Martin Luther is quoted on his Bible Study Methods: “I study my Bible as I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest might fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and then each branch and then each twig, and then I look under each leaf.” quotehd.com
This is exactly how I love studying God’s Word, too! I am so excited whenever there are cross-references to chase and study! The more—the better! Maybe that cross-reference will give me another to look up! And oh, how I love reading every commentary I can find. They don’t always agree, of course, but it is interesting to weigh each one carefully; always using God’s Word as the final answer. I believe that God loves for us to search His Word carefully and thoughtfully; that perhaps the added mysteries were part of His plan!? The more I study; the more I learn about God and of His Love, the more I understand His Grace! That only makes me want to learn more and it goes on and on –never ending! Ten years of some wonderful women’s Bible studies is the biggest reason I want to write!
So, I was delighted to find the Israelites were at Mount Sinai three months into their travel from Egypt. ( Sometimes their travel was called “wilderness” and sometimes it’s referred to as “desert” although, it wasn’t necessarily a dry wasteland, but may be an uninhabited grazing country.) When God first spoke to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3; it was at this same mountain. “I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.” Exodus 3:12 NKJV
WOW! We’ve come a long way since then, Fellow Travelers! Now, God is ready to talk to Moses again! In Exodus Chapter 19, God compares delivering the Israelites across the Red Sea to carrying them on “wings of eagles”! He is ready to disclose “My Covenant” with the Israelites. Israel would be given a special place among the nations if they accepted His righteous standards. They would become “His treasured possession” out of all the people on earth. (Ex. 10:5; Deut.7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Psalms 135:4; Mal, 3:17). They would become a nation of priests and a holy nation. He wanted them to be pure and dedicated to a service of God.
But, before He would give them His laws and instructions, they must first promise to strictly obey His laws. “Then all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” So Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.” Exodus 19:8 HCSB
For three days, the Israelite people consecrated themselves by purifying their bodies and their clothes. The God of the heavens was about to make a covenant with His people. They were not to approach the mountain or be punished by death. Only Moses and Aaron were permitted on the mountain. Moses made three trips up and down the mountain. (Exodus 19:3; 7; vv 8,9; vv 20,25)
“One of the great events in the history of Israel, and perhaps in the history of all mankind, is the giving of the Law. The Law was not given so that the Israelites by keeping it could obtain righteousness (Rom.3:20a; Gal. 3:11). A righteous standing (justification) before God has always been only by faith (trust) in God (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, 22, 5:1; Gal. 2:16, 3:6, 21). The Law functioned to show the Israelites their sinfulness in contrast to God’s standards of holiness and righteousness and to condemn mankind.” The Bible Knowledge Commentary p138-139