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Exodus 19:1-6


Whether it is a couple pledging their love and loyalty “in sickness and in health” or rejoicing in tears together as they hold their precious child for the first time, relationships imply commitment, and intimate relationships require it! If that “first trust” is ever broken, it is almost humanly impossible to restore it.

Having been miraculously delivered from their bondage in Egypt, the Israelites were only three months into their wilderness journey when God made His intentions known to His people. God had been near them along the way, leading them by the pillars of cloud and fire, sending manna and meat for their nourishment and water for their refreshment. In essence, God was proving Himself faithful to them!

Then God instructed Moses to remind the people of what He had done for them and then to explicitly tell them: “If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation!”

God’s invitation to the Hebrews was for them to become His “peculiar treasure,” and that would mean more of a commitment to Him than a casual friendship. It would require a commitment to a shared future, a shared hope, a shared trust, and a shared love.

In sending Jesus Christ into the world to be our Savior, God was inviting us to that closer, intimate relationship with Him as well. In fact, in 1st Peter 2:9, Peter used those same terms to describe the purpose of our salvation: “For ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light!”

As you begin this advent season, evaluate your own personal intimacy with God. Is your relationship with Him more of a casual friendship, someone who is good to know if you ever need him, or is it based upon that mutual commitment. God extended His personal invitation to you 2000 years ago in a barn in Bethlehem. What is your answer to Him?

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give Him–give my heart.