Genesis Through Joshua- Exodus: Divine Authorisation of Mosaic Law

Suggested structure of Exodus
1-18 Deliverance of Israel under Moses
19-24 The Covenant law under Moses
25-43 Covenant worship under Moses

The Basic Content
Looking at 19-24:11
19: Covenant ceremony
20: Ten Commandments and book of the covenant
24: Another covenant ceremony

The Mosaic Covenant
1) The Basic Idea
God gave an agreement to Israel through Moses (19-24).

Initial covenant agreement 19:1-8
Moses is exalted by God as mediator
Giving of the 10 commandments
Moses is exalted by the people as mediator-giving of the book of the covenant
Ratification of covenant 24

2) The 2 Covenant Ceremony’s
(i) 1st ceremony (19:1-8)
God calls Moses to come to the mount by addressing him first
God wanted the Israelites to remember His grace (v3-4)
Stipulations (v5) Israel must obey the covenant for reward

This is a covenant of grace. It has been initiated by God’s grace.
God’s grace precedes the giving of the law.

V8 The Israelites promise to obey
Moses returns to the Lord

(ii) The second Covenant Ceremony (24)
Moses and others are called to the mountain
V3 the people want to obey (24:7)
Moses writes things down and makes a sacrifice. The blood is sprinkled on the people.
V10 Moses and others saw the God of Israel. They ate and drunk the peace offering. This involved the worshipper eating part of the sacrifice.

The covenant agreement was of benefit to Israel. All people agreed to the covenant.

3) Divine and Popular Authorisation of Moses
19:9-25 there is a discussion between God and Moses.
God promises to come in a cloud and display His power so the people will listen to Moses as an authorised figure.

A similar thing happens in chapter 20:18-21
The people become frightened at God’s presence. The people want Moses to mediate.

God and Israel decided Moses role as mediator.

4) The 10 Commandments
(i) Types of covenants in the ancient near east.
The first is the parody covenant. Two peers make an agreement and bargain over it. These two are equals.
The second is where a superior dictates the terms of the covenant to the subordinate.

(ii) The covenant tablets
All 10 commandments are on the front and back of both tablets. Both copies are kept in the same place- the meeting place.

(iii) Theological implications
The law was benevolence and a mutual bond between God and His people.
The law is positive and good.

The 3 uses of the law
1) Reveal and incite sin
2) Restraining sin by the threat of punishment
3) The moral guide of believers

The law was not given to let Israel know how to earn salvation. God did not expect them to earn their salvation by obedience. The law was given out of God’s grace.

The law was given in 20:1-17
The book of the covenant is given in 20-23

All people were to be equal under the law. The human King was under the law (Duet 17:18-20).

5) The book of the covenant and its organisation
There is little logical order in the book of the covenant.

The book includes teaching on:
The worship of God 20:22-26
Sacred seasons and rituals

Hebrews servants, bodily injuries, how to deal with the poor, reverence for God’s order, sexual sins etc… these will be discussed in a later lecture

(ii) Theological implications.
The law was over all the people
The book of the covenant is not exhaustive. It doesn’t tell us all we need to know.
All these laws were of benefit to Israel.

1) Past meaning
Moses must be obeyed because he mediated God’s will

2) Our meaning today
We must obey Christ because He is our mediator.


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