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Two Kinds of Preparation for Meeting God
EXODUS 19: 1- 25

When the Israelites arrived at Sinai, they first had a morally challenging experience—or perhaps one should call it a relationally challenging one. It marks a new stage in the covenant relationship between God and Israel. We often think of Sinai as the occasion when the covenant came into being, but God was already in covenant relationship with Israel; the exodus happened because God was mindful of that covenant (Exodus 2:24). What happens at Sinai is a kind of renegotiation of the terms of this covenant, as will happen again when Christ comes. When God made a covenant with Israel’s ancestors, it was 99 percent a commitment purely on God’s part, a promise about something God was going to do. There were no specific requirements laid on Abraham except that the males should be circumcised. The situation has now changed. God has initiated the process whereby the covenant promise is being fulfilled. The people are on their way to the country God promised them. God has rescued them from their servitude to Egypt. (Admittedly, if you were an Israelite, you might think the language about eagle’s wings was a bit rich. “Eagle’s wings? Excuse me, we walked. That’s why it took us two months to get here.”)...

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