Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai  (Read 380 times)

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Lesson 7 May 8-14

Covenant at Sinai

Commentary in Navy                  Inspiration in Maroon

So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2021, 11:36:09 AM »
Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week’s Study: Deut. 1:29-31; Hos. 11:1; Rev. 5:9; Deut. 29:10-13; Exod. 19:5-6; Rom. 6:1-2; Rev. 14:12; Rom. 10:3.

Memory Text: “Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.” Exodus 19:4

“A little boy, one of seven children, met with an accident and was taken to the hospital. In his home there was seldom enough of anything. He never had more than just a part of a glass of milk. If the glass was full, it was shared by two of the children, and whoever drank first had to be careful not to drink too far. After the little fellow was made comfortable in the hospital, the nurse brought him a large glass of milk. He looked at it longingly for a moment and then, with the memory of privations at home, asked, ‘How deep shall I drink?’ The nurse, with her eyes shining and a lump in her throat, said, ‘Drink it all, child, drink it all!’ ” — H. M. S. Richards, “Free Grace,” Voice of Prophecy News, June 1950, p. 4.

Like this boy, it was the privilege of ancient Israel, as it is our own, to drink deeply from the wells of salvation. Israel’s deliverance from centuries of slavery and oppression was a marvelous exhibition of divine grace. Likewise, divine grace is involved in our own emancipation from sin.

The Week at a Glance: What imagery did the Lord use to describe His relationship with Israel?

The very best imagery is the Lamb and its death at the hands of a sinner. What can be more powerful and easy to understand, that our heavenly Father let His innocent Son come to this dark spot in the universe where Satan claims dominion, a helpless baby subject to the weakness of humanity to fight the battle of life as we must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. It is our sins that caused the suffering and death of Jesus.

In what ways do the stories of the Exodus and Sinai parallel personal salvation? What was the role of the law in the Sinai covenant?

The law is a revelation of the character of God. It is the standard by which we shall be judged. Do we keep the law which is a law of love, love for God and love for our neighbor? The law cannot save anyone,  it was given at Sinai that those who had been in captivity and had lost their understanding of the plan of salvation, would see their inability to keep the law in and of themselves. The covenant was "obey and live." It was not the same as the everlasting covenant nor the new covenant which were based on better promises. The old covenant made a Sinai did not promise a hated for sin, as did the first covenant made in Eden or the new covenant which was the same as the everlasting covenant, a promise to be transformed hating sin and having the law written on the heart of all who love God supremely.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, May 15.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2021, 12:01:12 PM »
Sunday         May 9

On Eagles’ Wings

As a people, Israel had been immersed in Egyptian paganism for many long, hard centuries, an experience that no doubt dimmed their knowledge of God, His will, and His goodness.

How could the Lord win them back to Himself?

They like many today needed to learn that they were helpless to do any good thing in and of themselves. They were evil by nature. Before being reconciled to God, they needed to see that they could not keep the law of God until they were transformed in character, and made a partaker of God's divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

For starters, He would demonstrate the genuineness of His love for Israel, and He did this through His mighty acts of deliverance. He would begin to woo the nation into a loving response to His covenant proposal. God first reminded the nation of His gracious acts in their behalf at Sinai.

His love and concern for Israel was demonstrated by their deliverance from slavery and His provision for them as they traveled to the "promised land."

What two illustrations describe the manner in which the Lord brought Israel from Egypt to Sinai?

Exod. 19:4, Deut. 32:10-12

Deut. 1:29-31, Hos. 11:1

What would these illustrations teach Israel (and us) about the nature of God’s attitude toward His people?

These illustrations indicate that our God is very much aware of our helplessness. Read Psalm 103:13-14. In both the figures of the eagle and the parent carrying his child we sense God’s concern for our well-being. Tender, supportive, protective, encouraging, His desire is to bring us to full maturity.

