Mt Sinai was the place that God confirmed his covenant relationship with the newly freed Israelites. The Israelites journey to Sinai was out of slavery in Egypt. Consider your own journey into relationship with God, what have you had to leave behind. Consider the journey of someone you know (friends, families, work colleagues) who doesn’t yet know Jesus, what would they need to leave behind?
Read Exodus 19. Imagine what it would have been like for the Israelites at the foot of Mt Sinai, consider their story so far, their emotions and how they reacted when God spoke to them.
What do we learn about God, who he is from Exodus 19 and the first three of the ten commandments? Describe God.
A covenant is another name for a ‘deal’ or a ‘contract’ – in the deal, both sides have a role – from the text, what is God’s side of the bargain and what was the Israelites?
Consider the relationship between the first three commandments and the last six. Why do keeping the first three provide the foundation for obedience to the last six?
What do you make of the command to Sabbath? Why is it important? What is sabbath? What does a practice of sabbath look like?
How could we build a practice of sabbath into our own lives?
Consider each of the last six commandments – what do they mean, how do they reflect God’s nature, what difference would they make if we all kept them all the time?
Consider the final command about our desires. To what extent to our own desires align with God’s? What can we do to align our desires with God’s desires?
Response/Prayer – for the Israelites, the revelation of God and their experience of his presence was key to their ability to keep the commandments. Place yourselves at the foot of Mt Sinai and come afresh and anew to God. These steps may help you:
Consider how you personally may have fallen short of the 10 Commandments – pray and ask for forgiveness.
Now reflect on God – spend some time in worship, calling to mind what you know to be true about God, put the first three commandments into action.
Now ask him to come and fill you with his presence and his Spirit, bringing a fresh revelation of who he is and to move you so your desires align with his.