Reading through the Bible together

Monday, June 25, 2012

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The Ten Commandments given to humanity at Sinai were given by the voice of God and then written by his own finger. Here comes a decisive and defining moment in history. God now expresses His divine nature through the giving of the moral law. He does so in the midst of awesome thunderings, lightnings and the sound of the trumpet, so that all present can know that it comes from the awesome and living God. Love is at the root of His law, love for God as the basis for love for each other. The giving of the law is as much an act of grace and mercy as the deliverance from Egyptian slavery. For here God shows His redeemed how they shall live. The placement of these “tables of the covenant” (Deut 9:9-11) under the mercy seat indicates that they are the foundation of the covenant.

Covenant involves relationship and communion. Real relationship and communion cannot occur between two individuals without a set of norms which defines that relationship. The first four commandments define our relationship with God which the next six define our relationship with each other. Our relationship with God and His grace in our lives determines our ability to live in harmony with one another. The Sabbath is defined by God as the seventh day whereby we rest with Him and renew our understanding and worship of God as Creator. The Sabbath becomes the covenant sign between God and His people forever (Ex 31:16-17). The person who keeps the Sabbath as defined by God in the right spirit signifies that he or she stands in a saved relationship with God.

Michael Hasel

Southern Adventist University