"Full maturity." What does this mean? Did the thief on the cross come to full maturity? No. But, he was fit for heaven. So, before we talk about God wanting us to come to full maturity, He wants to transform the heart which is what we know as the "new birth" or being born of the Spirit (John 3). Since in Ellen White's day it was rare to find one who had experienced the new birth, we need to understand the foundation of our faith. This does not involve coming to full maturity, but rather dying to self at conversion. "The new birth is a rare experience in this age of the world. This is the reason why there are so many perplexities in the churches. Many, so many, who assume the name of Christ are unsanctified and unholy. They have been baptized, but they were buried alive. Self did not die, and therefore they did not rise to newness of life in Christ. Vol. 6 Bible Commentary; pg1075.

“The eagle was known for its unusual devotions to its young. It too lived on mountain tops. In teaching its young to fly it carried them upon its back to those great heights that overlook the plains of Sinai, then it dropped them down into the depths. If the baby was still too young and too bewildered to fly, father-eagle would swoop down beneath it, catch it on his back, and fly up again with it to the eyrie on the crags above. And that, says the divine voice, is ‘how I brought you out of Egypt to myself.’” — George A. F. Knight, Theology of Narration (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976), p. 128.

After watching eagle parents allow an eaglet to beat upon its sibling and deny it food, I am not so sure that eagles are devoted to their young, at least not all of them. It is contrary to how God created them.

Contrast God’s interest in us with our interest in one another. How should His concern for us affect our concern for others

Our love of one another is not there until we are transformed by a new birth which produces a new heart on which is written the law of God. When we love God supremely with the whole heart, we are partakers of God's divine nature and love both God and others.

Based on your personal experience, what illustrations can you think of to describe God’s unselfish interest in us? Make up a few images on your own, from your own experiences; draw also from whatever culture you live in. Share them with the class.

A transformed life reveals how much God loves when we come to understand we are healed by His stripes. That is to say the very best illustration of God's love for me is seeing our heavenly Father hesitate to allow Jesus to become our substitute that He might be punished in my place that I might live and He must die.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2021, 12:19:49 PM »
Monday         May 10

The Pattern of Salvation

“Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am] the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I [am] the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” Exod. 6:6-7

Look at the above verses: What principle do we see in them, as before, regarding the role of God toward humanity in the covenant relationship (focus on how often the word I appears in those verses)?

"Covenant relationship"?  I thought the covenant had conditions on both sides. Is their salvation when we break the covenant? No. Then what shall we say about our relationship with God when we are not fully surrendered. If we give Him not the whole heart, what can we say about our relationship with Him? It is true that God does not punish us with temporal death immediately. God gives to man a period of time to learn of Him and be transformed.

The deliverance of Israel from Egyptian slavery and the deliverance of Noah and his family from the Flood are the two prominent salvific events in the writings of Moses. Both provide insights into the science of salvation. But it is the Exodus event in particular that provides the basic pattern.

There were conditions for both groups. One was a holy group, the other not. There was no salvific event in the exodus, at least in not many. The flood took away those who rejected God fully. In the exodus we see many were destroyed as were the Egyptians that denied God.

When God says to Israel (through Moses) “I will redeem you” (Exod. 6:6, emphasis supplied), He literally says “I will act the redeemer-kinsman” or go’el.

A very few were truly redeemed.

“The word redeem in verse 6 [of Exodus 6] refers to a member of a family buying back or ransoming another member of the family, especially when that member was in slavery for debt or about to go into slavery. Israel apparently had no earthly relative to redeem her, but God was now Israel’s relative, her kinsman redeemer.” — Bernard L. Ramm, His Way Out (Glendale, CA: Regal Books Division, G/L Publications, 1974), p. 50.

How do you understand the idea of God’s “ransoming,” or buying back, His people from slavery? What was the price that had to be paid? What does that tell us about our worth? (See Mark 10:45, 1 Tim. 2:6, Rev. 5:9.)

Yes, redemption is not a deliverance from physical slavery, but from spiritual bondage by our own evil flesh and carnal heart. This is the fulfillment of the everlasting covenant revealed in Genesis 3:15. When we hate sin and Satan enough to cease sinning, God had created in us a new heart that we must maintain daily by dying to self.

In Exodus 3:8 God says that He has “come down” to rescue Israel. This is a common Hebrew verb for God’s interaction with humanity. God is in heaven, and we are on earth, and only as God “comes down” to earth can He redeem us. In the truest sense of the idea, only when Jesus came down, lived, suffered, died, and was resurrected for us can we be redeemed. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14, RSV) is another way of saying that God came down in order to save us.

