Law Given at Sinai
How does Nehemiah
describe the giving of the law at Sinai?
You came down on
Mount Sinai; you spoke to them from heaven. You
gave them regulations and laws that are just and
right, and decrees and commands that are good.
You made known to them your holy Sabbath and gave
them commands, decrees and laws through your
servant Moses. Nehemiah 9:13,14.
What is the chief
advantage possessed of the Jews?
then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is
there in circumcision? Much in every way! First
of all, they have been entrusted with the very
words of God.
Note The law was
not spoken at this time exclusively for the
Hebrews. God honored them by making them the
guardians and keepers of His Law, to be held by
them as a sacred trust for the whole world. The
precepts of the Decalogue are adapted to all
mankind, and they were given for the instruction
and government of all.
We have already seen
that, unlike the ceremonial and civil codes which
were given to Israel as the chosen people and
holy nation, the moral law is intended for all
mankind, and it has never been abrogated nor
The Moral Law
the law at Sinai, how did Moses judge?
Whenever they had a
dispute, it was brought to me, and I decide
between the parties and inform them of Gods
decrees and laws. Exodus 18:16.
wilderness, before Israel reached Sinai, how did
Moses explain the absence of manna on the seventh
He said to them,
This is what the Lord commanded: Tomorrow
is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the
Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil
want you want to boil. Save whatever is left and
keep it until morning. So they saved
it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did
not stink or get maggots in it. Eat it
today, Moses said, because today is a
Sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it
on the ground today. Six days you are to gather
it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there
will not be any.
When some went
out to gather manna on the seventh day, what did
the Lord say to Moses?
Then the Lord said
to Moses, How long will you refuse to
keep my commands and my instructions? Verse
Note It is evident
therefore that the Sabbath and the law of God
existed before the law was given at Sinai.
evidence have we that the moral law existed prior
to its proclamation at Mount Sinai?
For just as through
the disobedience of the one man the many were
made sinners, so also through the obedience of
the one man the many will be made righteous.
Romans 5:19. Everyone who sins breaks the
law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 1 John
Note The one man
through whom sin entered into the world was Adam.
Since sin is the transgression of the law, it
follows that the law existed in Eden; else there
would have been no transgression, no sin.
How was the Ten
Commandments law first given at Sinai?
And the Lord spoke
all these words: I am the Lord your God,
who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of
slavery. You shall have no other gods
before me. Exodus 20: 1-3.
How did God
present the law to Israel in permanent form?
When the Lord
finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he
gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the
tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God.
Note The law of
God, as well as the knowledge of creation, the
plan of redemption, and the experience of the
early patriarchs, had been handed down from
father to son until this time, but not in written
form. He wrote the Ten Commandments upon two
tables of stone with His own finger.
How did Moses
show that the children of Israel had broken their
covenant with God?
approached the camp and saw the [golden] calf and
the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the
tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces
at the foot of the mountain. Exodus 32:19.
exactness did the Lord write the law again?
The Lord wrote
on these tablets what he had written before,
the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you
on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day
of the assembly. And the Lord gave them to me.
Where did Moses
place these two tables of stone?
Then I came back
down the mountain and put the tablets in the
ark I had made, as the Lord commanded me, and
they are there now. Verse 5.
What other law
was given at this time?
finished writing in a book the words of this
law from beginning to end, he gave to the
Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of
the Lord. Deuteronomy 31:24.
Note Besides the
Ten Commandments law, the Lord gave to Moses
instruction concerning the sanctuary service,
which was ceremonial, and civil laws regulating
the subjects of the nation. These laws were
written by Moses in a book, and are called
the law of Moses, whereas the other law was
written on tables of stone with the finger of
Obedience to Law
Why did the Lord
take His people out of Egypt?
He brought out his
people with rejoicing, his chosen one with shouts
of joy; he gave them the land of the nations, and
they fell heir to what others had toiled for
that they might keep his precepts and
observe his laws. Praise the Lord. Psalm
How were they to
teach the law to their children?
