3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain
The third stanza of the hymn O Come, O Come, Immanuel references that great day when God Himself came down to meet His people, Israel at Mount Sinai to give them the law:
16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. Exodus 19: 16-19
This happened just after the Lord had told Moses the following:
3 Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the descendants of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 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, 6 you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” Exodus 19: 3-6
In His great mercy, The Almighty reminds us how, among all His creation, He has chosen Israel to be His people, His “treasured possession.” The good news for us, Christians of the 21st century, is that as Paul reminded us in Galatians 3: 29, we, who are in Christ, also are the spiritual heirs of Abraham and all the patriarchs; therefore, we too can be counted as part of this group!
In humility and praise we accept our place among God’s treasured possessions, and we acknowledge that, as Christians we understand that:
It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. Romans 4: 13
…By faith in Jesus the Christ! Our Immanuel!