Review: The exact location of Sinai is not enumerated (19:1-2)…YHWH, the superior, speaks to Israel, the subordinate (19:3-5), but still at liberty (“if”) to do as she pleases, yet is labeled holy (19:6)…Moses, and to some extent Israel as a whole, encounters a theophany with guidelines (19:9-20) at the foot of Sinai…YHWH’s mountain is to be treated with respect (19:21-25)…The Ten Commandments are spelled out (20:1-17) to each one…Moses is made mediator between God and Israel (20:18-21)…Since God speaks from heaven, He can’t be properly imaged, hence it’s prohibition (19:22-23)…The alter specification (19:24-25) is due to Israel’s nomadic existence, at that time.
Analysis: Because of Israel’s lawlessness (Gal. 3:19-24), laws are given to her…The giving of these laws teach us 1.) God’s holiness (19:10-25), 2.) the ugliness of sin (Rom. 7:7-14, 1 Tim. 8-11), 3.) the necessity of disciplined obedience towards God (Jer. 7:23-24), and 4.) the universality of mankind’s failings (Rom. 3:19-20)…Israel misinterpreted the purpose of the laws (1 Tim. 1:8-10) by seeking it’s own brand of righteousness (Acts 15:1, Rom. 9:31-10:3) by way of good deeds and ceremonial ordinances (read: “The Talmud,” “The Mishnah,” the festivals, the pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc.) which led it to reject it’s own Savior (Jn. 1:9-13)…Another way of looking at is that they, as we ourselves, shaped a god of their own choosing…Israel’s existence, whether in the wilderness, in their own land, or scattered amongst the peoples of the world has been that of habitual law breaking contrary to their initial response (19:8).