Throughout history, it is plainly apparent that regardless of what it looks like when reading The Law, God has not been nearly as concerned about the sins of the flesh as about spiritual sins. This is plainly evident by the overwhelming lack of historical accounts of people failing to adhere to numerous ordinances and laws found throughout the Law. It is almost as if when God gave Moses the full unabridged version of the Ten Commandments, He was more telling Moses what people did, do and will do than actually expecting them to not do all those things.
Honestly, when one looks at the multitude of various ordinances recorded throughout the Law, the immediate reaction in one of "what's the big deal". Really, when one thinks about the intricate prohibitions regarding a multiplicity of minute details, the general reaction is one of wondering why God would be so concerned about such things even as the world spins out of control.
When a person reads Genesis, what is plainly apparent is the complete lack of any written instructions which would constitute any version of law as coming from God. Sure, specific instructions were giving to Noah, Abraham, Jacob and Joseph among others, but there was never a set of commands given which formed a general law of God. Being totally honest, the overwhelming question one is left with is simply why there was no need for law for thousands of years until it was given to Moses.
Was it the giving of the Law which separated the children of Israel from all other peoples and made them God's people? Was it the intricate and complex details of the huge volume of specific commands dictating behavior in every aspect of life which made the children of Israel God's chosen people? The answer to both questions is a resounding NO. It was not the Law which made the children of Israel special; it was the covenant God made with them.
Very soon after God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt, while they were camped before Mount Sinai, God called to Moses and told him in Exodus 19 what to tell the people. It is absolutely essential to understand the importance of what is recorded in Exodus 19:4-6 for it reflects the simplicity of what God wanted as far as a covenant:
"You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel."
Nowhere in these verses is there a hint of a Law being given that would make the people servants. Instead, God promises that if they obey His voice and keep His covenant that they would be a special treasure, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. God wanted, more than anything else; to have a people He could spoil with His goodness and magnify His greatness toward. God wanted a whole kingdom of priests, not a just a handful.
After Moses told these words to the people, their response in Exodus 19:8 was very simple. All the people answered together and said; "All that the Lord has spoken we will do". God then gave instructions for the people to spend three days consecrating themselves and washing their clothes so they would be ready for God to come down upon Mount Sinai as a cloud in the sight of all the people. Exodus 19:16-25 provides excellent reading as it describes the awesome events taking place that day as God came to give to Moses the covenant.
Remember that God's stipulation for making these people a special treasure, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation was obedience to His voice and that they would keep His covenant. Exodus 20:1-17 lays out what is commonly known as "The Ten Commandments". These commands were strictly in relation to God and other humans. By no means were they all inclusive or to be interpreted as the sum and total of the Law. They provided the basic outline with details to follow.
As awesome as the giving of the Ten Commandments was, the people could not handle God speaking to them and they requested that God strictly speak to Moses and then Moses to them. The rest of the basic covenant is found in Exodus 21 through 23. It is very significant that the first judgments to come after the giving of the Ten Commandments in chapter 21 were concerning the rights of people, and especially Hebrew servants.
The next set of judgments dealt with the rights of property, then proper conduct, proper justice, the Sabbatical year, the three National Feasts and regulations for after the conquest of the Promised Land. The entire original covenant is found in Exodus 20-23. After these words were spoken, Moses came to the people in Exodus 24:3 and told them all the judgments he had received. The people answered with ONE VOICE and said; "All the words which the Lord has said we will do."
The next day Moses wrote all the words of the Lord down and offerings and sacrifices were made to confirm the covenant. In Exodus 24:7, 8 we read:
"Then he (Moses) took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, ‘All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.' And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said; ‘This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words."
If verse 8 sounds familiar, it is because almost the same words were stated by Jesus the last night of his life as broke bread and gave the wine. Paul again used the same words in Corinthians regarding the finished work of Jesus Christ and that His broken body and shed blood is the NEW COVENANT. Here is Exodus we see the first covenant confirmed with blood and now when we celebrate communion we recognize and bring into remembrance the NEW Covenant in the shed blood of Jesus.
After these verses God requests Moses to come up on the Holy Mountain for an extended personal time with the Lord and for the receiving of more details regarding the covenant. IF the people would have remained faithful to their vow as expressed in Exodus 24:7, God only knows how history would have ended up. But, we all know the people grew impatient with Moses being gone and convinced Aaron to make them a god they could see and touch; and the rest IS history.
Armed with this background, I pray to be able to share with you in the next few days some incredible truths about God's covenants and how they relate to us now and in the future. I look forward to sharing this with you before my own little "exodus" to deal with my health problems.
[quote] God wanted, more than anything else; to have a people He could spoil with His goodness and magnify His greatness toward. [/quote]The enemy has constantly tried to tell us otherwise and tries to paint God as someone who wants nothing more than to destroy us. Yet, throughout God's Word we see a God who pursues us relentlessly and desires our love more than anything else even to the point that He willing bore our sins so that we might live!
I'm looking forward to reading more and may God give you the strength to share what He'd like you to share.
"I pray to be able to share with you in the next few days some incredible truths about God's covenants and how they relate to us now and in the future."
Victory, victory, precious blood-bought victory
Victory all the time
As Jehovah liveth, strength enuf He giveth
Unto those who trust Him
Victory all the time.
I look forward to reading further instalments from you.
Praying with you. .. thru Feb 11 and beyond.