Bible Red Thread 7: A Code of Good Conduct (Exodus 19-20)

Bible Red Thread 7: A Code of Good Conduct (Exodus 19-20)

sermon Exodus 19 : Patrice Berger, 2022_12_25, AB Lausanne church

title : Bible Red Thread 7: A Code of Good Conduct (Exodus 19-20)

Bible Red Thread 7: A Code of Good Conduct (Exodus 19-20)

A renewed hope: Having freed his people in an extraordinary way from immutable slavery, God offers them something unimaginable: a covenant. After the Israelites left their homes to seek God, He now wants to dwell in the midst of his people. Thus, the people of God will be under the authority of God! An alliance with the most powerful being in the universe is unthinkable for people that were regarded as slaves. What can they offer that is of interest to God? This alliance can only come from a divine initiative, motivated by an overflowing love of God for his people. Moreover, this covenant is based solely on the work that God has just accomplished because the people have nothing else to bring than their rags and their incapacity. Also, is it not surprising that God himself defines the terms of the covenant?

A broken mirror does not prevent God from shining

Obedience and loyalty: To dwell in the midst of his people, God sets two non-negotiable conditions. First, absolute obedience. Second, permanent fidelity. Unrealizable at first sight, the motivation for such discipline, associated with such great fidelity, could only come from the common history between the people and God. Indeed, the Israelites tasted with bitterness the fruits of disobedience, during the long and harsh slavery, but they also tasted the faithfulness of God in all circumstances, from the flooding event to the recent memory of the ten plagues of Egypt, and the confirmations of judgment for Men who defy Him. These two conditions for a covenant reflect the perfect nature of God to which God’s people must conform if they are to reciprocally commit themselves to this covenant.

Loyalty, an identity, a status, a role! As always, God is not short of ideas to motivate his people whom he loves. The rewards God promises for unfailing allegiance are simply enormous! First, God promises these people of slavery identity that they will be free and precious – the most precious people in the world, much more precious than the builders of these exceptional pyramids. Then, God promises his people that they will become a kingdom of priests, much more important than the wealthy and powerful Egyptian clergies whose works they have seen for 400 years. Finally, God proposes to his people to become a nation set apart to reflect on earth the image of God, like a divine ambassador in the midst of nations who do not know God. For people who have been unable to free themselves, what a manifestation of God’s love and grace! But at the same time, for people who have become slaves through disobedience, what a challenge!

The covenant after deliverance: Wouldn’t it have been simpler and more logical for God to ask the people to prove themselves before delivering them? God took all the risks to free from slavery a people who put themselves in a bad situation, despite repeated warnings. Yet God chooses to take a greater risk: deliver miraculously first, and then demand complete and sincere compliance in return. Why? In the first case, the motivation for obedience would have been purely selfish – to be delivered – and the hero would have been the people, who would have won their deliverance. Whereas in the second case, the divine method, everything is already done, you just have to accept and trust. The only motivation in response to the love of God is the love of Man, and the hero is always God.

An insurmountable chasm possible through love: God the hero does insurmountable acts for his people through his love. The necessary code of good conduct serving as the basis for this alliance, composed of only ten small articles, also seems insurmountable. A single infraction, once, on a single rule means failure! This code highlights the chasm created in Genesis 3 between God and Man when the creature decided to be independent of the Creator. These codes are even a more gaping chasm than one could imagine, the crossing of which cannot be based on the goodwill of Man or on his abilities. So, can love for God really push a Man to perfection and solve the problem of humanity’s independence?  Is this Achievable?

REFLECTION You may believe that you are able to meet God’s requirements. Is this a possibility or an illusion? God gives you the means to answer it by giving you the rules of the game (just ten small articles).

Posted by the evangelical church Action Biblique Renens-Lausanne

Related Links / Notes

Bible Study: Red Thread through the Bible

Study Notes are translated from the original French and available in the online magazine  TaJeunesse (literlly “Your Youth”). The orginal texts are magazine articles. The texts provided here follow that form and include some of the images from the magazine, and help provide a deep understanding of the main themes of the Bible.

Services at the church AB Renens-Lausanne as well as some of the bible studies are streamed on the channel  YouTube église AB Renens-Lausanne.  Also visit the You Tube channel of the Swiss Action Biblique Youth Groups (JAB Suisse Romande.

Bible verses in the study link to the Darby bible. In addition to the Darby Bible , other versions of the Bible are also available on our website (KJVBasic English as well as the Webster version and Young’s Bible on the Action Biblique Suisse website.

The King James Version is available as an audio bible Podcast which can be accessed below.

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