Missiology Through Scripture – Exodus 19:5-6

“‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.” – Exodus 19:5-6

With Israel camped at the base of Sinai, Moses ascended the mountain where Yahweh instructed him to communicate a message to his chosen race. God affirmed he is the Lord of every nation and over all the earth. Israel was to obey the statutes of God and worship him completely. They were to set themselves aside as God’s holy people. The people of Israel affirmed their intent to obey and were consecrated to the Lord.

As the Lord of the whole earth, God would set aside his beloved Israel. They would be holy and reap the blessings of a relationship with the Lord. Israel’s upright and consecrated lives would be an example to the other nations. Douglas Redford said, “The people were to be set apart or dedicated to God. This dedication was to be demonstrated in lives that were morally pure and that glorified God.”[1] God’s intent was the foreign nations would respond by drawing closer to Israel’s example and thus embrace the Lord.

The chosen race of Israel was not to go out into the world and bring the nations to God. Instead, they were to draw the nations to God by the example of their upright and God-honoring lives. God’s elect race was to be distinct and separate. Israel righteousness was to serve as the light of dawn (Prov 4:18) and would shine (Dan 12:3) for the world to see.

Today, God’s elect people continue to be set aside as special to him (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6) and are to be his light in the world (Mat 5:14; Phil 2:15). But, now through Christ Jesus, his disciples take that uniqueness out into the world and share it with the nations. The elect race of Israel were to draw the world to God’s salvation. The elect in Christ are to take the salvation of Jesus into the world.

 

[1] Douglas Redford, The Pentateuch, vol. 1, Standard Reference Library: Old Testament (Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2008), 231.