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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Question of the day: Why is Exodus, chapter 19, one of the strangest chapters in the Bible?

Answer: Exodus 19 contains a curious set of circumstances, instructions, and dialogues leading up to the giving of the Torah on the 50th day following the deliverance through the Red Sea. This day is identified in Leviticus 23 as Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks, Leviticus 23:15,16).

Somehow, Moses feels it is necessary to tell God what the people said. And not just once, but multiple times. Exodus 19:9b "Then Moses told the words of the people to Adonai."

Then, significantly, God establishes boundaries for the people. But the children of Israel immediately refuse to keep the boundary. This leads to a lively discussion between God and Moses over whether the people need to be warned further not to cross the boundary.

A big deal is made about the third day. The children of Israel are told to prepare for the third day. Wash, avoid husband/wife relations, and get ready to hear the shofar sound. The third day is significant throughout Scripture. Best of all, it would later signify resurrection day. For those in the wilderness it mirrored the day of deliverance through the Red Sea.

All of this is in preparation for the giving of the decalogue. Although the people professed their willingness to prepare for receiving the wisdom of God, they were not ready. Doubt caused them to commit sin with the golden calf, but we'll get to that.

As always, what is the significance to us today? God gives us boundaries. His desire is for us to be serious and sincere in our response to His call. Words are important to God. In Hebrew, the word for "word" is Davar. Davar is also translated as "thing." Words are not just sounds in the invisible air, but in God;s economy, words are things. They have substance and binding (lasting) effect.

My friend, Harrold Preyer, chooses his words more carefully than any person I know. I appreciate that about him. It is a quality much to be admired. We should all "purpose" to use our words more carefully. God will hold us accountable. Hear the words of Yeshua.

Matthew 12:36-37 "But I tell you that on the Day of Judgment, men will give account for every careless word they speak. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Posted By Rabbi Michael Weiner, 10:00am Comment Comments: