Summary: The Law proclaims the character of God. It provides the definite of life the way God designs it to be. It presents man's need of salvation.
“I am going to implement some rules in ES. Everyone who attends the service must keep to these rules. Here are 10 rules you must abide by…”
• What kind of feelings do you have when you hear that? Good feelings or bad? Positive ones or negative?
• We don’t generally like rules. We had them all our lives, from the home, to the school, to the camps and the society.
Can man lives without rules?
• The psalmist wrote: “Oh how I love your law!” (Ps. 119:97).
• What a strange statement of affection. Why would anyone direct his love toward the law of God?
• The law limits our choices, restricts our freedom, torments our consciences, and pushes us down with this weight that cannot be overcome…
• And yet the psalmist declares his affection for the law in passionate terms. He calls the law sweeter than honey to his mouth (Ps. 119:103).
How do we see the laws of God? I want to address this today.
We have come to the part in Exodus where God meets Moses and gave him a whole list of commandments and rules that the people of Israel are to keep.
• Hence Moses became the Law-giver and the meeting place was on Mount Sinai.
• He is to tell the people what God tells him, because everyone is to obey what God has said.
Moses went up Mount Sinai at least 5 times. Exo 19:3 when God first called him up. He came down to tell the people and went up again in 19:8.
• The Lord instructed him to consecrate the people and set limits around the foot of the mountain so that the people would not come too close.
• They are to draw near enough to see that God is present, in the fire and smoke on top of the mountain.
Moses went down to consecrate the people and returned to meet God (19:20).
• On this 3rd ascent God spoke at length to him, and he related it from chapters 20-23, including the Ten Commandments.
• They were given orally before God craved it on tablets of stone later on.
Exodus 24:1 God called Moses up to the mountain again – his 4th ascent – and this time around he brought Aaron, Aaron’s sons (priests) and 70 elders with him, but they were still kept at a distance, near enough to see the forms of God’s presence.
• Exo 24:9-11 “Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel went up 10and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of sapphire, clear as the sky itself. 11But God did not raise his hand against these leaders of the Israelites; they saw God, and they ate and drank.”
Moses wrote down everything the Lord said (24:4) and read it to the people (24:7).
Finally in 24:12 the Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”
• This will be Moses’ 5th ascent and the longest. The Lord asked him to stay here because He is going to give him all the laws and commands for the people.
• Hence Moses stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
The Lord is revealing His will to the people. The law obviously has its purpose and it is important.
• If it is not important and lasting, I doubt God would have carved it out on tablets of stone. They are not all transient (temporary), not written upon the sand.
• We find in the law truths that are eternal in nature. Jesus says He did not come to abolish the Law, but the fulfil it (Matt 5:17).
When Moses was given the detailed instructions to build the tabernacle, God said “make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exacting like the pattern I will show you.” Moses saw it.
• John the Apostle saw something similar in his visions in Revelation – the tabernacle of the Testimony (15:5) and the Ark of the Covenant (11:19) in heaven.
• God is revealing eternal truths through earthly means.
So what’s the purpose of the Law, with all these lengthy rules and regulations?
(1) IT PROCLAIMS THE CHARACTER OF GOD
Don’t play games with God. He is a holy God, righteous, just and perfect.
• No one is to come even near to Him, unprepared and with sin in their lives. He will end their lives right there.
• There are sacrifices for atonement and rituals for cleansings. They are laborious because God is serious with you.