Exodus 19

The Israelites arrive at Sinai where they will stay for several months for some concentrated teaching from God. This will cover the rest of the book of Exodus, the whole of Leviticus and the first part of Numbers, so (if we go by the amount of space the Bible devotes to it) this is the most significant period of time in human history, until the period of Jesus' earthly ministry as recorded in the Gospels.

In Chapter 19, God reveals something of himself to the people in a terrifying volcano-like revelation. And he says these words of introduction to the people:

You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.

After their long and scary trek through the desert, the people may have wished they literally had been carried on eagles' wings. But although they had to put one foot in front of another, there was a sense in which God was carrying them. We are given similar images elsewhere in the Bible, perhaps most famously at the end of Isaiah 40 where we read that:

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

There may be times when we feel weary and faint, but as we look back we so often see the way in which the Lord has borne us up.

Sadly the Israelites didn't manage to live out all that God was to teach them at Sinai. It was left to a single Israelite to fulfil God's purposes and to draw all humanity into God's blessing. Thus the Apostle Peter can assure those who have placed their trust in Jesus (both Jews and Gentiles):

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2:9-10)

Take some time today to worship God for making you one of his treasured people through Christ.