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January 22, 2024 - Exodus 19-22

Israel at Mt. Sinai.  The journey has been hard, and it will be harder still as they make their way to the promised land.  But, here at Sinai, the Lord enters into a covenant with the people.  Yes, he has covenanted with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, but now all the people hear the promises and responsibilities and agree to them all:  “All the people answered together and said, ‘All that the Lord has spoken we will do’” (19:8).  Well, not exactly . . . Israel is a good reminder to us that resolutions alone are not sufficient.  It is the faithfulness to carry out those resolutions that ultimately matters. 

 

The Lord knew that Israel would not do all they were instructed to do.  He continued, anyway, giving them the Ten Commandments and more:  “Now these are the rules that you shall set before them” (21:1).  These additional rules were to instruct them in their everyday lives regarding matters such as relationships with servants, dealing with criminals, laws regarding property, plus other social and religious laws.  We must keep in mind that all this was for the benefit of the people; for them to live accordingly meant blessing and harmony and well being.  But they, like us, would not and could not, on their own, live fully righteous lives.  But God did not leave them alone.  He sent One who did “fulfill all righteousness” (3:15).  And the story continues . . .

 

When we walk with the Lord

in the light of his word,

what a glory he sheds on our way!

While we do his good will,

he abides with us still,

and with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there's no other way

to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.   --John H. Sammis (1887)

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