Sunday School Material 10-8-17: God's Covenant With Israel

(Exodus 19:16-25; 10/8/17)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that God called Moses to give instructions about how close people were to come before His awesome presence. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to discern and obey the will of God for our lives.

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Read Exodus 19:16-19

I. Sacred Mountain. There is quite a description of the third day. In our Sunday School material there is thunder, lighting, loud trumpet blasts, a thick cloud/smoke, and trembling people. Moses is leading the people into the awesome presence of God.

Applications –

- God is awesome. Notice in vss. 16-19 that God is pictured as great and awesome. The world and the people of the text respond accordingly. In like manner, God is still awesome today. God is the creator, sustainer, and judge of all of humanity.

Let’s live like we believe that God is still awesome. The best response to the awesomeness of God is obedience to Him. At the core of His will are the issues of making sure that we are saved and striving to live lives of loving Him and others, as we love ourselves.

Read Exodus 19:20-25

II. Solemn Message. In our Sunday School material, the Lord and Moses have an exchange on Mount Sinai. The people are to keep a further distance from the Lord than Moses. God’s wrath is promised to those who disobey. Moses goes down the mountain to tell the people about God’s will.

Applications –

- Moving at God’s command. Notice in vs. 20 that Moses responded to God’s call for him to come up the mountain. The commentators say that Moses was about 80 years old at the time of the mountain climb. This should suggest to us that, no matter how old we may be, we should do what we can to obey God.

We don’t get so old that we don’t have to move when the Lord says move. Think about how this idea compares to the attitudes of those who make up our aging churches. Let’s work on moving when God calls us to move, despite our age. 

- Roles and boundaries. Notice in vss. 21-22 that God determined who would and would not draw closer to Him. Even the elders and priests were not allowed as closely as Moses.

First, we should strive to make sure that we don’t cross lines that we are not authorized to cross. Another way of saying this is “to stay in our lanes.” We don’t want the Lord to punish us because we made moves based on our assumptions or sense of entitlement, instead of moving by the will of God.

Second, if God has thought enough of us to call us to places that everyone has not been called to then we should be careful to treat such privileges with care. A part of this care is to remember that the privilege says more about God’s grace than our worthiness (i.e., humility). Let’s work on respecting the roles and boundaries that God has set up for us.

- Responding to God’s call. Notice in vs. 24 that God called Aaron through Moses. In like manner, God often calls people through the invitation of people today. This is especially true in the church, but the same could be said of the family and community.

Therefore, when we are asked to do something in the church, we should carefully consider what is God’s will for us to do in response to the request. In times of so few people tithing or serving but so many needing and calling on the church’s resources, we need to be sensitive to the call of God through people.

We should use the gifts and personalities that God has given us to serve the greatest needs, instead of simply doing what is comfortable for us. Let’s work on responding to God’s call appropriately. Think about how this relates to people stepping up in growth group leadership roles, our children’s ministry, and other ministries in our churches.

- Messengers of God. Notice in vs. 25 that Moses obeyed God’s call to go tell the people what the Lord said. In like manner, God is calling every believer to go and tell others what the Lord said. In the area of evangelism, we are to tell people that the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In the area of edification, we are to tell saved people that God is calling us to love Him and others, as we love ourselves. We should also remember that our “telling” should be accompanied by our “showing.” In other words, we should strive to be an example of what we are telling others about. Let’s work on being messengers of God.

Conclusion: Let’s work on discerning and obeying the will of God for our lives. God has much for those who obey His will.

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