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Drawn to God on Purpose

Of all the miracles and wonders that God performed, the greatest one is the work he does in drawing us to Him and giving us a new life with a new purpose. 

Written by Mike Biolsi on .


 Last week we looked at the Passover and how God freed the Israelites from slavery to Pharaoh in Egypt. When the people got to Mount Sinai, Moses had a conversation with God…

Exodus 19:3–6 ||Moses went up the mountain to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain: “This is what you must say to the house of Jacob and explain to the Israelites: ‘You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you will carefully listen to me and keep my covenant, you will be my own possession out of all the peoples, although the whole earth is mine, and you will be my kingdom of priests and my holy nation.’ These are the words that you are to say to the Israelites.” [CSB]

God didn’t just have a conversation; he sat Moses down and said, “tell them this…” Have you ever wished God would just tell you what he wanted from you? That is what he is doing here. This is a message from the God who delivers from slavery, and if God made a point to have it recorded in the Torah and to have it repeated directly to the people, then it seems like it is a very important message!

“them them…” is a phrase that Moses is familiar with. It is how his commission from God began!

  • Moses wanting to explain to the people who is sending him (the burning bush) In Exodus 3 we have at least 3 times where God says, “Say this to the people”.
  • In chapter 6 it happens again. Moses confronted Pharaoh and he made life even more miserable for the Jews. Moses was told to remind the people of the Abrahamic covenant. This takes place just before all the plagues happen.
  • In chapter 12 God tells Moses to “tell the whole community of Israel” about the last plague, the Passover.
  • In chapter 14, God says “tell them to camp in front of the red sea”, just before the parting of it and the destruction of Pharaoh and his armies
  • In chapter 16 it is instructions about the manna, God’s amazing, unprecedented provision in the wilderness, that Moses was instructed to tell the people.
  • NOW, in chapter 19, God is about to reveal his laws and lead the people into the promised land.

Each time we read this phrase, “tell the people” it has been the prefix for something amazing. It has been the type of announcement that forces you to take notice. Each time it seems to give us better clarity about God and his character and insight into how he provides for and protects his people.

Let’s take some time to examine this message that was so significant at this point.

  • “You saw what I did to Egypt”
  • “I carried you on eagle’s wings” – is a phrase that we do not use very often.

Deuteronomy 32:11 ||He watches over his nest like an eagle and hovers over his young; he spreads his wings, catches him, and carries him on his feathers. [CSB]

I think there is also a beautiful contrast between the two: look what I did to the person who defied me and look at what I did for the people I have chosen.

It was not a message of “look what I did to Pharaoh – so straighten up and fly right or you will be next!

“I carried you on eagle’s wings” – is a phrase that we do not use very often. To understand a bit more of what God might be implying here, check out this passage:

Deuteronomy 32:11 ||He watches over his nest like an eagle and hovers over his young; he spreads his wings, catches him, and carries him on his feathers. [CSB]

Perhaps part of this description is meant to show Israel as fledglings. They did not know God very well, and their faith in God had just begun?

I think what is more significant is the result. God brought them out of slavery, and God brought them to the wilderness, and then to a very specific location. But most of all, and what seems to matter most to God, is that he brought Israel to himself.

God pulled Israel out of slavery, carried them to freedom SO THAT they could be with him.

It is at this point that God is going to appears in the pillar of cloud – to help the Israelites have a physical manifestation to connect with God.

God’s great desire was to be with his people.

For someone like me that focuses on tasks and projects, this sounds great as theology but challenging in application.

I can quote many verses that remind me that I need to be DOING for God:

  • Be doers of the Word
  • The parable of the talents
  • Store up treasures in heaven
  • Every mans works will be tried as by fire
  • Consider the ant

It is not that I am called to only be a Mary, worshipping at the feet of Jesus. Nor am I only called to be a Martha, busy doing things for God and others.

I am called to both. If my actions lack relationship, I am merely practicing the religion of good works. If my relationship lacks action, I am a hypocrite and my faith is dead.

God starts by reminding the people what HE DID for them – he saved them and restored his relationship with them. “Tell them that all I have done is so I could be closer to them. Tell them that I want to see them soar like eagles (Isa 40:31)!”

AFTER this reminder, he tells them that they should keep the commands. But again, the statement is not just loaded with, “do it or else” jargon.

If you are careful to do what I tell you (which Adam and Eve failed to do in the garden) then here is what will happen:

Hand Picked.