Impress them on the
children. Talk about them when you sit at home
and when you walk along the road, when you lie
down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:7.
What promise to
Israel hinged on keeping the instructions He gave
Now if you obey me
fully and keep my covenant, then out of all
the nations you will be my treasured possession.
Although the whole earth is mine, you will be a
kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are
the words you are to speak to the Israelites.
Exodus 19:5, 6.
Was this promise
made to the Jews alone?
The Lord had said
to Abram, Leave your country, your people
and your fathers household and go to the
land I will show you. I will make you into
a great nation and I will bless you; I will make
our name great, and you will be a blessing. I
will bless those that bless you, and whoever
curses you I will curse; and all the peoples
on earth will be blessed through you.
Genesis 12:1-3. If you belong to Christ,
then you are Abrahams seed, and heirs
according to the promise. Galatians 3:29.
Note From these
texts it will be readily seen that God had not
one provision of grace and one law for the Jew
and another means of salvation for the Gentile;
but the plan was that through Abrahams seed
all the families of the earth should be
recipients of divine grace and should receive the
blessing through obedience.
The Christian and
What shows that
the Ten Commandments law given at Sinai is the
law for the Christians?
For whoever keeps
the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point
is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said,
Do not commit adultery, also said,
Do not murder. If you do not commit
adultery but commit murder, you have become a
lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going
to be judged by the law that gives freedom,
because judgment without mercy will be shown to
anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs
over judgment! James 2:10-12.
Note James, years
after the Christian era began emphasizes the
obligation of the Christian to keep the law of
the Ten Commandments, not merely one precept, but
all, and sets forth this law as the standard by
which men will be judged in the great day of God.
To us, as Christians, God has committed the
blessed law in writing, as He did to ancient
Israel. This law points out sin to us, that we
may confess it and find forgiveness. And when
this law is written in the hearts in the new
covenant experience (Hebrews 8:10), it also
becomes to us the law of life.
What is the wages
But the wages of
sin is death. Romans 6:23. But
you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil, for when you eat of it you
will surely die. Genesis 2:17. For
every living soul belongs to me, the father as
well as the son both alike belong to me.
The soul who sins is the one who will die.
How did death
enter the world?
Therefore, just as
sin entered the world through one man, and death
through sin, and in this way death came to
all men, because all sinned. Romans 5:12.
God is merciful,
but does this clear the guilty?
The Lord is slow to
anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and
rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty
unpunished, he punishes the children for the
sin of their fathers to the third and fourth
generation. Numbers 14:18. (See Exodus
What is the
result of willful sin?
deliberately keep on sinning after we have
received the knowledge of the truth, no
sacrifice for sins is left but only a fearful
expectation of judgment and of raging fire that
will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who
rejected the law of Moses died without mercy
on the testimony of two witnesses. How much
more severely do you think a man deserves to
be punished who has trampled the Son of God under
foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the
blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and
who has insulted the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:
To whom is
execution of judgment given?
Do not take
revenge, my friends, but leave room for Gods
wrath, for it is written: It is mine to
avenge; I will repay says the Lord.
Romans 12:19. For as the Father has
life in himself, so he has granted the Son to
have life in himself. And he has given authority
to judge because he is the Son of Man.
John 5:26,27. (See Jude 14,15.)
course do many pursue?
When the sentence
for a crime is not quickly carried out, the
hearts of the people are filled with schemes to
do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8:11.
What message has
God sent to His ministers?
Tell the righteous
it will be well with them, for they will
enjoy the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the
wicked! Disaster is upon them! They will be
paid back for what their hands have done.
Isaiah 3:10,11. We are therefore Christs
ambassadors, as though God were making his
appeal through us. We implore you on Christs
behalf. 2 Corinthians 5:20 (See also
2 Timothy 2:24-26.)
How can man
escape the penalty of sin?
For the wages of
sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Note God threatens
to punish all who transgress these Commandments:
we should therefore, fear His anger, and do
nothing against such Commandments. But He
promises grace and every blessing to all that
keep them: we should therefore, love and trust in
Him, and gladly obey His Commandments.