Nearly three months had passed since the people saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. The drama of the plagues had been fresh in their minds then. Since then, water had been miraculously provided, then bread, ‘the manna from heaven’ and quails. How much these experiences should have impressed them! Now “Israel encamped before the mountain” (Exodus 19:2), not just any mountain, but God’s holy mountain.
“Moses went up to God” (verse 3) and what did God say? The words are echoed in the New Testament by Jesus. God told Moses to tell the people, “you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples for you shall be to me a kingdom of priests …” (verses 4-6).
Those last words are echoed by Jesus in Revelation 20:6. From the beginning of the world God has been looking for those who are willing to dedicate their lives to Him and become his “treasured possession”. This is an overwhelming prospect – beyond our comprehension. However, we must realize how the New Testament reveals what we might call, ‘the face of God’. Remember how Jesus said, “whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
Of course Jesus wasn’t the Father, but as we read in Hebrews 1, God “in these last days has spoken to us by his Son” (verse 2). So in Exodus we see God speaks to and through Moses and note that “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear (awe) of him may be before you, that you may not sin’” (20:20).
What about today? Remarkably God now ‘speaks’ through the pages of the Bible which is available in every known language. To those who seek God and obey, He is a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12) but to those who “refuse him who is speaking” (Hebrews 12:25) then see what is written in the rest of Hebrews 12.