The Sinai Covenant

The nation of Israel has traveled from the borders of Egypt to the wilderness of Sinai (19:1–2), where God teaches them how to live as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (19:6). In Exodus 20–24, God through Moses reveals the Sinai covenant, including its core, the Ten Commandments (20:1–17). God demands that the people he delivered from slavery in Egypt follow him wholeheartedly in this covenant. Those he has graciously saved are to live as his holy people in all they do: “You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples” (19:4–5). God, Israel’s Redeemer, uses his people’s obedience to the law to draw them closer to him, the author of the law, and to enable them to fulfill their calling as his people in the world (20:2–6). The law functions to reveal sin (Rom. 7:7) and to curb both societal and individual evils. Above all, it teaches God’s people how to love him and keep his commandments (Ex. 20:6), since Israel is on display to the world as a nation of priests, calling the nations to the true God. Theology for Life—Like Israel, none of us can obey the law (Psalm 14), but there is one who came to fulfill the law, and he did so perfectly (Matt. 5:17; 2 Cor. 5:21). In his death Jesus ratified the new covenant in which God writes the law on the hearts of his people that they might freely live for his pleasure (Jer. 31:31–34; Luke 22:20).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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