According to tradition, it was on this day that Moses ascended Mt. Sinai for the very first time. On this initial ascent up to the mountain, God told Moses to speak to the children of Israel and say:
“You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:4-6)
He had saved them from Egypt and had destroyed their enemies. He saved those who heeded the command to place the blood of the lamb upon their doorpost. Because they believed Him and placed their trust in the blood of that lamb, He delivered their firstborn from the judgment that fell upon Egypt. Then, according to the Scripture, He brought them through the sea breathing upon the waters. By the breath of God, their Egyptian overlords were destroyed. That is what He told them in the verses above. Furthermore, He said, “Now that I’ve saved you and delivered you from your enemy, here’s how I wish for you to live. Here’s how you will be going to be a holy nation and a kingdom of priests – if you hear what I say and if you do what I say.”
The message that He gave to them 3500 years ago is essentially the same message that He gives to us, today. We have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. When we place our trust in that blood and believe upon the LORD Yeshua the Messiah, that’s how we are saved and born again. He delivers us from our enemies by His Spirit that we may be to Him a kingdom of priests, a holy nation, and a special people. Now that we are saved and set free, we have an obligation to hear His voice and keep His commandments in order that we may truly be that kingdom of priests and set apart nation. Peter echoes this same concept in 1 Peter 2:9-10:
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.”
In these passages from Exodus and 1 Peter, two things seem obvious. One, we aren’t saved because we do something special or because we are special. We are saved because of what He did. We are made special because of what He did. He chose us; we didn’t choose Him.
Second, because we are saved, we have a responsibility and an obligation. There’s a certain way we are to live so that we can be a special people. That means we weren’t saved just for our sake, but that we could “proclaim the praises of Him who has called us out of darkness” that others might also be provoked to come out of that same darkness “into His marvelous light.” In other words, that is our mission.
We need to determine to do just that. Hear His Word and do His Word regardless of what might be going on around us. Let’s be committed to being a set apart people for the sake of those who aren’t yet set apart.