Bible History – C. 1446 BC
Exodus 21-40 records the settling of God’s laws for living and instructions for worship.
A NEW COVENANT FOR a NEW NATION
For about a year, people prepared their advance. When they left Egypt they all walked together and fought together but now was time to separated the wheat from the chaff (Matthew 13:29-30).
The dissenters among them had to go. So it happened at the Golden Calf rebellion when the Hebrews made an image from the gold they had. Some people say it may have been a representation of the Canaanite god El or Baal. However, they were not yet in Canaan so we prefer a different explanation. The rebellion was probably influenced by the slaves they had picked up at the Dophkah mines and the image was that of that mountain’s goddess.
Either way, the worship of this image was a blatant rejection of the God that hade delivered His children. Moses intervened and those who worshiped it and did not repent were swallowed by the earth in the form, we can only speculate, of an earthquake or another phenomenon.
After that Moses took the people into a new era marked by:
(a) Revelation of God’s Law.
(b) Building the Tabernacle where God was to live until a temple could be built later.
(c) Making the Ark of the covenant in which God could move with the people.
The ARK of the COVENANT
The Ark of the Covenant looked like furniture from that time in world history. It may have represented God’s footstool in his throne in Heaven. Although the Hebrews would take it to battle with them the Ark of the Covenant was not a talisman guaranteeing victory. It was a reminder of God’s power and habitation among His people.
From here people turned north and arrived at Mt. Hor (Gebel Harun), located in today’s Jordan. It is located in the place where Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade final scenes were.
LAWS of FREEDOM
God made a new covenant with the people that had never been made with any nation. If the people followed God’s commands, the whole world would see Him through them. Israel would witness to the nations on God’s might and character when they observed its supreme command over the land that was given to it and its prosperity above all.
In Leviticus God gives clear, specific instruction to his people and continues to warn them not to defile themselves by mixing with their enemies.
Victory, protection and prosperity is promised as long as the Hebrews abide in God. Defeat, terror and poverty is promised if they do not.
No matter how many battles Israel wins, there will always be enough enemies left to deliver the disobedient to.
POINT A CROSS
Moses sprinkled blood on the leaders of the 12 Tribes of Israel to announce a new covenant between God and men. Jesus would share wine with his 12 apostles announcing it as his blood to be poured for all and beginning the New Covenant. The old covenant could only cover Israel’s sins, not wash them away, that is why animal sacrifices would need to continue every year. Only Jesus blood would wash sin away once and for all.
PRAISE & WORSHIP
Lord of God: how marvelous is your work and anointing and gifting the selected servants to take some of the things you have created to another level. Thank you, artistic creator, for sharing with us your creativity, love of beauty, and ability to turn both into substance. 2
[next time: “Tribes of Israel“]
- Based on teaching by Steve Cioccolanti
- Ex. 31:1-6. Trevor M Chase