Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, Hear, O Israel, the law, that you may learn the law and observe the law carefully; the Lord made a covenant with all Istael at Horeb, the Lord did not make this covenant with your fathers, but he made it with all the sons of Israel. When the Lord spoke to the sons of Israel at Horeb, he told them, I am the Lord you God who took you out of the house of slavery in Egypt:
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make any idols.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against you neighbor.
- You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The Lord God spoke these “Ten Commandments,” and no more, and he wrote them on two stone tablets, and he gave them to Moses, whom the people elected to be their intercessor before the Lord, because they feared the voice of the Lord God. The Lord God heard their voice, and he was pleased with what they had spoken, and he told Moses to stand near the Lord, and listen to all the law, and teach the law to the people, that they may observe the law in the land which the Lord gave them to possess; this is the law, which Moses is expounding in his great sermon, “Deuteronomy.”
“The Ten Commandments” are the covenantal obligation of the people to the Lord their God. It was the Lord who took the sons of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. The Lord promised to continue as their benefactor with stipulations. The stipulations are “The Ten Commandments.” If the people observe the law carefully, all would go well for them in the land that the Lord gave them to possess, but if they do not, it will not go well for them. “The Ten Commandments” are not burdensome, yet no one kept them perfectly. The apostle Paul asked, concerning the Jew, in his letter to the Romans, “Then what advantage has the Jew?” (Rom 3:1) He had showed in the first two chapters of his letter that both Gentile and Jew had all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Rom 3:23) However, the Jew had an advantage that the Gentile did not have, “they were entrusted with the oracles of God.” (Rom 3:2, cf. Acts 7:38)
If both Jew and Gentile had both sinned and fallen short of his glory, how does having the oracles of God make the Jew advantaged? After showing Jew and Gentile alike under sin, (Rom 3:9-18) Paul explains how the oracles of God give the Jew an advantage. Paul wrote, “for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.” (Rom 3:20) How can anyone say that they are good in light of the law? The law brings the knowledge of sin, for this reason, the people trembled when they heard the Lord speak. People tremble today when they hear the oracles of God. “Therefore the law is the tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal 3:24-25) The law is used lawfully, will show a person, their need of Christ. The law can bring a person to the cross of Jesus Christ but no further.