AN IMPORTANT PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE
The passage of scripture found in Exodus 34: 10 – 27 contains some of the most important words that a follower of Yahweh could ever encounter.
They are life-changing words.
If you knew the secrets to the universe; could you hold them back?
God has been known to reveal such things to His people. He lays them out in black and white right inside the scriptures of our bibles; but so often we refuse to open our eyes to see. When we DO find them and chose to act on them; they are exciting!
This is one of those types of scriptures.
So; get ready to learn new things and discover amazing facts about relationship with God.
These words and stipulations came directly from God as He spoke to Moses of His covenant with His people.
Welcome to The IN SEASON Lifestyle’s Thursday bible study called COME AS A CHILD.
Today we will be studying the passages of Exodus Chapter 34. These lessons are ongoing and chronological; so if you missed last week you might want to review it here: THE LORD IS A JEALOUS GOD – COME AS A CHILD – LESSON 184.
HOW COULD THIS PASSAGE STILL BE RELEVANT TO US TODAY?
God’s people today are living in totally different places and totally different times. We are not the children wandering through the wilderness who escaped slavery and bondage; are we? We have a completely different culture now and the coming of Christ has changed everything. That last statement is very true of course; but have we changed so much?
If you think about it; human nature is still human nature. Christ died to rescue us from that state; but without His covering atonement; we would all be hopelessly lost forever. God is still God. He has helped us even more since those days of the Israelites in the wilderness; but we have digressed instead of progressed as a whole. We still all live in a world that is like a cesspool full of sin and evil. All you have to do to figure that out is listen to the news or walk down the street and open your eyes. We are not so different from those children of Israel; we are still refusing to follow the ways of God. His original words still ring true though; then and now He was trying to tell us how to step up into a better way of life.
God never changes.
He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
If He said it to the Israelites back in the days of the Wilderness Tabernacle; He will still say the same to you and me.
For some reason He has loved us anyway. He has called us out of this world and provided us with the information that we need to live the way He lives.
If you are a Christian; you are among this group of God’s chosen people by way of blood (the sacrificial blood of Christ that covers you) and adoption (by God’s grace and love that has grafted us into that old olive tree called Israel.)
When I say “grafted in;” I do not mean replacing anyone; Israel remains God’s chosen. What I DO mean is that God has provided a way for the joining together of two parts. All believers have been grafted into the continuing and ever-growing old tree called Israel. Through the giving of His Only Begotten Son,The Master Gardner has grafted the wild olive branch into the pure olive branch to form one peculiar and unique group of people.
ONE CONTINUOUS COVENANT THAT HAS BEEN FULFILLED IN CHRIST
Before we go any further it is important to stop and take note of something.
This covenant often referred to as “the old covenant” still exists today; it simply exists in a ratified form. Most people refer to this passage of scripture and these words from God as “the old covenant” and they think there is now a separate and different “new covenant” which is better.
I will agree that this covenant has become “better;” but it has never passed away; it has simply evolved over time.
Most people think the “new” cancelled out the “old.” I disagree. I think the “new” fulfilled the “old.” To me; they are both part of one covenant that has evolved and changed over time along with the needs and circumstances of God’s people.
Most people either fail to realize (or disagree with the fact) that the “old covenant” and the “new covenant” are one and the same agreement. Yes; the first has been changed by the second; and the last is the best and most perfect; but one grew out of the other and the second one did not cancel out the first one; it only changed some of the current requirements.
The first one has now been ratified and improved; but not totally cancelled. Portions of it remain intact; and portions of it have been updated and revised. The second agreement is just an updated and continued portion of the first covenant; a more modern and fulfilled version of the first. To make this easier to talk about we have resorted to saying The New Covenant and The Old Covenant. Even God and the scriptures refer to it this way; but that doesn’t change the fact that the New is just a ratified and continuation of the Old.
