What kind of shopper are you? Or perhaps the better question is, what kind of buyer are you? Are you ever the impulsive one? Are you the one for whom they put candy and soda in the checkout lines? Or are you the researcher, wanting to know every detail about a product before you buy it? You struggle with indecision at the grocery story because Brand A is 2 cents per ounce cheaper, but you have to buy 3 times the quantity you need. You read every ingredient on the list only to find out that one has bleached corn flour while the other has partially bleached corn flour. No detail to small?
Perhaps, if you fall into that latter category, when you read through Exodus 19-20, you are frustrated because Israel agrees to do whatever God asks without even knowing what God will ask. They don’t know the terms of the contract and they’re signing along the dotted line. This is madness you think!
Or perhaps, you are the impulsive buyer and you think, God has made them a great offer, they’d be foolish to refuse it. Better sign on the dotted line before He changes His mind.
I would argue that both have merit. On the one hand, God has just delivered them from Egypt, provided water out of a rock, made food miraculously appear, made the food inedible a day later if they disobey and take too much, but then allows the bread to last an extra day for the Sabbath, and now is making them an offer that if they will follow Him, He will be their God and they will be His people. With that kind of an offer on the table, they would be foolish to pass it up.
However, they also do jump so quickly that they don’t take stock of whether or not they are actually willing to make the commitment to the level that He will demand. It doesn’t matter how good the deal is, if you can’t afford it, you had better not buy.
Their eagerness does last a while. Probably about as long as your enthusiasm for something new lasts. But like you and I, they quickly lost that enthusiasm for the commitment, and like newly minted “gym rats” around January 17th, the commitment fades into a “good idea,” which degrades to “good intentions,” which ends up as another year of regrets.
Israel was 100% on board with God’s plan, but by Exodus 32 (where we’ll be in a few weeks) that excitement has already been sidetracked, albeit not completely lost yet. We see in Israel’s history, that distraction turns into derailment, and ultimately demise.
When God demands something of us, we already have the contract fulfilled at Calvary. Now that we have been given such a gift, whatever He asks is a reasonable response. It doesn’t give us eternal life, He already took care of that, but in response, we should be willing to give anything for Him.
Don’t be an impulsive Christian who jumps so quickly to do something for God that you get easily discouraged and ultimately gives up, but don’t get so caught up in “counting the cost” that you fail to respond to His love in the logical way. Both fall into the trap of doing nothing that counts for eternity. Instead, each day, be in awe of what He has done, and give Him your all in return.