Law reading: Deuteronomy 5:1-4
Moses is going back over the Law God gave His people. God wants to make certain they remember it and consent to follow it with their whole hearts.
God gave His people His written Laws not long after they left Egypt. Until this point they had held to His spoken promise given to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This promise had been passed down by word of mouth along with the requirement to serve Him. While in Egypt they did not hold themselves to God alone but also included in their lives service to other gods.
When God took His people out of Egypt, He had to take Egypt out of them. He wrote for them His Laws which covered all of their lives. He didn’t stop with the Ten Commandments but expounded on MANY aspects of their lives and gave them His rules to live by. He started though with the foundation of the Ten Commandments which we still honor today. He made these part of the covenant He made with His people.
“Sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law” (Romans 5:13). God sent His Law so man would KNOW right from wrong in a concrete way. From the day Adam and Eve took of the fruit, man has known in his heart when he does wrong. If it were not so we would not have survived. We would have each sought our own needs regardless of the consequences to others.
Now that man had a concrete representation of God’s expectations it was time to live up to that standard. But there was no one who could do so perfectly at all times. Without doing so though there was no hope of bridging the gap created by sin between man and God. So God would send One who could; His Son Jesus Christ.
God was setting the stage for Jesus when He gave Moses His Law. The people had to know where they stood and what was required before they could recognize the gift Jesus held out to them. That gift was and still is grace. Jesus purchased it with His life, death and resurrection because He lived wholly according to God’s Law.
Because of the grace Jesus purchased for us we are no longer required to follow every letter of the Law. Yet we are required to follow the foundational principles Jesus summed it up with. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind… And… love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39). These two commandments sum up the whole of God’s Law. They are as applicable under the New Covenant as they were under the Old.
One thing that is unique to God’s Law is that it is not a ‘contract’ but a ‘covenant’. In a contract if one party doesn’t live up to the requirements the whole of the contract is void. In a covenant if one party fails to uphold their part the agreement still survives by the other party maintaining their portion. When we fail to hold up our end (sin), God still holds up His by loving us and bringing us back to Himself. THAT is why He sent Jesus. So He could make a way for us to fully return to Him. To bring us life.
Father God, thank You for giving the people Your Law. Thank You for giving me Your commandments too. Thank You most for Jesus because without Him I would have NO hope.
Thank You Jesus for choosing to be born among us. For choosing to follow God’s Laws to the letter and spirit. And for the work You completed on the cross. I am lost without You! Thank You for extending to me Your grace and allowing me into Your family. I PRAY I make You proud of me and glad You chose me. Help me uphold my part of the covenant I made when joining Your family.