A Holy Nation #4

Thursday, January 23, 2014

“For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45 KJV).

Today’s Scripture summarizes a book most burdensome to many.

JEHOVAH proposes a covenant to Israel:If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine. And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation” (Exodus 19:5,6). Verse 8 continues: “And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do.” Israel accepts the agreement and promises to obey JEHOVAH.

As Moses prepares to ascend Mount Sinai to receive God’s laws, Israel, near the mountain’s base, hears thunders and the exceeding loud voice of a trumpet, feels the mountain quake, and sees lightnings and smoke (verses 16-20). Israel is scared to death, for she is now facing a righteous God!

For 40 days in the mountaintop, Moses receives direct revelation from God, including the Ten Commandments (Exodus chapter 20) and various other laws, commandments, ordinances, and instructions (listed in chapters 21 through 31). Exodus 24:3 affirms, “…and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.” That Mosaic Covenant (Law) was then ratified with the sprinkling of animals’ blood (verses 6-8). Throughout the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and (repeated in) Deuteronomy, we read the 600-plus laws God demanded Israel to obey.

Essentially, God’s agreement with Israel through Moses—also known as the “Mosaic Covenant,” the “Old Covenant,” and the “Covenant of Law”—was a contract. Remember, like with any contract, it had conditions. If Israel kept the Law, God would pour out His abounding blessings (Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14), but if she broke the Law, there were severe penalties/curses (Leviticus 26:14-39; Deuteronomy 28:15-68). God repeatedly warned them not to disobey Him, but traveling up through the centuries of Old Testament history, we learn how Israel failed over and over and over. She could never measure up to become the holy nation God called her to be….