Affirming the Covenant


We don’t plan to disobey God – we plan to follow and walk in his ways.  The truth is that in spite of best intentions, though, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  Today God affirms his covenant of law with Israel, and we praise God that we are under grace…

1 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. You are to worship at a distance, 2 but Moses alone is to approach the Lord; the others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him.”

3 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.” 4 Moses then wrote down everything the Lord had said.

He got up early the next morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up twelve stone pillars representing the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as fellowship offerings to the Lord. 6 Moses took half of the blood and put it in bowls, and the other half he splashed against the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

8 Moses then took the blood, sprinkled it on the people and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

9 Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10 and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. 11 But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.
Exodus 24:1-11

After giving Israel his law to keep them from sinning and becoming like the nations around them, God affirmed his covenant with them in Exodus 24.  As Moses read them every word the Lord had given, the people responded with, “Everything the Lord has said we will do.”  Everything.  Everything.

It was at this time when God then asks Moses up the mountain to give him tablets of stone with the law written on them.  Before that, however, Moses took blood from sacrifical bulls and sprinkled it on the people, saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

Sprinkled with the blood of a bull.  Committing to do everything in the law.  A covenant.  The law actually became a tutor for Israel to show them where they went wrong, rather than highlighting where they went right.  It was more of a scorecard in which no one ever won.

From this vantage point, we understand that the law is a necessary component of God’s plan as he revealed himself and his purposes to the world.  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, according to Paul in Romans 3:23.  The law underlines that truth in bold font.

On the front end of it, though, everyone was absolutely committed to following God.  We would have been too.  We are, right?  We don’t plan to disobey God – we plan to follow and walk in his ways.  And even one of God’s chief apostles, Paul, laments the impossibility of our righteousness this side of heaven (Romans 7-8).

Praise God for grace.  Praise God for the Holy Spirit to guide us daily.  May we be fully aware of our humanity as we commit to follow the truth, and may God bless us with feet which walk his paths.  Our sprinkling, praise God, is not with the blood of bulls.  It is the blood of Jesus which covers our sins.

In grace we stand.

Amen.

Marc Kinna

 

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