Notes On Exodus 19-24

The Law


In Chapter 19 Moses meets with God. God is to be revered and God sets the parameters as to who can come before Him, how far they can come, and how they are to come.

In Chapter 20 the Ten Commandments are given. As God speaks it sounds like thunder to the people. They are afraid and keep their distance. They want Moses to meet with God and have him tell them what God said.

In Chapter 21 God gives His Ordinances that help them to understand how to apply the Ten Commandments to the world around them and the various laws that exist in the world at that time. 

 History tells us that there were different laws for different people or kingdoms.  For instance, there were people groups who did not have words in their language that spoke of farming or gardening. This is because these people did not plant or grow food. They would raid farms and steal the food and kill anyone who resisted. This was the “law” that they lived by. So, what laws there were, varied from city to city or kingdom to kingdom.

 Much of the laws at the time were based on revenge. If someone was killed by another person, regardless if that person died by an accident or was murdered, the family would appoint an avenger of blood to go and kill the person who caused the death of their family member. God’s Law allowed for mercy in the case of an accidental death but not for murder. The sixth commandment is, “You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13 NASB

 The purpose of the Law is to bring justice and righteousness to the world with a uniform law that would be consistent throughout the world.

 As we read on we can see that the Law given by God deals with the underlying influences of the laws of the nations around them such as power, favoritism, traditions, and of course money, profit, and the devaluing of different people groups like the poor and so on.

 Moses writes all the ordinances down in what is called the book of the Covenant. He reads this book to the people who respond that they will do all that God has said and a covenant is made between the people and God. He will be their God and they will be His people. God sees this covenant as a covenant of marriage that is to never be broken.

 In 2 Corinthians 3 the Apostle Paul describes the Law as glorious and to the people it was.  It was good news to a people living in a corrupt and lawless world. The rule of law gives hope and certainty, if it is accepted and followed. Unfortunately, man has a sin nature and the law can be resisted, altered to favor certain groups, and thus corrupted. 

 In Romans 7 Paul tells us that the Law is holy, righteous and good, yet it seems like it fails. It has not. The Law points out our true nature and what is really going on in our heart. There will be a need for a new covenant where God is going to write His Law not on stone but on our hearts. This will take place years later.  We will read about it later but for now the Law must do its work and Israel will introduce it to the world but there is much more ahead.

 Be Blessed

Pastor Dave