March 5, 2017

Exodus 24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.”

I find myself a little confused here by something I had never noticed before. This refers to “the Book of the Covenant,” but it is after this that the stone tablets with God’s law and commands are given to Moses (verse 12). The 10 Commandments are given in Exodus 20, but many other commands are given after that, and it certainly would not have all fit on two stone tablets. Moses ended up writing a great deal, from Genesis through Deuteronomy, and I find myself wondering how much of that was in this Book of the Covenant. The people of Israel had a profound ignorance of God and His ways and needed a lot of instruction, but what was given when and how seems less than clear to me. The Books of Moses were obviously edited at least once, and quite possibly several times, after his death, and I can’t help but wonder what additions those later editors might have made. In any case, however much had been recorded at this point, when the people heard it they responded in submission to God. That’s a very appropriate response, but as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Like mankind throughout history, their obedience was partial at best. Every bit of the Old Testament points to the New, because it is only in Christ that we are truly made righteous, and it is only by the indwelling Holy Spirit that we are empowered to live as children of God.

This of course applies to me as much as it does to anyone. I am not to split academic hairs about what was written when, or even by whom, but submit my heart and mind to God for the Holy Spirit to show me what He meant by it in the first place. I am not to dismiss any of the Bible, but again allow the Holy Spirit to show me how it is to be applied in my life today. I really like the Japanese expression that is used frequently in the Bible. Where English translations just say, “obey,” the Japanese says, “listen and obey” (or, “listen obediently). I need to keep my heart tuned to God to hear Him, and I need to maintain my commitment to do all that He says, for His glory.

Father, thank You for this reminder. There is much I have yet to learn about You and Your Word. It’s a glorious adventure! Help me keep moving toward You in every way so that I may be effective in drawing others with me, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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