boy, and went away with a lesson which he was not likely soon to forget, and which others may profit by learning.

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