Amen!!  It was not just temporal life, but eternal life based upon the transformation of nature brought about by the grace of God taken into the heart. This is the greatest miracle God can perform, and it requires our cooperation.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 12:40:15 PM »
Tuesday         May 11

The Sinai Covenant

The book of Exodus draws the reader’s attention to three major events. Like three mountains, the Exodus itself, the establishment of the covenant, and the building of the tabernacle-sanctuary rise above the foothills of lesser happenings. The establishment of the covenant, recorded in Exodus 19 through 24, was the Mount Everest of the three. A brief outline of Exodus 19 through 24 shows the sequence and the relationship of events.

I would place the Sanctuary and its services as the highest of all. Why is that so important? Because if what was there was understood, there would be no need of the "old covenant," nor of the 40 year exodus. The "establishment of the covenant" was very soon to be seen as impossible to keep. How long did it take before the people recognized they could not obey the law? Not long. And this is just the reason why God made the covenant with such an impossible requirement. "Obey and live" was destined to failure. The law both ceremonial and moral cannot bring salvation. It brings condemnation.

But, in the tabernacle  would be found a revelation of the character of God which would when allowed into the heart bring forth obedience to all which is written in the law.In other words, the "new covenant" a fulfillment of the "everlasting covenant" revealed in the Garden, was based upon better promises than those which were given in the covenant made at Sinai. (See Hebrews).

Even if you do not have the time to look up all the verses listed below, focus on the sequence of events:

1. Israel’s arrival and encampment at Sinai after being delivered by the Lord (Exod. 19:1-2).

2. God’s proposal of a covenant with Israel (Exod. 19:3-6).

3. Israel’s response in acceptance of the covenant (Exod. 19:7-8).

4. Preparations for formally receiving the covenant (Exod. 19:9-25).

5. Proclamation of the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:1-17).

6. Moses as covenant mediator (Exod. 20:18-21).

7. Covenant principles spelled out (Exod. 20:22 to Exod. 23:22).

8. Ratification of the covenant (Exod. 24:1-18).

This covenant plays a vital role in the plan of salvation. It is the fourth covenant listed in the Bible (preceded by the ones with Adam, Noah, and Abraham), and in it God reveals Himself more fully than before, particularly as the entire sanctuary ritual is established. Thus, the sanctuary becomes the means by which He shows the people the plan of salvation that they were to reveal to the world.

Though the Lord had redeemed Israel from the bondage of Egypt, He wanted them to understand that redemption had a greater, more significant meaning than merely freedom from physical bondage. He wanted to redeem them from sin, the ultimate slavery, and this could happen only through the sacrifice of the Messiah, as taught in the types and symbols of the sanctuary service. It is no wonder, then, that not long after they were redeemed from bondage, and given the law, the Israelites were instructed to build the sanctuary and establish its services, for in these things God revealed to them the plan of redemption — which is the true meaning and purpose of the covenant. For the covenant is nothing if not a covenant of salvation, that the Lord offers to fallen humanity. That is what it was in Eden, and that is what it was at Sinai.

Amen as to what was taught in the Sanctuary, bit this covenant at Sinai was not a covenant of salvation. It was given that humanity might understand it is impossible to obey in and of ourselves. When the covenant was entered into "All that the LORD hath spoken we will do," there was no understanding that they needed a Savior. Thus, the failed almost immediately being evil by nature and having corrupt hearts. When reading in Hebrews, we find that God had a better covenant based on better promises. "But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises..... For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." 8:6,10.

Why was a covenant between God and the people of Israel a necessity? (See Deut. 29:10-13, notice, again, the relational aspect of the covenant.)

The covenant was already made, but was lost sight of. It was passed down from father to son beginning with Adam. But, in the 400 years in Egypt it was lost. God was starting over with a people of which many were little better than brute beasts having been in slavery for many years.

