Sometimes I jump right out of my skin studying God’s Word, don’t you!?! I love the covenants and God’s ingenious ways of revealing Himself and making His grace known to us through them. I hope we are fostering a degree of excitement around the study table as we fellowship together in God’s Word!
Over the past two days we examined the Abrahamic Covenant (here and here) and discovered it to be a covenant of DECISION…God’s decision to call Israel as the vehicle of world redemption, and to bless every family on earth through it. We know that, “those of faith” are Abraham’s offspring, and that God preached the Gospel first to Abraham so that he and his descendants could bless the whole earth. (Galatians 3:7-9)
Despite all that, though, God’s decision to use Israel to save the whole world was not enough. (God is not lacking here…we are!) Thus, he made another great covenant with Moses.
You see, the world has never been convinced it needs salvation. How many people do you know who think they will enter God’s presence by “being good?” How many do you know who refuse to believe God exists? How many do you know just simply want to live life according to their own standards? To get even more personal, how many times do we go off doing our own thing without regard for what God has to say about it? (We’re all guilty!)
Friends, we live in a sin-cursed world that impacts even those of us who know Jesus Christ personally. God saw the damage sin would do and He set about to instruct us about sin. Thus, God gave to Moses the Mosaic Covenant, which refers to the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.
Gang, we need more than a covenant of DECISION (Abrahamic Covenant). We also need a covenant of INSTRUCTION…the Mosaic Covenant. We need a covenant that reveals our need of redemption. We must be convinced of our need…and that we can’t achieve it on our own. That is what the Mosaic Covenant is about!
In Exodus 19:5-6, God instructed Moses:
“‘Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Moses came down from Mount Sinai with “God’s Top Ten” laws…otherwise known as the 10 Commandments! However, there were actually 613 laws the Israelites were commanded to obey, concerning everything from what they wore to what they ate and how they conducted themselves. They very quickly found that they could not even get the “top 10” accomplished…much less the other 600 or so!
God said, “…IF you obey my voice and keep my covenants” they would be His treasured possession. Oh boy…that spells trouble, because keeping the law was absolutely impossible! What is one to do?
Let’s go back to a favored passage once more to glean hope:
Why the law then? It was added because of transgression…Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
~Galatians 3:19, 24 (NASB)
The law, represented by the Mosaic Covenant, was added because of transgression! It was sin that created a need for this covenant. But notice that the law was not given for condemnation, but to be our tutor. It was to lead us to Christ! It was to justify us by faith (not following the law!) We can’t be “good enough” to enter God’s presence. We can’t set our own laws and enter God’s presence. We can’t ignore God and enter His presence. The purpose of the law is to lead us to Christ!
We need instruction about what sin is and how to come to know God. Whereas the Abrahamic Covenant was the covenant of DECISION, the Mosaic Covenant is the covenant of INSTRUCTION.
The Gospel was proclaimed to Abraham, but people were not convinced (and still aren’t) that there is a need for salvation. The Mosaic Covenant gives us knowledge of our sin and becomes our tutor/mentor to lead us to Christ!
Awesome…but there is more! Tomorrow we’re digging deeper into Galatians 3 to reveal the connection between the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic Covenant. We’ll also find that it points us toward a third covenant. Take a sneak peek at Galatians 3, then come back tomorrow. We’re on a roll!