Israel Urged to Obey God’s Law

Deuteronomy 4:1-49

Moses said, do not add to, nor take away from the commandments of the Lord your God, and remember what the Lord did to the men who went after other gods. Moses taught the Israelites, the commandments that the Lord God commanded him. At mount Horeb, the sons of Israel did not see the form of the Lord, but heard him speak the words of the covenant, that is, “The Ten Commandments,” from the mountain, and he wrote them on two stone tablets; they are to teach them to their children and grandchildren. The Lord took them out of Egypt to be his own possession and they saw no form, so be careful  not take make images and bow down to worship them. Moses will not cross the Jordan with them but reiterates, do not forget the covenant, and make yourselves a graven image in the form of anything. When they are long in the land, and forget the covenant, and make idols, the Lord will scatter them among the nations, but will listen when they return to the Lord their God; although the Lord is a jealous God, he is a compassionate God. Moses told them to search all of human history before them, has anyone but them heard the Lord speak from heaven, and has he taken a people for himself, as he did them; the answer is no, and he did so, because he loved their fathers. Moses set apart three cities, east of the Jordan, that a man may flee to, who unintentionally slew his neighbor, that he might escape vengeance and live. Thus, Moses begins to expound the law before the sons of Israel. 

The Lord God took the sons of Israel out of Egypt and made them his own possession. He covenanted with them at Mount Horeb, “The Ten Commandments,” which he, the Lord God wrote on two stone tablets. The sons of Israel excepted the covenant of the Lord, and made Moses their intercessor before the Lord, to speak to the Lord, and receive his commandments. Covenantal obligations are loyalty, obedience and trust. Will the sons of Israel be loyal to the Lord or will they worship other gods? Will the sons of Israel observe his commandments in the land that they are about to possess? Will they trust the Word of the Lord?

There has been a debate among Christians, since the reformation, regarding the Christian’s obligation to the law, given by Moses, to the sons of Israel. Think for a minute, to whom was that law given? And to whom did the Lord God covenant with at Mount Horeb? The answer to both questions is the sons of Israel. To whom did Jesus give his commandments, “The Sermon on the Mount?” To whom did Jesus covenant with during the Lord’s supper? The answer to both questions is the disciples. The sons of Israel are a physical people. They are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The disciples of Jesus Christ are people from all nations. Both the law of Moses and the law of Christ come from the same God, but are a different law and a different covenant; however, since both come from the same God, they are alike in nature. More on this tomorrow, when Moses expounds “The Ten Commandments.”