When God made a covenant with Israel, Moses was the intermediary. The covenant is often referred to as the Mosaic Law. The points of this covenant, which can also be referred to as “blessings and curses” are as follows:
1. Preamble/Historical Prologue (Exodus 19:1-4)
2. Invitation (Exodus 19:5-6)
3. Terms of the Covenant (Exodus 20-23)
4. Blessings and Curses (Deuteronomy 27-28; Numbers 15:30-31)
5. Ratification of the Covenant, with blood (Exodus 24)
6. Sign of the Covenant—Sabbath (Exodus 31:13-17)
7. Storage of the Covenant (Deuteronomy 31:24-26)
8. The Covenant Meal (Exodus 24:9-11) (Lusk, 1994, pp. 54-56)
It is important to realize that all of God’s mighty acts of deliverance that resulted in the Israelites’ exodus from Egyptian slavery were all completed prior to this covenant. Therefore, God delivered them out of slavery by His grace and not by their works of righteousness and uprightness. In fact, He delivered them out of slavery because of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Exodus 2:24; 6:8; Deuteronomy 9:5).
However, the Israelites had become deeply steeped in idolatry during their stay in Egypt. They carried their idols with them when they came out of Egypt (Amos 5:25-26; Acts 7:42-43). They openly demonstrated their idolatry when Moses went up on the mountain to receive the Law (Exodus 32:1-6). They did this even after seeing how God overthrew Egypt with the ten plagues and parted the Red Sea so they could pass on dry ground. They did this even though they saw God overthrow Pharaoh and his army by causing the Red Sea to come down upon them. Except for their lineage to the Patriarchs, there was nothing about them that would make them worthy of God’s favor. Therefore, they were saved by God’s grace and mercy and because He is a covenant-keeping God who remembered His promises to the Patriarchs. Only after these dramatic acts of deliverance did God give them the Mosaic Law so that they would understand how they should live before the King of the Universe, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thus, God Himself restored the covenant He made with the Patriarchs when He delivered their offspring from bondage and gave their offspring the land of Israel.
Some Gentiles think they are under the Mosaic Law in this present time. However, Paul best describes the place of Gentiles prior to salvation by Christ as follows:
11 Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:11-12 (NASB)
But thanks be to God, Paul continues in Ephesians 2:13-22 to show that the only hope for us is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
From God’s Covenants and Restorations by Victor Vadney, Desert Willow Publishing. This material is protected by copyright.