FIRST POSTED ON 1 APRIL 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
In our previous session, we saw how, on the Fourth Day of Creation, God made the greater and lesser lights, and how these lights were prophetic of Jesus the Greater and True Light and of God’s people - Israel and the Church - who were to be the lesser lights to reflect His glory to the world. In this and the next few sessions, let us dig deeper into how God first equipped Israel for this purpose.
When God rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, His reason was not only to preserve His chosen people out of whom Jesus would be born. They were also to become His kingdom of priests and holy nation to draw all nations to worship the one true God in Jesus. God prepared Israel for this role during its one-year stopover at Mt Sinai after escaping from Egypt by first giving the nation His Law - also known as the Law of Moses or, more commonly, the Ten Commandments. The Law was like a National Constitution or Agreement binding Israel to God. In Ex 19:5, God said, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.” We all know from the Bible that Israel failed to keep God’s Law. In fact, none of us is able to meet up to God’s standards of righteousness. In Rom 3:20, Paul said “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
No one, that is, except Jesus. You see, when God gave Israel the Law, the Israelites thought that the Law was given for them to follow in perfect obedience. They did not understand God’s real intention, which was actually - by their very inability to keep the Law - for Israel to thereby lift up the Law like a banner before the entire world to expose our utter sinfulness and inability to meet God’s standard of righteousness and holiness, and therefore our great need for Jesus, who alone was able to fulfill the requirements of the Law (References). God already knew that neither Israel nor anyone of us for that matter would be able to perfectly obey the Law. His purpose in giving Israel the Law was so that through it, Israel would unwittingly serve as God’s lesser light uncovering man’s true condition and pointing them to the only One who could save them.
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