This nation of slaves was to be taught of God. Jesus Christ, enshrouded in the pillar of cloud and fire, was to be their invisible leader, the ruler over all their tribes. Moses was to be the mouthpiece of God. For forty years God ruled over them as they journeyed through the wilderness. But the Hebrew nation is not the only nation that has been in cruel bondage, and whose groanings have come to the ears of the Lord of hosts. The Lord God of Israel has looked upon the vast number of human beings who were held in slavery in the United States of America. The United States has been a refuge for the oppressed. It has been spoken of as the bulwark of religious liberty. God has done more for this country than for any other country upon which the sun shines. It has been marvelously preserved from war and bloodshed. God saw the foul blot of slavery upon this land, he marked the sufferings that were endured by the colored people. He moved upon the hearts of men to work in behalf of those who were so cruelly oppressed. The Southern States became one terrible battle-field. The graves of American sons who had enlisted to deliver the oppressed race are thick in its soil. Many fell in death, giving their lives to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that were bound. God spoke concerning the captivity of the colored people as verily as he did concerning the Hebrew captives, and said: “I have surely seen the affliction of my people, ... and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; and I am come down to deliver them.” The Lord wrought in freeing the Southern slaves; but he designed to work still further for them as he did for the children of Israel, whom he took forth to educate, to refine, and ennoble. Christ himself wrought with his appointed leaders, and directed them as to what they should do for his people that had become so terribly degraded. They were to be kept separate from all nations, to be directed and counseled until, through a correct representation of the divine character, they should come to know God, to reverence and obey his commandments. RH December 17, 1895

Before they could "obey" they must learn of Him who gave all that they might live.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 12:58:06 PM »
Wednesday          May 12

God and Israel

“Now 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 the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel” (Exod. 19:5-6).

In these verses the Lord is proposing His covenant with the children of Israel. Though in one sense the Lord has called them, that calling is not automatically bestowed upon them without their choice. They had to cooperate. Even their deliverance from Egypt involved their cooperation: If they did not do what the Lord said (such as putting the blood on the doorposts), they would not have been delivered. It was that simple.

They did not do all that God ordered. After all which God had done prior to the death of the first born, they had reason to believe, but not from the heart. Many obeyed out of fear.

Here, too, the Lord does not say to them, “Whether you like it or don’t like it — you will be a peculiar treasure unto Me and a nation of priests.” That is not how it works, and that is not what the text says.

Read Exodus 19:5-6, quoted above. How do you understand what the Lord is saying in the context of salvation by faith? Does the command included there to obey the Lord somehow nullify the concept of salvation by grace? How do the following texts help you to understand the answer? Rom. 3:19-24; Rom. 6:1-2; Rom. 7:7; Rev. 14:12.

There was  no salvation by faith at the point when the covenant was given and agreed to. It was merely "obey and live." That was the extent of the covenant.

“We do not earn salvation by our obedience; for salvation is the free gift of God, to be received by faith. But obedience is the fruit of faith.” — Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 61.

Think of what the Lord was willing to do for the nation of Israel: not only did He miraculously deliver them from Egyptian bondage, but He wanted to make them His own treasured possession, a nation of priests. Basing their relationship with Him upon His salvation (both temporal, as from Egyptian slavery, and eternal), the Lord sought to elevate them to a spiritual, intellectual, and moral level that would make them the wonder of the ancient world. All for the purpose of using them to preach the gospel to the nations. All they had to do, in response, was obey.

They tried to obey, but had not sought after the Savior, thus there was no power to obey. They did not learn the lesson of salvation by faith. Most all perished without entering the promised land.

In what ways should our personal, one-on-one experience with the Lord reflect that same principle we see here in today’s study?

Do we understand we are evil by nature and can do NO good thing? Many have not. Thus, they do not seek out a Savior as did Saul of Tarsus when he prayed to God "O wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from the body of this death?" Romans 7:24. We must first see that the man in Romans seven has no peace, cannot obey God from his heart, must be born again of the Spirit. As long as one thinks Romans 7 is the Christian experience, he is still sitting at the foot of Mt Sinai, not at the feet of Jesus.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 04:03:14 PM »
Thursday         May 13

Promises, Promises … (Exod. 19:8 )

At first sight, all seems well. The Lord delivers His people, offers them the covenant promises, and they agree: they will do all that the Lord asks them to do. It is a deal “made in heaven,” right?

