Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, September 20, 2012

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In this chapter Moses mentions God’s law spoken by Him from Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are God’s covenant with his people. This is relationship language. It reminds us of Christ’s words, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Saying it another way: If you love me you will keep my commandments. In Him it is a promise. Commandment-keeping is gratitude for a loving relationship with God. That is why God said at Sinai, “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” (Exod. 19:4-5). What love- relationship language! God delivered them from Egypt, therefore in gratitude they would want to keep the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20:1-17).

 

The importance of the law is seen in the way it was given. God’s throne is sapphire blue (Ezek 1:26). On Sinai Moses “saw the God of Israel. And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone…Then the Lord said to Moses…I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written” (Exod. 24:10, 12). In the Hebrew Bible the word “the” is written before “tablets of the stone.” This indicates that God cut out part of His throne foundation, and wrote on these tablets the law of God, indicating their importance. Coming from the foundation of God’s throne they remind us that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of his rule. Christ defined the law and the prophets (which included the Ten Commandments) as: (1) love to God, and (2) love to neighbors (Matt. 22:37-46). This describes the inner nature of the Trinity where love binds them together and this same love should bind us together. Moses said, keep these commandments “that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time” (v. 40). As God was giving them land, He wanted to give them also a quality life plus success and longevity. This is God’s love, his benevolent rule.

 

God singles out the uniqueness of Israel: God took them out of the iron furnace of Egypt and gave them His law so they might know that there is only one God. In the second commandment He warned them against making images, non-gods, which would lead them to forget the uniqueness of God and their own uniqueness and eventually they would be taken captive by other nations. God’s Seventh-day Adventist Church today is called upon to worship God as their Creator (Rev. 14:6-7), a message to be given to the world in this end-time when evolution is having such a great influence. We will only remain unique as we remember that God is uniquely our Creator, without any indebtedness to evolution. When most Christians believe that God used evolution to create, Adventists have a unique message that God is the Creator, and evolution is merely a man-made god, a worthless image devoid of any covenant relationship.

 

Norman Gulley

Southern Adventist University