THE LESSON BACKGROUND. Moses had led Israel from Egypt to the Wilderness of Sinai where they set up camp at the foot of Mount Sinai. This was where they would also receive God’s Law. This journey took about three months (see Exodus 19:1). When Moses went to the top of the mount for the first time, God reminded him of how He delivered Israel from bondage (see Exodus 19:3-4). God then told Moses that the people needed to promise to obey him as a condition of the covenant He would make with them (see Exodus 19:5-6). Then Moses went back down to the people and presented the conditions of obedience of the covenant to which they all agreed (see Exodus 19:7-8). After this, it appears that Moses went back up the mountain (see Exodus 19:9). However, before the people could receive the Law and enter into God’s covenant, there had to be a period of spiritual preparation. The people had to sanctify, or separate themselves unto the LORD by washing their clothes. This would be a symbol to show that the people had sanctified, or separated themselves from sinful defilement. God told Moses that they should take two days to complete the sanctification and be ready to hear from Him on the third day (see Exodus 19:10-11). God also commanded Moses to set a boundary around the foot of the mountain to keep the people at a distance from it. Then God told him that if anyone, including animals crossed the boundary and touched the mountain, they were to be stoned to death (see Exodus 19:12-13). After this, Moses went back to tell the people what God had commanded (see Exodus 19:14-15). This is where our lesson begins.
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