Summary: Second in series. The gift of the law of God.
The Gift of the Law
Exodus 19:5-6; 20:1-17
Intro: The Gift of the Promise "If you obey my call, then I will bless you."
"I will make of you a ‘royal priesthood, a holy nation’.
I will make myself known in your life, so that I may draw all people to me
In Christ God has made Himself known
Jesus– "God Saves", Christ– "Anointed One"
Transition: When God makes Himself known to us it creates a crisis situation.
When God makes Himself known we become immediately confronted with the stark contrast between God’s Holiness/ Purity/ Perfection/ Flawless nature and our own profaned, twisted virtue.
Dilemma: How does a perfect God bring a perverted humanity back into relationship with Himself? How does a transcendent God become so immanently known without sullying/ dirtying Himself?
For Israel it was the issue of a forgotten God making Himself known once again.
• Israelite bondage
• cry out (Exodus 2:23-25)
• God hears
• Though God’s people had forgotten Him, God had not forgotten His promises to His people and to Abraham
• God raises up a Messiah from His people to deliver them
• When God makes Himself known to Moses, Moses has to ask God for His name– YHWH
• 10 plagues
• meeting God at Horeb in the Sinai wilderness
they meet God for the first time, in a long time
• God gives the law
I’m the God who rescued you.
1) Put me first in your life.
2) Don’t make emblems to worship. I’ll get jealous if you put other gods before me. But I will forever love those who love me.
3) Respect my name. My name reflects my character, and I don’t like my character damaged.
4) Always take a day of rest. When I created the universe I did so in six days, and on the seventh day I rested to enjoy my work. I ask the same of you.
5) Respect your parents. Their wisdom and experience will help you live a long life.
6) Value the life of others. Don’t kill.
7) Respect your marriage and other’s as well. Don’t commit adultery.
8) Respect other’s property. Don’t steal
9) Don’t slander or gossip either.
10) and last of all. Be content with what you have. Don’t be greedy.
And in these ten simple commands God made Himself known to the Hebrews (Israel) as a people for the first time.
Ten commands which have been so well used, and overly abused. Ten simple commands, which even today generate heated controversy.
Ten commands by which God has made Himself known
*General Protestant conflict with the Law
In truth the Law is an agent/means of grace.
Three Values We Can Gain From The Law
I. The Law Gives Purpose
It answers the reason for our existence
Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
*nature of a relationship
Psalm 119:73 Your hands have made and fashioned me; give me understanding that I may learn your commandments.
The Psalmist is saying, "God, you created me, now help me to understand your will for my life."
We search for meaning in life.
Men search for meaning by occupation and accomplishments
traditionally Women have searched for meaning by relationships– daughter, wife, mother; but now, even they seek meaning by occupational success.
We assume our role defines our purpose.
"I was meant to "..."
Psalm 139:13-16 You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt. Nothing about me is hidden from you! I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below, but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.
Our purpose should not come from the roles we play, or the occupation we hold– our purpose comes from God.
II. The Law Brings God Into Our Life
Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments." John 14:15
We take an active role in God’s Will.
III. The Law Gives an Enlarged Perspective
Psalm 119:32 I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my understanding (RSV)
I am eager to learn all that you want me to do; help me to understand more and more. (CEV)
Commands such as "Love God"; "Love Neighbor"; Paul’s admonishment to "Think of others more highly than our self"-- stand in radical, stark contrast to a self centered, highly egocentric mindset
Psalm 119:97-104 Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word. I do not turn aside from your ordinances, for you have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.