DAY 23Today's reading introduces the Mosaic law.
- Moses ascending the mountain of God will become a familiar scene.
- It's been said that God chose the illustration of an eagle because no other bird flies higher than an eagle. Its young are carried on the wings so that they are protected from danger that may come from below.
- The people were brought from Egypt to become a new nation. They would have equality together as "princes" and have access to God as a "holy nation."
- Moses becomes/remains God's messenger and the one that receives the holy law of God.
- Moses also relays what the people have spoken to God. Is there a need to do that?
- This surely elevates Moses' role as the leader of the people.
- After the people have prepared themselves, they are ready to meet the Lord. God appears in a thunderous scene that brings fear to everyone.
- The trumpet is the shofar. As Moses relays the words God has given the people, the shofar blows louder.
- The commandments of God are built upon God's deliverance of the people. The laws of God that would be added are built upon these words (10 commandments).
- Also known as the 10 words.
- The commands are simple, yet are used to build the former Egyptian slaves into a new nation.
- Think of the commandments as revealed rather just given. The revelation of the holy law is remembered as the great experience of the people (even greater than their salvation from Egypt).
- The people stand in fear of what they are experiencing. Moses' words are affirming. They don't need to fear because God has made himself known so that the Israelites will be exalted.
- We have the first taste of the new laws of the people. They will sound strange to us because they are related to an ancient people and culture that is unlike our own. As strange as they may appear to us, however, notice that at the heart of these laws is justice and equity.
OTHER OBSERVATIONSMuch like God's willingness to reveal the name of God to Moses, what a blessing it is to know that God was willing to reveal the law. Remember that God said when the people were delivered from Egypt they would know who God is. Now, as the law is revealed, the people know that God is their God.
Think about that as you read the law. Recognize that the aim of the law was to point the people to the justice and equity of God. The ways they had known in Egypt were now to be replaced by God's way. The people already know how to live as slaves. God is ready to teach them how to live as God's free people.
Imagine reading scripture that way. You're not reading just to study and say you read; not even just to learn something new. You're reading the word of God to become something new!