All too often, we Christians want to complicate Christianity. We come up with rules we think must govern what it means to be a Christian. We make up rituals and rites and all manner of complication that have nothing to do with the Christian life.
It is our purpose in this series to cut through all the rituals and rules and expose the true essence of Christianity. Hopefully, by the time this series is complete, everyone reading it will see how truly simple Christianity is.
If you have not read the earlier posts on this subject, find the “Categories” list in the right-hand column of this page and click on “Christianity 101.” This will pull up all the previous posts so you can read through them in order.
Last week, we examined the Abrahamic Covenant. Like the Adamic and Noahic Covenants, it was a permanent covenant, meaning its provisions are still in full effect today, just as they were at the time the covenant was made.
Today, we look at a different type of covenant: the Mosaic Covenant. I know my Jewish friends will take exception to my next statement, and I don’t want to offend any of them, but the Mosaic Covenant was a temporary covenant. It provided the law which governed God’s people until the New Covenant was perfected by Jesus’s death on the cross and His subsequent resurrection. Since Jews don’t recognize this, they still live under and honor the Mosaic Covenant, but as Christians we live under the New Covenant.
The Mosaic Covenant was given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, and it was recorded by Moses in Exodus 20 through 31. I won’t bog you down with the entire twelve-chapter covenant here, since it would make this blog far too long for anyone to want to read.
He starts out in Chapter 20 by giving us the Ten Commandments. Then He goes on through the next eleven chapters delineating the Mosaic Laws. If you really want to appreciate being under the New Covenant, read through these chapters and imagine trying to live up to each and every one of them.
Some of the interesting items covered here are how long a Hebrew slave must work for you if you buy him and what to do with a female slave you have purchased. The law goes on the cover what to do when a master injures a slave along with what to do if an ox gores a man to death. It also cover what to do if someone steals an ox or a sheep. It goes into what to do if a man seduces a virgin and that a sorceress is to be put to death.
It goes into what feast are to be celebrated and exactly how they are to be celebrated. Then it talks about the conquest of the land He has promised them and how He will go before them.
The rest goes into all sorts of detail about what Moses and the people are to do. He includes details of how the Ark of the Covenant is to be made.
As I said earlier, this covenant was superseded by the New Covenant. For that reason, I won’t continue going into details about its provisions. I do think there are a couple of things about it worth discussing.
As I already mentioned, it differs from the first three covenants we discussed in that it covered a specific period of time, while they were ongoing. It also differs from the first three in another way.
In each of the first three covenants, God talked about what He would do. He did not tell Adam or Noah or Abraham, “You do this, and I’ll do that.” He just volunteered to send an offspring of Eve’s who would bruise the serpent’s head. He just promised Noah he would never again flood the world—nothing required in return. In His covenant with Abram, He did require Abram to leave his home, but it was to lead him to a better place. There was no detailed list of do’s and dont’s like He gave to Moses.
From our 21st century vantage point, we can look back in history and see that God was always true to His word in fulfilling these covenants. We know Who bruised the serpent’s head. We know God has not flooded the world or sent any other worldwide disaster since Noah survived the flood. We know a great nation descended from Abram. We know God protected His people, Israel.
As 21st-century Christians, we have no excuse for doubting God. He has proven His faithfulness over and over again through the centuries. We should take this as a great comfort.
If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.
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