Friday, June 14, 2019

The Covenant Renewed

"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" (Deuteronomy 10:4).

If a nation forsakes the Lord and begins to trust itself, committing idolatry, God promises to bring judgment (Deuteronomy 8:19–20). Is there any hope? Indeed there is, and Moses leads the people toward that hope by pointing them back to their own history.

At Mount Sinai, the people accepted the covenant God offered and promised to obey it. Then Moses ascended the mountain to receive further instruction from God (Exodus 24). While Moses was gone the people forsook the Lord and began to worship at the golden calf. This brought the judgment of God upon them (Deuteronomy 9:7–17).

God told Moses that He would blot out Israel. As a sign that God, the High King of Israel, was dissolving His treaty of peace with them, Moses broke the tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments. The official document of the covenant arrangement between God and Israel was officially broken; hence, there was nothing to stop God from annihilating them.

God offered Moses the opportunity to become a new Abraham, the father of a new race of people who would become a replacement for Israel. Amazingly, Moses refused this great offer. Instead, Moses stood between God and Israel, pleading for Israel. He fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights, and he argued with God until God relented and renewed the covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 9:18–29).

God allowed Himself to be persuaded by Moses’ intercession, making a new covenant because the first had been destroyed by sin. God told Moses to chisel new stone tablets and to make a chest (ark) in which to put them. God rewrote the Ten Commandments with His finger and Moses put them in the ark. Thus, the ark of the covenant resembled a veil that protected Israel from the wrath and judgment of God (Deuteronomy 10:1–5).

Moses rehearsed this history for Israel to teach them that if they fell into sin they could still repent. God was ready to receive them and restore the covenant if through repentance they turned back to Him. If, however, they would not repent, they would be destroyed.

We see how big the heart of Moses was and how he was willing to sacrifice personal advantage for the sake of God’s people. Today and this weekend, meditate on the fact that it is now Jesus who stands between you and God, pleading with God to forgive your many sins. Thank God for Jesus’ intercession on your behalf.