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Go Down and Warn the People – Exodus 19:1-20:21

The audio file includes communion at the end.

In Exodus 19, Moses resumes the chronological narrative.  Now in the third month since leaving Egypt and having just defeated the Amalekites (Chapter 17), the Israelites camp “before the mountain” (Mt. Sinai) in the Wilderness of Sinai.  As God prepares them to receive His Law, he instructs Moses to tell the people, “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.  And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6a).  God demonstrates His powerful, holy presence from the mountain with terrifying thunder, lightning, and smoke, and earthquakes.  He commands Moses to ascend the mountain and then to “Go down and warn the people, lest they break through to gaze at the Lord, and many of them perish” (Exodus 19:21).  This section of Scripture is referred to as the Mosaic Covenant where the people are forbidden to directly approach God and are commanded to obey the law, which they agree to do.  Moses then receives the Ten Commandments directly from God atop Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20), and Pastor Kevin explains their applicability to us today and the consequences of our culture’s rejection of God’s law.   

As prophesied in Jeremiah 31, 1500 years later, Jesus came to establish the New Covenant whereby man could come to God through faith in Jesus, where the worshiper receives forgiveness of sin.  Then, as now, our holy God decides how we must approach Him. 

Note.  The biblical Mt. Sinai is Jebel Al-Lawz located in what is today Saudi Arabia.  See


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