“You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”5 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;6 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 19:4-6
In this part of the Exodus story, Israel had seen with their own eyes the great salvation of the Lord. They had seen Him swoop down and rescue them like a great eagle carrying her younglings to safety upon her great wings.
Do you remember that day in your life? That day when the Lord Jesus bore you on His wings and rescued you from a life of sin and misery? If you have seen and experienced that, what should it cause you to do?
After reminding Israel of their great salvation, God throws in an “if then” statement. If they will obey His voice and keep His covenant, then they will be His treasured people among the nations. In other words, God’s great salvation from Egypt should cause them to want to listen and obey God and act like the people they are; His.
Of course this is the same for us as God’s people today. God wants us to remember our great salvation and then listen and obey His good word for our lives.
But the truth is, Israel failed miserably at this. They rarely ever listened to God, and they almost always disobeyed Him. And we too, in our flesh, can do the same.
So what is the solution?
Israel needed someone who could obey for them, and so do we. They needed someone who could say, “Yes” to all the commandments of God, because they were prone to always saying, “No”.
And the good news is Someone did. Jesus is the one Israelite who always listened to the voice of God and always obeyed His commands. And in doing so, Jesus remained perfectly righteous and in right standing before God. Then on the cross, Jesus died for the unrighteous, so they could be gifted His righteousness by faith.
And the declaration of the Gospel is that anyone who puts their faith in trust in Christ finds their new identity “in Him”. Which means those who are “in Him” can live a life that glorifies God as His treasured people, not because they are so good in themselves, but because “in Him” they can say no to their flesh and yes to God.