Read the following texts. What insight do they give us regarding Israel’s response to the covenant?

Rom. 9:31-32

Rom. 10:3

Heb. 4:1-2

Whatever God asks us to do, our relationship with Him must be founded upon faith. Faith provides the basis upon which works follow. Works, in and of themselves, no matter how purely motived, no matter how sincere, no matter how numerous, can’t make us acceptable in the sight of a holy God. They could not in Israel’s time, and they cannot in our time, as well.

Yes, God accepts us into His kingdom when we have a pure new heart. The carnal heart is not acceptable in heaven. The, when carnal, we cannot say something is "purely motivated."   There is no purity of heart or motives until the Holy Spirit possesses the heart and cleanses it from all sin. Many do not really believe the heart can be purified. They have not studied for themselves and have believed what others have taught them.

Saving faith is a transaction where one believes with the "whole" heart, not holding anything back. The motive will then be pure and holy. We may eat the wrong food, keep the wrong day, because we don't understand, but the fruits of the Spirit will be manifested no matter whether or not they are understood. They come with the Holy Spirit when we surrender the whole heart to God because we love Him with the whole heart. There is no in between. We cannot serve two masters. The fruit coming off the tree is either good or bad. Bad fruit, bad tree. Good fruit, good tree. It is the purity of heart that God transforms, then good works will be seen in the life.

If, however, the Bible over and over stresses works, why can’t works make us acceptable in God’s sight? (See Isa. 53:6; Isa. 64:6; Rom. 3:23.)

Unfortunately, the Hebrew people believed that their obedience became the means of their salvation, not the result of salvation. They sought righteousness in their obedience to the law, not the righteousness of God, which comes by faith. The Sinai covenant — though coming with a much more detailed set of instructions and law — was designed a covenant of grace as much as all the preceding covenants as well. This grace, freely bestowed, brings about a change of heart that leads to obedience. The problem, of course, was not their attempt to obey (the covenant demanded that they obey); the problem was the kind of “obedience” they rendered, which wasn’t really obedience at all, as the subsequent history of the nation showed.

Amen!  True obedience reaches to the intent of the heart. It is the motive that reveals the condition of the heart. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. When Saul (Paul) was blameless regarding the commandments, he was outwardly (but not when murdering Stephen). When the commandment came home to his heart, he then was himself condemned. That is when the understanding of the law reaches to the motive of the heart, Saul saw himself spiritually dead (Romans 7).

Read carefully Romans 10:3, particularly the last part.

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 

What point is Paul making there?

Not knowing the goodness of God because they did not spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Jesus, they attempted to keep the law in order to obtain eternal life, therefore they did not surrender the whole heart to God. It is better known as the Laodicean condition spoken of in Rev. chapter three.

 What happens to people who seek to establish their own righteousness?

They remain in sin and are not truly loving God or their neighbor.

Why does that attempt inevitably lead to sin, unrighteousness, and rebellion? Look at our own lives. Are we not in danger of doing the same thing?

It leads to remaining in sin and unrighteousness, and often leads to outright rebellion. And rebellion is often incurable. Open apostasy is a revelation of a hard heart that is often unteachable. This is why Jesus chose predominately unschooled disciples. The lettered men were often unteachable.

Are we in the same danger? The church is already in that condition. How do we as a people come out of it? We are promised that the church will see revival and reformation. God is breathing His Spirit upon His church today (see Ezekiel 37). He is pouring clean water upon His church to cleanse it from its idols and filthiness (see Ezekiel 36:22-37.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 7--2nd Quarter 2021--Covenant at Sinai
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2021, 04:33:19 PM »
Friday         May 14

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, “The Exodus,” pp. 281-290; “From the Red Sea to Sinai,” pp. 291-302; “The Law Given to Israel,” pp. 303-314, in Patriarchs and Prophets.

“The spirit of bondage is engendered by seeking to live in accordance with legal religion, through striving to fulfill the claims of the law in our own strength. There is hope for us only as we come under the Abrahamic covenant, which is the covenant of grace by faith in Christ Jesus. The gospel preached to Abraham, through which he had hope, was the same gospel that is preached to us today, through which we have hope. Abraham looked unto Jesus, who is also the Author and the Finisher of our faith.” — Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1077.