If you find this hard to follow; think of the Constitution of The United States. There is the original document that contains the main focus of what the United States is all about. None of the basic thoughts have changed. The original document is still in effect and all of it is still recognized as important and relevant to the welfare of the nation. Then there are the amendments which came about much later than the first original document. These amendments brought updates and revisions and changes to needed circumstances along the way. They are all part of the same important document and together they make up our Constitution of the laws governing our country. We do not say the New Constitution and the Old Constitution; we simply say The Constitution. It all works together.
That is the way the New Testament and the Old Testament are too. They both work together. Each one reveals the truths of the other and BOTH are the handiwork of God in crafting out the best ways for us to live as His people.
As for the Covenant of God with His chosen; God never did away with the original agreement; He simply added something new to it at a later point in time. The addition was due to circumstances involving imperfect people; not that the original law was imperfect. It was perfect indeed; it was human nature and our freedom to choose that caused God to look down and have mercy on us and bring a new part to the covenant.
The new part?
Of course; that would be the one time sacrifice of Christ allowing atonement through the blood of Christ once for all; instead of the continuous and ineffective sacrifice of the blood from bulls and goats in the original agreement that were simply a pattern to bring us to the present. Christ came once for all and this has fulfilled all of the requirements of the law against sin. Through this perfect sacrifice the death penalty has been removed from our heads. Now the things of God that were originally written down on stone tablets have been written inside the hearts of God’s people through God’s Holy Spirit that came to dwell inside God’s people after Christ brought us atonement for sin. The “old” has been FULFILLED by the “new.”
THINKING OF THE PAST AND LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The day is coming when EVERYONE will automatically know this; from the greatest to the least and when that time comes (at Christ’s return to earth) there will be no more need for preaching and teaching; but there will be only the pure and continuous worship of God forever and ever.
In the days of Moses the first part of the covenant with God came forth.
We read the scriptures about this last week; and they bear repeating again:
(Exodus, Chapter 34: 10-27) – Then the Lord said: “I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you. 11 Obey what I command you today. I will drive out before you the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 12 Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. 13 Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. 14 Do not worship any other god,for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
15 “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. 16 And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same.
17 “Do not make any idols.
18 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt.
19 “The first offspring of every womb belongs to me, including all the firstborn males of your livestock, whether from herd or flock. 20 Redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb, but if you do not redeem it, break its neck. Redeem all your firstborn sons.
“No one is to appear before me empty-handed.
21 “Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.
22 “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of In-gathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel. 24 I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your territory, and no one will covet your land when you go up three times each year to appear before the Lord your God.
25 “Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast, and do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.
26 “Bring the best of the first fruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.
“Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
27 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” 28 Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.
A COVENANT FROM GOD
That is a pretty long scripture passage; but considering the fact that it is a covenant between God and His people forever; perhaps it is rather short and to the point.
Specific things seem to be very important to God. Certain things are spelled out with detailed instructions and some things are simply stated leaving one to wonder – why?
How do we find the answers to understand such things as this?
We have to seek God’s help and we must consult the scriptures and study and pray our way through each and every passage.
Many have studied and pondered these passages and many have come up with wrong conclusions and false messages. We do not want to do that. We want to find the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Because we serve a living God that is truth.
Someone I know once said; “If you always tell the truth you will never have to remember what you said.” That is how to keep your relationships true and right at all times. Be honest! The most important person to be honest with is God. He has been completely honest with us. His truth is forever and His truths never change.
Nothing else will ever satisfy the relationship between God and mankind but truth told with wisdom.
UNDERSTANDING THE BEGINNINGS OF THE COVENANT
Hence; as you’ve probably already suspected; we will be breaking down all of these sections of God’s covenant words; precept by precept, over the next several weeks.
Hopefully as we progress our eyes will be opened wider to all of the truth of God and our hearts will overflow with His wisdom and glory in the answers that He alone can bring to us.
Please pray for guidance for all of us as we study and learn together.
May God bless each of us with the knowledge and wisdom of His truth wrapped in His perfect love (Jesus Christ) as we continue to study the life and times of Moses.