THEME: STRENGTH THROUGH KNOWING GOD. Part 2

Now as I read these words; for those who are well conversant with the New testament, will recall that the same words recorded by the Apostle Peter in 1 Peter 2:9 and are applied to all who believed in Christ so that these words are not merely relevant to Israel after their redemption out of Egypt, but they are no less relevant to believing Christians today.

And I would like to suggest that you write that; for the most part, God’s purposes for Israel as revealed here never were fulfilled. Some individuals; men like Joshua grasped their calling but I would say; for the most part, Israel never discovered the purpose for their redemption. Since they didn’t do so, God simply restated the purpose for the church of Jesus Christ. And I will offer this comment; Satan can delay the outworking of God’s purposes but never ultimately prevent it. So if it doesn’t work the first time, God does not give up and say,” well, saving one that round!” he simply waits for a people who will do what he intends to get done. I have come to this conviction that what God intends to be done will be done.

The question is not whether it will be done; the question is who will do it? And I think the question for you and I is; will we find our destiny in God or will we make the same mistake the Israelites made and never fully comprehend or workout the purpose of our redemption. Having said that, let me read these words;

EXODUS 19:1-6

1In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day they came into the wilderness of Sinai.

2For they were departed from Rephidim, and were to come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.

3And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;

4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.

5Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all earth is mine:

6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

So there is the outline of what God intended to be Israel’s destiny. I would like to look at the outline of what God says and then go back to the first point which I believe is the one Israel missed and I believe it’s the one that Christians today are in equal danger of missing.

Going back to verse 4;

4Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself

I think that’s the miraculous power of God displayed as the eagles’ wings; and brought you unto myself now that’s what I want to dwell on this evening: That God primarily redeemed Israel to bring them to himself then he went on to outline his other purpose.

In Hebrew, that phrase- ‘bring you unto myself” is just the shortest possible word in Hebrew and I think what is happening to the Jewish people is they just miss out that word basically in reading and I think the phrase is longer in English, multitudes of Christians are in danger of doing the same. God’s primary purpose in redemption is always that; to bring his people closer to him; everything else is secondary.

God then went on to speak about his covenant, he went on to give them the law, he had given them the promise of a land to inherit: I find that the Jewish people then and today to some extent are excited about the law. Orthodox Jews; the one word that dominates all their thinking is the word ‘Torah’ meaning the law. They are excited about the covenant to a certain extent, they are definitely excited about the land but I find few anywhere who are excited about God. See; it’s like people have by-passed God and gone for the products but God himself they scarcely know him.

Tonight I want to focus on the primary purpose; but let’s look at what God said in verse 5 because these words are all basic to our relationship with God.

5Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant…………,

Let’s not read further: I think that, that’s the basic requirement of God with his redeemed people in every age, every distinction; there are two things; if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant.

I think if you read the two books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, you will find almost what I’m piecing: This is what God says; “Obey my voice.”

If you come to this tremendous chapter of Blessings and curses and that is the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy; 68 verses with 14 verses of Blessings and 54 of Curses. You will find that the reason for blessing and cursing is very simple; if you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord and do what is right in his sight, all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you. What’s the primary condition? – diligently listen to the voice of the Lord and then do what he says.

Obviously listening to his voice is primary because if you don’t listen to his voice, you won’t know what he is telling you to do. But you listen with an attitude that you will obey what he tells you.

And what are the causes of the curses; if you read the list of curses which starts from verse 15 and goes on through verse 58; it is horrible. There’s hardly anything that isn’t unpleasant in that text whether it’s spiritual, physical or emotional, relational or financial: what’s the reason? – it’s very simple;

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