There is no other gospel. It was the same in the Old Testament as in the new. The new covenant is not the same as the old covenant made a Sinai, but is the same as the Abramic covenant and the Everlasting covenant made in the Garden just after the fall.

“During the bondage in Egypt many of the Israelites had, to a great extent, lost the knowledge of God’s law, and had mingled its precepts with heathen customs and traditions. God brought them to Sinai, and there with His own voice declared His law.” — Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 334.

Amen!!  They not only lost the knowledge of God's law, they had no idea that the Messiah would have to die for their sins. They had no knowledge of the gospel of grace.

Discussion Questions:

    In what ways was the covenant relationship designed to maintain Israel’s physical and spiritual freedoms? (See Lev. 26:3-13; compare Deut. 28:1-15.)

The covenant at Sinai was not designed to do this, it was designed to show them their inability to keep the law in and of themselves. God did not leave them ignorant of what to do. The solution was to be found in the sanctuary and its services that abounded in a knowledge of Christ's sacrifice for our salvation.

    Read again Exodus 19:5-6.

 19:5   Now 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 the earth [is] mine: 
 19:6   And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. 

It is true, but they first had to see they could not do it without His help and great sacrifice. As it turned out  most of Israel never nor will they ever see His kingdom. They had been greatly deceived about the plan of salvation.

Notice the Lord makes this statement, “All the earth is mine.” Why would He say that, particularly in this context, that of seeking to establish a covenant with these people? How does our understanding of the Sabbath, and what it means, fit in here?

God owns it all, He is the creator God. Thus He is omnipotent and can keep His part of the covenant. The people understood this part, they feared God when the mountain was smoking from His glory. They did not understand His grace and how far His love would go to save His people.

    We understand that we are forgiven our sins only through God’s grace. How do we understand the role of God’s grace in enabling us to live a life of faith and obedience?

That is the all important question. What is the role of grace that leads to true obedience? Our sins are forgiven when we are truly repentant of our sins. True repentance leads to confession and forsaking of the sin confessed. So, grace is very powerful. It is the most powerful thing in the universe. It transforms sinners into saints. It is so powerful and amazing that relatively few believe God can keep them from sinning. How very sad. Grace surrounds us as thick as the air we breathe, yet it goes unaccepted by the vast multitude.

What is grace? It is the love of God for us while we were yet sinners. It is not deserved, to the contrary, we ought to be destroyed for what we have done to our neighbor and God. Sin is a terrible thing, it hurts people and God. So, when you spit in God's face, murder His Son, what will He do in return? In advance of your sins, even before you were born, God let His innocent Son come to this dark spot in the universe where Satan claims dominion, a helpless baby. He came in the likeness of sinful flesh, with our weaknesses to fight the battle of life as we must fight it, at the risk of failure and eternal loss. Yes, Jesus could have failed and it would have been an eternal loss.

For what purpose did Jesus come at such a risk? Because He loves you despite what you have done to Him, when you misrepresent Him. He paid the price for your sins by suffering all through His life, in the Garden, and on the cross. Why? Because He loves you and see what you can become if you will learn of His love. That love, the highest form of love, for one's enemies is grace. It is unmerited and this is the power that transforms hard hearts into hearts of flesh. Hearts that long to please Him who suffered and died despite my sins. How can you hurt Him when you know of this great love? You won't as long as you allow this grace into your heart each and every day. Daniel stopped at noon so that he would not forget God's grace. He was His witness to the world and he did not want to misrepresent the God who loved Him so very much. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating the life of Christ as He hung on the tree. By His stripes are we healed.

Summary: The covenant God formed with Israel at Sinai was a covenant of grace. Having given abundant evidence of His gracious love and care by an extraordinary deliverance from Egyptian slavery, God invited the nation into a covenant with Him that would maintain and promote their freedoms. Although Israel responded in the affirmative, they lacked a true faith motivated by love. Their later history indicates that, for the most part, they failed to understand the true nature of the covenant and corrupted it into a salvation-by-works system. We need not follow Israel’s failure and ignore the marvelous grace which has been extended to sinners.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.