As Moses was leading the people of Israel to the Promised Land, God had assured them that He would go with them and protect them. Moses was to be the mediator between the people and God. It is through Moses that God gave the Israelites the commandments. They had entered into a covenant relationship with the Lord Almighty. They consecrated themselves to God and said that they would do everything the Lord has said. Unfortunately, they didn’t fulfill their part of the covenant.
A covenant is when two or more parties come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, and responsibilities. God provided the details when He met with Moses on Mount Sinai and gave him the 10 commandments. He also gave him many other laws that you can read in Exodus 21-23. It was all spelled out for them to follow. The nature of a true covenant is to keep all of it. Keeping only some of it and violating the rest is not keeping it at all.
Every generation and newcomers to the community had to receive and endorse this covenant from the Lord. That would have been done by the previous generation living it out and upholding it before their children and community. If this did not happen then the next generation would not know and sense the importance of this covenant from a Holy God.
Moses did everything to lead the people in placing a priority on the covenant relationship established with God. There were five parts to this process of keeping the covenant before the people: the altar, the twelve stones of remembrance representing the twelve tribes, animal sacrifices for their sins, blood application, and the reading of the covenant. All of this prepared the people and kept the ongoing relationship fresh.
In Exodus 24 we read that the covenant was confirmed. Moses heard the call of God to come up to the Lord and he did just that. After returning, he told the people all of the Lord’s words and laws. In verse 3 it says, “…they responded with one voice, ‘Everything the Lord has said we will do.’”
If you keep reading the rest of the chapter, you will notice that Moses goes up to the mountain again and spends forty days with the Lord. I keep seeing a time when the leader is continually renewing and sharpening. There is something about not taking our relationship with the Lord for granted. In order to be in a true covenant with God there has to be an ongoing consecration and time spent with the Law Giver.
May the Lord find you hungering for more of Him today and may your face glow with the radiance of God for all the world to see.
Be praying for our services on Sunday as you prepare to worship the Lord with your church family.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene