Friday in the Second Week of Lent

Exodus 19:1-25

A Kingdom of Priests

The Book of Exodus is just full of momentous occasions.  Here we have another one, and again there are New Testament implications.

The children of Israel journeyed to the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, and arrived at Mount Sinai, known ever after as “the mountain of God.”  It was upon this mountain that God summoned Moses and delivered unto him His Law.  It is summarized most memorably in the Ten Commandments, which we will talk about tomorrow.  It was here that God made a covenant with the nation of Israel: “If you indeed will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (emphasis added).

A kingdom of priests and a holy nation.  This was Israel’s calling.  This was their purpose.  God made a covenant with this people; first, by bringing them into existence through the loins of Abraham; second, by liberating them from the slavery of Egypt; and, third, by giving them His Law.  God had done everything for them and would do even more, piling blessing upon blessing, if the children of Israel would do only one thing in return: Obey.  That was Israel’s part of the covenant: Obedience to the commands of this wonderful, liberating God.  And so that they would know His commands and not have to guess, He gave them to His servant Moses on the mountain.  The reward of such obedience was that they would become a kingdom of priests unto God, a holy nation, a light unto the gentiles.

But they would not.  They failed to live according to God’s holy Law; they could not keep His commandments, and so were carried off into captivity several centuries later.  But this sets the stage for the coming of Christ – the One who would keep the Law, the One in whom the covenant would be fulfilled.  So a new covenant was made, not written in stone, but upon our hearts by the working of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.  So now the Church is called: “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).  So we are now the children of the covenant, the children of promise, the heirs of God.  What the children of Israel could not do through the Law, Christ did for his Church through his life, death and resurrection.  Let us hold fast to him, our Savior and our Life.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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