09.5 Moses 9, Day 5

Bookends: Bigger patterns – a foreshadowing of things to come

There is an old training axiom: Tell them what you are going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.  You start and end with your most important points.

If we take a step back and take a mountaintop view of our study of this week and last, this is exactly the pattern that is followed.

Salvation by God: God brought His people out of slavery into community with Him

Covenant: God starts with His covenant – Treasured Possession, Kingdom of Priests, Holy Nation

Relationship with God: He then goes on to the law, the 10 commandments, starting with the most important, the first 4 laws defining our relationship with God

Social Relationships: He goes on to laws about our interactions with others in the next 3 commandments

Property Relationships: He continues to laws about our interactions with stuff (property/possessions) in the last 3 commandments

Social Relationships: Ex 21:1-32 pick up on the laws about our interactions with others

Property Relationships: Ex 21:33-22:31 pick up on the laws about our interaction with property, especially the property of others

Social Relationships: Ex 23:1-9 back to how we treat each other, the poor, foreigners

Relationship with God: Ex 23: 10-19 Are about special days set aside for our interaction with God

Salvation: Exodus 23: 20-33 God will bring His people out of the wilderness into the Promised Land with Him

Covenant: Ex 24 God ends with His covenant.

 

There are some really interesting patterns in this.

1. Salvation by God and His covenant go hand in hand.  This is in the same way that the people of Israel were required to purify themselves for 2 full days at the foot of the mountain before approaching God on the third day.  God provides his promise of salvation first, because without it we could not be a party to a covenant with Him.  We have nothing, aside from His grace, to bring to the agreement.

2. God has placed our relationship with him inside the binding of His covenant.  God is bigger than anything and everything, but He chooses to lower Himself into a relationship with us.

3. Our interaction with property is important, but it is enclosed within our relationship with each other.  The emphasis on establishing a community is at the heart of this entire pattern, both figuratively and literally.  That makes sense in the wording of the covenant.  How could they or we be a Kingdom of Priests or a Holy Nation if we are not a Kingdom or a Nation.  God placed the community of believers, what we call the church, at the very center of the Mosaic covenant.

4. I may be stretching it with this one, but I thought it was interesting.  If you follow the pattern, in the center verse of the center “Social Relationships” section, there is one more item book-ended inside verses 12-18.  12 & 18 are about striking a fatal blow to someone.  Inside that 15 & 18 are about attacking and cursing parents and in the center is vs. 16: Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession.  As we study the book of Revelation next year, I think it will be interesting to remember this verse in the center of the Mosaic covenant and see how God implements it onto our kidnapper, the one who tempted and lead us into sin and rebellion against our Holy Father.  Because, while the fall of man was a fatal blow to mankind, it is not outside of God’s ability to yield justice.

Finally, the people of God accept the covenant and commit to obedience and then they are covered in the blood of His sacrifice.  In the same way, God has offered the New Covenant of Salvation through Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made.  After we accept it and commit our lives to it in words and by accepting Him, then we are covered by the blood.  But, contrary to the external covering of the blood sacrifice at this mountain, Jesus’ told us to drink the blood of His sacrifice.  It is not simply an external covering but and indwelling.

Jesus is in us, but He is also our mediator, sitting at the right hand of God the Father, petitioning Him on our behalf.  And our advocate Jesus, through whom we were given a counselor in the Holy Spirit, has been given the authority to also be our Judge.

 

My Answers:

11.
a.
Jesus – I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me

b.
Before

c.
Drink from it, all of you.  This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

d.
Without accepting the price that Jesus paid as our own, then we are responsible for paying restitution for our own sins, something we are not capable of doing.  If there was another way, would God have sent His only Son to die?

12.
a.
1. Invited by God with Moses and 70 elders to go up, 10. see God, 11. eat and drink (where did the food come from? Heavenly buffet?)

b.
the cloud, what looked like fire, God’s voice

c.
The power and might, but also the voice of God.

 

09.3 Moses 9, Day 3

Make things right

We all understand the principle of restitution. It ties deeply to our concept of fairness and justice.  If someone takes from us, we should be compensated.  Their punishment is insufficient if we are still at a loss for what they took, it doesn’t seem fair.  It isn’t made right.

Simply replacing something isn’t restitution because there are always complications.  There might be a time with which you were at a loss for what was taken.  There might be inconvenience or suffering that takes place while the item is missing.  Even if you are paid back, you still have the effort to replace the item.

So on one hand we understand the obligation to attempt to make things right.  On the other we understand that we can’t turn back the clock or completely make things right again.

This is critical because it is at the heart of God’s covenant.  In his original covenant with Adam and Eve, He gave them life and in return He asked for obedience.  But they chose to disobey.  The only fair thing is for them to give back, then, what God gave them.  But like our attempts at restitution, even that is insufficient because it is counter to God’s original plan and goal.  We face the same obligation under the covenants.  God calls us to obey and each day we choose disobedience and sin.

But Jesus paid our restitution for us.  Jesus lived a life in complete obedience to God.  As a result, he owed no restitution.  But Jesus willingly chose to pay the highest price possible and in so doing, completely restored those who accept His provision.  In effect, He set back the clock to a time when man and God walked together in community with each other.

We, like Israel, have a long way to go in our journey to become holy.  But by accepting Jesus and asking for the Holy Spirit to live in and with us, we are on the path and it is now a toll-free road

 

My Answers:

5.
a.
property rights and laws

b.
a “make-good”, a repayment-in-kind

c.
i.
Negligence and equipment damage, faulty tools, faulty vehicles

ii.
Theft, breaking and entering

iii.
property damage

iv.

Fiduciary responsibility and trust

d.
When I have taken or damaged something of value to another person.  When  my sin against someone can be monitized

6.
a.
Respect and care of virgins, widows, orphans, foreigners, the poor. Laws against social deviants.  In other words, things that cannot be adequately restored (restitution is not possible)

b.
So they could begin learning how to become His holy people

09.2 Moses 9, Day 2

Stumbling Block

The people of Israel no longer simply represented themselves; they now represented God.  When He committed in his covenant to make them a holy nation, to make them priests, He was welcoming them onto His team.  Not just as spectators, but as fully uniformed members of the team.

When you wear a uniform, your words and actions, the things you do and don’t do, your character, reflects not only you but also on everything that uniform stands for.

God provided Israel with laws and training to develop themselves as a community.  For 430 years all they had to witness was Egypt, but now God was beginning the retraining to set them on a new path to become a holy nation, set apart, to be His people and for He to be their God.  But the laws were not just for them.  The laws also set a higher standard so that as other tribes and nations looked at Israel they saw this was something different.  There was something here that was missing from their nation and their lives.

We have the same obligation.  When the lives of the Christian community look the same as non-Christians, we misrepresent the uniform that we choose to wear.  We face the same struggles, temptations and battles as non-Christians, but we are held to a higher standard.  We are not just held to the rule of law, but also to the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.

 

My Answers:

3.
a.
Book of the Covenant

b.
Because of their time in Egypt and because of the specific Mosaic covenant

c.
Luke 12:48; Ezek 34:1-10; James 3:1; Heb 13:17; Matt 5:14; 1 Cor 4:2; Rom 3:19

d.
Teaching responsibility has made me study deeper.  Parenting responsibility has made me a more conscientious role model

4.
They spent 430 years in Egypt.  He is starting with community as they have known it and beginning the retraining to shape them ultimately into a holy nation.  This does not necessary mean that God is condoning these behaviors (slavery, seduction, etc.), but he is starting them on a journey and training them as they go.