The Law of Moses

REVELATION OF GOD Meditations No.7 of 10

Ex 24:3.4 When Moses went and told the people all the LORD’s words and laws, they responded with one voice, “Everything the LORD has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down everything the LORD had said.

Moses, at God’s instigation leads his people out of Egypt, and across the desert to Mount Sinai where they have a longer encounter, as a people, with God. God conveys to Moses the Ten Commandments and then a number of other laws which might be divided into national, social or ceremonial. The national ones applied to them as a nation, the social ones were about relationships, and the ceremonial were all about how they as individuals or as a people should deal with their sins. Within these we see some more important things about God.

The first one, which should not surprise us if we accept that He is the Creator of the world, is that 13. God knows best how we ‘work’ and therefore 14. Any laws He gave Israel could perhaps be seen as His ‘design rules’ for living. It is interesting to note that when Moses first passed on the laws that God had been imparting to him, there is a very positive response by the people: “Everything the LORD has said we will do.” They recognised a) they were good laws for a good society and b) they were laws that they were capable of keeping. There was nothing too hard to do!

The second one is that, 15. God knows we are weak and will fail, and so 16. He provides for a way for our guilt to be taken through the sacrificial laws. That comes out clearly in the provision of the ceremonial or sacrificial law. This is all about how to deal with personal or corporate guilt. God knows what many counsellors state today, that one of man’s biggest problems is that of guilt. So how did God deal with it? He gave them a procedure whereby they would present an animal that would die in their place, and in presenting it they would become aware of the seriousness of their wrongs and seeing the animal die in their place, determine not to repeat that wrong. Also, having gone through the procedure instituted by God, they knew that they had dealt with it according to His requirements, and therefore they also knew that they would not have an ongoing issue with God. It was sorted!

So many religions (or people) today try to appease God for their guilty consciences by their own striving to do good things to make up, but the trouble is you never know if you have done enough. When God lays down a simple and specific procedure to deal with your guilt, when you have done it, you know it is dealt with and you can walk away from it without fear and carry on with your life. Are we advocating we all follow the sacrificial law of Moses? No, the teaching of the New Testament is that Jesus Christ came as our sacrifice and all we have to do is believe that. When we do and approach God on that basis, the New Testament says, we ARE forgiven.

In the midst of these laws comes the clear and stated revelation that, 17. He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. (Ex 34:6,7) This is a far cry from the callous, capricious, angry God that others try to make Him out to be. We thus see that this God is more concerned to bring people into a place of peace and harmony than He is to tell off, chide or punish. The proof of this is the sacrificial system provided for Israel and now, today, the provision of Jesus Christ as God’s answer to our sin. His whole objective is to bring us into a place of guilt-free peace and harmony.

So, through the Law conveyed to Moses, we see the following revealed about God:
13. God knows best how we ‘work’,

14. Any laws He gave
Israel could perhaps be seen as His ‘design rules’ for living.
15. God knows we are weak and will fail
,
16. He provides for a way for our guilt to be taken through the sacrificial laws
17.
He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.

Can we see that everything God does here is show us how we can live in peace and harmony with ourselves, with others and with Him. The Law didn’t only provide a ‘blueprint’ for living for Israel, it also made provision for when they failed. This is a picture of God who seeks to work for our ‘success’ in life!

Those who struggle with the idea that God inspired people to write all these different books of the Old Testament also struggle to see (often because they won’t read it) the incredible unity that there is throughout it. These seventeen points that we have picked up purely from the first two books of the Bible, are seen again and again throughout the Old Testament. There is no contradiction of these points throughout all those books.

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