Thursday, August 19, 2010

Exodus 22, 23, 24 Covenant Confirmed with Israel

Mount SinaiImage via Wikipedia

How does one even establish an agreement with God?  How do you know it’s real?  Feelings are absolutely inconclusive – indigestion could easily be mistaken for a “sign” or something.  Whereas, good feelings could be a sugar high.  These chapters record that God confirmed His covenant with an entire nation. 

Earlier, God had given the Israelites the Ten Commandments and other laws pertaining to property and injuries.  In Exodus 24, Moses told the people of Israel all of God’s words to him.  And, in one voice, they responded that “Everything the Lord had said, we will do.”  It sounds like an agreement or a deal but it wasn’t totally ratified yet.

The following morning, Moses offered fellowship offerings to the Lord.  Moses sprinkled part of the blood of the bulls on the altar.  He then read the Covenant with God to the people of  Israel and they again responded that “they will do everything the Lord has said.”   Moses then sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice onto Israel.  The covenant between Israel and God was now sealed with blood.

Since God created man, He chose men to whom He would reveal Himself.  First it was Adam, then Abel, the Seth, much later Noah, then Abraham, whom God selected from all of the men on the earth.   The interesting tie-in here is that the Hebrew word for covenant is בְּרִית (bĕriyth) (Strong’s 1285) which is derived from the Hebrew  בָּרָא (bara') which implies selection or choosing (Strong’s 1254).  The whole idea of a covenant is that God chose a man with whom He would have an agreement or a pact.  In Genesis 15, God told Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars and that his descendants would have the land of Canaan, “from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates”.  About twenty five years later, when God reaffirmed this covenant (Genesis 17:13 the covenant in the flesh) as an everlasting covenant with Abraham which was ratified in the flesh through circumcision.  Though Abraham was concerned about his son Ishmael and how he would fit in, God told him in Genesis 17:21 that He chose to establish His covenant with Isaac who was yet to be born to Abraham.

As it turned out, God chose someone in each successive generation with whom He would build on the initial covenant wit Abraham.  Finally, when the Israelites were in the desert, near Mount Sinai, God established His covenant with the entire nation.  While in the past, God chose one person over another, here He selected an entire nation.  God gave them His promises and they agreed to obey His laws.  While living in the land of Canaan peacefully or otherwise was contingent upon obedience to God’s Laws, ownership of the land was unconditional.   

In Exodus 24, God ratified and sealed His everlasting covenant with Israel.  After the Romans defeated Judah about 2000 years ago, they taunted the Jewish people by calling their land Palestine, which is Latin for Philistine, the ancient, sea-faring enemies of Israel.   Though the name Palestine stuck, the land was and shall always be Israel, because God had ordained that.

Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for bara' (Strong's 1254)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. 26 Aug 2010. < http://
Strongs=H1254&t=KJV >
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