Powerless

followFollow Me: Law[1]

Observations as I follow God through the Chronological Bible

Exodus 24:1-11 [2]

Plowing through the Old Testament is difficult. God is distant, frightening, and death awaits those who approach without an invitation. Only Moses is permitted to enter God’s presence. But let’s not bypass the fact that God spoke the Ten Commandments to everyone and the church requested God communicate to them through Moses.

Moses returned to the mountain top where God taught him how to build a temporary altar and expounded on the meaning of the Ten Commandments. Then Moses told the people everything God said. They welcomed God’s offer of a covenant relationship based on works. With one voice the leaders of the church said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”[3]

Moses wrote down everything God said, built the altar and at this point we learn the church was already familiar with making offerings. Moses sent young men to make burnt offerings and peace offerings before God gave him the details about making such offerings. In fact, making offerings to God had been practiced since Cain and Able.

Moses collected the blood of the offerings and literally turned the affair into a blood bath. He sprinkled blood on the altar and then read the covenant of law he had been up all night writing. For the second time in 24 hours the church said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”[4] Then Moses sprinkled the people with the offering blood.

I doubt there was enough blood to sprinkle on the entire church. I am guessing only the people invited to dinner with God were sprinkled: Aaron and his sons, which became the High Priest, and the seventy elders of Israel. After the ceremony seventy-three men flecked with drops of blood entered the presence of God. The most memorable moment of the meeting was gawking at the “a paved work of sapphire stone” that God stood upon.[5] No other details about the image of God were given.

Dinner with God took them one step closer to finalizing their covenant of law. Many years later, Jesus warned their children about the weakness of this covenant that is powerless to save them.

A day will come when the door to the kingdom of God will be shut, and many will be perplexed. Why were they shut out? They had been in church all of their lives. Their ancestors founded the church with Moses in the desert. They will knock on the door saying, “Lord, Lord, open for us…” and remind God of the day he taught them, speaking the Ten Commandments and how Aaron, Aaron’s sons, and seventy elders ate and drank in his presence.[6]

Much to their dismay, God will reply “I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from me all you workers of iniquity.”

The Message Bible says it this way:

“You’ll protest, ‘But we’ve known you all our lives!’ only to be interrupted with his abrupt, ‘Your kind of knowing can hardly be called knowing. You don’t know the first thing about me.’

There is more to God than law. A covenant based on works does not impart a true image of God’s heart. The covenant based on grace that began with Abraham and ends in Jesus mercy gives us a true understanding of God and entrance to the kingdom of God.

____________________________________________

[1] In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul warns us that the things that happened in the wilderness were recorded as a warning to the church because Moses preached the same gospel about Jesus that was preached after Jesus resurrection. For this reason Israel/Jacob will be called the church in this series.

[2] All Scripture is from the NKJ Bible unless otherwise noted.

[3] Exodus 24:3

[4] Exodus 24:7

[5] Exodus 24:10

[6] Luke 13:25-27

About Teena Myers

Teena is the Vice Chairman of the Southern Christian Writers Guild, author of three books and a freelance writer.
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