Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Why did God deliver the Ten Commandments at Sinai with fear-inducing thunder, lightning, an earthquake, fire, an ominous trumpet blast, and a death boundary around the mountain (Ex. 19:16-19)?
Did He frighten Abraham when He delivered to him the New Covenant? We read that He melted Abraham's heart with the revelation of His love and wrote the Ten Commandments upon his believing heart (Gen. 12:2, 3; 15:1-7; Gal. 3:8). Why this awesome display at Sinai?
Before Israel left Egypt He gave them the same Good News He had given Abraham 430 years earlier, but the people didn't listen (Ex. 6:2-9). Then at Sinai He renewed the promise He had made to Abraham (19:4-6). But the people in unbelief invented for themselves the Old Covenant idea of disregarding God's promise to them and substituting their own to Him (vss. 7, 8).
Paul in his Letter to the Galatians appears as the first Israelite to discern the meaning of Israel's history: "the law ... was added [or emphasized or underlined] because of [their] transgressions, till the Seed [Christ] should come to whom the promise was made" (3:19). They thought they were able to do everything the Lord said to do, so now He had to impress on their minds their helplessness to obey and their need of His much more abounding grace.
In Paul's words, "the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came [in everybody's personal experience], we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the [Ten Commandment] law was our tutor ["schoolmaster," KJV) to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" as Abraham was (vss. 22-24).
Thus "the law" led Israel on that long detour of ups and downs in their history after Sinai. Finally, instead of believing as Abraham did, they crucified their Messiah; but now we have the opportunity to believe!
We don't need another long detour; let's "believe" today as God intends we shall!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 29, 2006.
Copyright © 2017 by "Dial Daily Bread."