1. Three month have come and gone; Israel was now at the foot of the mountain (19:2). It was here that they became a nation, a nation with a charter. Before they received this charter, however, the Lord had an additional word to speak to them; He reminds them of their journey from bondage to freedom, and that it was on the wings of an eagle that the Lord carried them (19:4). As an eagle carries its young on its back, the Lord protected Israel from harm on this journey. The treasured possession that belonged to the Lord was to be His “kingdom of priests” (the only location of this phrase in the Old Testament, Kaiser, p. 472).
2. With these words Moses tells the Israelites, and to this they are willing subjects (19:7-9). Moses, evidently having gone up, come back down, and gone up again (19:3,7,10) is now told by the Lord to go down again and warn the people concerning the physical boundaries surrounding the mountain (19:10-15). Moses, having prepared the Israelites to meet with God (19:17), now goes back up the mountain (19:20, 25). The majestic occasion has the Lord descend and completely encase the mountain, and Moses speaks to the Lord and the Lord answers. Moses had arrive, only to be told to go back down and warn the people once again concerning their proximity to the mountain (19:21-25).
3. Application: This period of time, three months, was a period of purging. While many of the Israelites failed to purge themselves, it is reasonable to think that many did. It is interesting that Kaiser mentions “What is required to approach the God of gods, the King of kings, and the Lord of lords is both decorum and a holistic sanctification of our bodies as well as our inner persons” (p. 475, emphasis his). The sacred scene is one that ought to impress each of us who read; being in the Lord’s presence is not a mundane matter, but one of utmost importance. When we approach the Lord with irreverence or in a cavalier way, will this go unnoticed by Him who judges all?