You will be God’s possession – hand picked by God above all other people.

Deuteronomy 7:6 ||For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be his own possession out of all the peoples on the face of the earth. [CSB]

Psalm 33:12 ||Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord— the people he has chosen to be his own possession! [CSB]

Holy nation.

To be holy is to be set apart. Distinct. To have a specific purpose, and in the case of religious holiness, specifically set apart for the work of God.

Leviticus 20:26 ||You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be mine. [CSB]

Kingdom of Priests.

Priests prayed for people, presented offerings for sins, blessed God, had fellowship with God. They were intercessors and servants to help people enter into relationship and maintain relationship with God.

God’s BIG announcement – on par with freedom from slavery, deliverance from enemies, daily provision and the promise of a future

This is what God WANTS to do for and through them.

  • First, he wanted to give them a new identity as the people of Yahweh. They are the be a distinct people whose lives reflect Him and whose activity points people to Him.
  • Second, he calls them to a ministry of priesthood, wanting to use them to draw more people to Him!

Great, but what about us? I mean, that is cool and all, but what does that mean to you and me today?

Last week we talked about the Passover and how it applies to use as Jesus, the perfect sacrifice, gave his life so the angel of death would pass over us – we have a new life in Jesus.

God’s huge announcement to you and me is that WE, you and e and all who have accepted Jesus, are now his chosen people, his holy nation, his kingdom of priests!

1 Peter 2:9–10 ||But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [CSB]

Peter is writing to those who have believed in Jesus through certain geographical regions. For those that have accepted the gift of salvation through Jesus, there is an identity change.

Peter is going back to the Mosaic covenant and showing the church that the promises made back then were a foreshadowing of something the Messiah was going to do. It is a picture of what we NOW EXPERIENCE through Christ.

The PROBLEM we encounter in the Old Testament is that no one was able to keep all the commands of God. No one. That is one of the major themes of the Old Testament.

But Jesus did keep all of God’s commandments perfectly.

He did what we could not, and now, if we simply accept his gift of new life, we experience the benefits of the covenant. We do not earn salvation; it is a gift. Similarly, we do not choose our identity, it is bestowed upon us by the one who gives us life. It is a fact; a done deal.

We are a chose people.

God has picked us, on purpose, to be his people. It means so much to him that he gave us Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life. By placing our faith in Jesus we become the people of God.

We are a holy people.

Now, in Christ, WE have the identity as the people of God – a holy people which means we are set apart from the rest of the world. We are to be a distinct people marked by a different way of living and a different perspective on the meaning and purpose of life.

We are a kingdom of priests.

We also have a calling of being a kingdom of priests – to draw people to God and to help them stay in relationship with God.

Someday, at the end of all things, we will be reminded of this truth once again. As John saw in his vision, Jesus will be praised by 24 elders who will declare what Jesus did for all those who are able to enter the presence of God:

Revelation 5:6–10 ||Then I saw one like a slaughtered lamb standing in the midst of the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth. He went and took the scroll out of the right hand of the one seated on the throne. When he took the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and golden bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slaughtered, and you purchased people for God by your blood from every tribe and language and people and nation. You made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they will reign on the earth. [CSB]

That is you and me! Someday, we will he the elders sing praises to Jesus, the lamb that was killed for our sins, and part of their song will include you and me!

Over the years I have heard many people question the will of God. “I wish God would tell me what he wants me to dd”, they would say. What they mean is, they wish God would give them a detailed order of everything that is going to happen and exactly what He would want them to say.

God’s will is NOT a mystery.

Since the very beginning, God has wanted people to trust him. When they do, he calls them to rule and reign with him, to be his people and to join him on his mission of pointing people to Him.

I want you to write in your Bible or make a sign in your home that you see every day that says, “I am chosen. I am holy (set apart). I am called to draw people to God”

God’s big announcement for you is that you are his people and he has set you apart to be a light to the world.

2 Corinthians 5:17–20 ||This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” [NLT]

ASSIGNMENT: Take time this week and journal. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What does it mean that I am chosen, and that I belong to God?
  2. What does it mean that I am holy, and set apart for God?
  3. What does it mean that I am a priest, and minister before or serve God?

If that is the identity that God have given us, don’t you think we ought to understand and embrace it? It is significant enough that he announced it to Israel, and then to the church, and it will be announced by the 24 elders at the end of time. God has done something BIG for us!

May God give us insight and strength to live out the identity he has given us.

Drawn to God on Purpose