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  The Great Bible Story #33
Israel gets the Law

Jacob Ninan
The reason why God chose Israel was to train them in His ways and to show them as a model to all other nations. Later He would also bring out the Saviour of the world through them.

After leaving Egypt they came to the plains of Mount Sinai. God asked Moses to go up the mountain, and the people to stay away. He showed His presence with fire on the top of the mountain with smoke and quaking. God spoke to Moses at the top and gave him ten commandments for the people which He wrote on two tablets of stone. These commandments became the basis of the covenant God made with the people of Israel.

1. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.

5. Honour your father and your mother.

6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

10. You shall not covet your neighbour's house; you shall not covet your neighbour's wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Jesus explained when He came that these commandments were just at the introductory level and that what God really wanted was holiness and faithfulness in our hearts. But this was what God could give to Israel at their level. God also gave them many other laws pertaining to their worship, sacrifices, hygiene, relationships, etc., to teach them to reverence Him and to help them to understand His ways in a symbolic manner. It was only when Jesus came that these commandments rose to their full meaning and purpose.

God established a covenant with the people of Israel saying that if they kept these commandments He would bless them. But He also warned them that if they disobeyed, curses would come upon them. The people promised that they would do everything that He told them. God's goal was to show them their boundaries to protect them, and instruct them so that they would finally be ready for a new covenant which He would bring up through Jesus.

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Comfort & Counsel