It’s clear from this chapter that God is getting ready to set up Israel as His special nation. They are to be His chosen people, to live according to His wisdom, and to be a light to all the other nations — to help them learn about the true God of heaven.
In preparation for that, God draws the people to Mount Sinai. They have witnessed the mighty miracles that brought them out of Egypt. For three months, they have had their needs provided for. They have had food, water, and shelter. After a long stay in Egypt, they are beginning to realize that there is only one God who cares about them and is able to hear them.
And what do we see about this God in Exodus 19? We find that He is not selfish. He is not drawing these people to Himself for His benefit, but for their benefit. Their worship of Him and their obedience to Him will only make Him happy for one reason: it will prosper the children He loves. How do we know this? In verse 9, God tells Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you."
Wow! God is acting in such a way that Moses will be honored and glorified in the eyes of the people. He is deliberately acting in a way that will — in essence — make Moses appear to the people as a god. Of course, Moses’s "god-like" status is dependent upon the fact that he is actually God’s close friend. He can’t just decide that he’s going to take the nation of Israel and do what he wants with them.
But the point is that God isn’t some power-hungry, self-centered worship-monger. He doesn’t say, "Out of my way, Moses. It’s all about Me, and I’m going to make sure the people know that!" No. He shares His honor and glory with Moses so that Moses can, in turn, lead the people and they can be blessed. God’s mind and heart are on His people... not on His own exaltation.
To be sure, if God wanted to hoard all the power, honor, and glory for Himself, He could do it. A God who can set a mountain on fire would be an impossible act to follow! But God is less interested in making Himself look good than He is in making sure we are on the path to freedom and happiness. He cares about others first!