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The Law of God in the Patriarchal Age

 

Sin and the Law

 

Can there be sin where there is no law?

 

“Because law brings wrath. And where there is no law, there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15, 5:13. 

 

Through what is the knowledge of sin obtained?

 

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.” Romans 3:20; 7:7.

 

Was sin in the world before the law was given on Mount Sinai?

 

For before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.” Romans 5:13.

 

Adam and His Sons

 

When did sin and death enter the world?

 

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12.

 

What shows that God imputed sin to Cain?

 

“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out into the field. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.” Genesis 4:7-11.

 

What was the difference from Cain and Abel?

 

“Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.”

1 John 3:12.

 

Note – It is the law of God that distinguishes between right and wrong. Therefore, the law of God must have existed at that time.

“1. God gave to Adam a law, as a covenant of works, by which he bound him and all his posterity to personal, entire, exact, and perpetual obedience; promised life upon the fulfilling, and threatened death upon the breech of it; and endued him with power and ability to keep it.

“2. This law, after his fall, continued to be a perfect rule of righteousness; and, as such was delivered by God [Michael/Jesus] upon Mount Sinai in Ten Commandments, and written on two tables; the first four commandments containing our duty towards God, and the other six our duty to man.

 

The Days of Noah

 

What situation upon the earth led God to destroy it by a Flood?

 

“So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” Genesis 6:13.

 

What is Noah called?

 

“If he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others.” 2 Peter 2:5.

 

Note – Noah must have preached repentance and obedience of faith that brings the life into harmony with the law of God.

 

The Time of Lot and Abraham

 

Why did God make His promise to the seed of Abraham?

 

“Because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws.” Genesis 26:5. 

 

Note – Then God’s laws existed in Abraham’s time.

 

Why did the Lord destroy Sodom?

 

“Now the men of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.” Genesis 13:13.

 

What was the character of their deeds?

 

“And if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard).” 2 Peter 2:7,8.

 

Note – Their deeds would not have been unlawful had there been no law then in existence. Unlawful means “contrary to law.”

 

What did God say concerning the Amorites?

 

“In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” Genesis 15:16.

 

Note – Ahab “did very abominably in following idols, according to all the things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel. 1 Kings 21:26. “You must not live according to the customs of the nations I am going to drive out before you. Because they did all these things, I abhorred them.” Leviticus 20:23.

The statement that “they committed all these things’ refers to what had been previously forbidden to the Israelites. Among these things was idolatrous worship (Leviticus 20:1-5), showing that the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, were amenable to the law of God, and were abhorred of God for violating it.

 

Joseph and Moses

 

What did Joseph, in Egypt, say when tempted to sin?

 

“No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9.   

 

Before giving the law at Sinai, how did God rebuke the people for going out to gather manna on the seventh day?

 

‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?” Exodus 16:28. 

 

Had the Lord previously spoken of the Sabbath?

 

Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the Lord.” Verse 23. 

 

Before the encampment at Sinai, what had Moses taught Israel?

 

‘Whenever they had a dispute, it was brought to me, and I will decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws.” Exodus 18:16.

 

Note – All this shows that the law of God existed from the beginning, and was known and taught in the world before it was proclaimed at Sinai. 

 

 

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