8th lesson in OT Vistas series1 & 2: Creator & Crown of creation – God’s special relationship with mankind3 & 4: Fall & Flood – God as judge & redeemer5 & 6: Abraham & Joseph – God makes promises & keeps themGod entered into a covenantal relationship with Abraham (Gen 12 & 15)Promised descendants would become a great nation who would bless the worldEssence: “I will be their God, and they will be my people”Last time (7th lesson): Yahweh provides the way out for his peopleFocus on God’s part — faithfulness; rescue his children from captivityToday: Man’s part — what does it mean to be “his people”?
There is a conditional element to the covenantGod is going to keep his promises no matter what — unconditionalBut if any individual is to receive the blessing … going to truly be part of the covenantal community … then he must be obedient to the requirements of the covenant
Not a surpriseStarted with Adam/Eve — tree of knowledge – command to obey includes possibility of disobeying & consequencesAbraham, Isaac & Jacobwere all required to respond in faithful obedienceFrom the outside, you look like you are part of God’s communityDoes not mean you truly are part the communityBlessings of the covenant relationship are conditional on obedience
God calls all of his covenantal people to obedience — if receive blessings
Exodus 20 and the Ten Commandments — look like to live within the communityYahweh’s declaration stands at the center of the OT Law
Yahweh is their (only) God — a fundamental principle (OT and NT)V 2 stands the core propositionTen Commandments work out the implications of this central affirmationBriefly summarize the Ten Commandments
First four commandments focus on GodYahweh is my GodFrom this flow the first 4 commandments — how we relate to God
First four commandments focus on GodBecause YHWH is God (v 2) therefore … 1. He will take no place but first placeGod demands pre-eminence — sole allegianceGod will brook no rivals — he will not competeGod’s of this world — self; power; independence — fade into the distance
2. The right imageProhibits images for worship or venerationPacker (Knowing God) — prohibits images, periodWhy no images? Of all creation, what bears the image of God? Gen 1:26-27V 5 — Human jealousy can be a good thingI will not share Mary— at any intimate levelUsually, human jealousy is a sinful thing.Divine jealousy is always a good thing.God will not share us with other gods.Gods that compete are whatever we treasure the most
3. There is something in a nameTo take God’s name in vain, is to trivialize his name and hence his person.Not just swearing — not just what we sayTaking what is holy and treating it as profane, common — speech; actionsDo nothing to trivialize God, degrade him, detract from himPositively: in everything we do/say, may it bring glory to GodPeople will praise him (think well of him) because of us
4. Rest is blessedGod established a pattern in creation, and he calls us to follow it.Yahweh is my GodFrom this flow the first 4 commandments — how we relate to God
Last Six Commandments focus on our neighbor — spell out v 2YHWH is my God; he is also my neighbor’s God!My neighbor bears God’s image, as do I!How will I treat my neighbor, who is loved by God, and who bears God’s image?
Establishes the authority of the parents over the children.
6-9 deal with taking things from your neighborIf Yahweh is your God, you will not take another’s life (20:13), another’s spouse (20:14), another’s property (20:15), another’s reputation/freedom (20:16).
10. Contentment or resentment20:17 — “not covet” (wanting what belongs to others)Like the first commandment in that it deals with the heartSpecifically, the heart attitude that leads to breaking commandments 6-9The heart that does not covet does not kill, commit adultery, steal, or lie
How do these Ten Commandments come into the NT?How did Jesus understand them?
Mark 12:28-31Quotes 2 OT passages that sum up the 10 CommandmentsPath covenantal blessing
1. Deut 6:4 — Love GodShema and Mk 12:29 both start with Ex 20:2 “I am YHWH your God”Sums up the essence of the first four of the Ten Commandments.If you love God above all else1. You will put God first and worship him only.2. You will not make him compete with the gods of this world.Matthew 6:24 NIV “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.3. You will not do anything to diminish his glory.Treat God as normal, everyday, as profane4. Show it by making the Lord’s Day different from all the rest. (Lord’s Day is Sunday)Cycle of rest and worship is part of the fabric of creation — not culturalAnother way: If I love God, I will want to worship him (NT: worship is not limited in place and time — 24/7)One of God’s ways of worshiping is to set aside one day of the week as his.If you love God, don’t you want to worship him along with other like-minded people?
Leviticus 19:18 — If you love your neighbor …5. You will start at home and honor your parents — closest neighbors6. You will not take his life7. You will not take his wife8. You will not take his stuff9. You will not take his reputation/freedom10. You will not covet, because covetousness is the opposite of love.
Two extremesWe are justified by faithBut we are to be changed people live changed livesTwo extreme views that are out of balance
1. Think that external obedience is all that God requiresTen Commandments are not merely external rules, otherwise “love” would not be a fulfillment of the law.To hate is to break the 6th commandmentMatthew 5:21-22 NIV “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.To lust is to break the 7th commandmentMatthew 5:27-28 NIV "You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.The Ten Commandments give form and structure to what love should produce
2. Think obedience is unnecessaryThere is a sickness being preached — “Moment of positive volition”Magic prayer, magic hand, and receive the “Get out of Hell free” cardHoliness always matters!Your reception of the blessings of covenant is conditional — Exod 19:5a
May we find the middle ground — balanceNotice the orderStart with our view of God. If we truly love him, that love will flow into a love for others
It all begins with putting a genuine love for God at the center of your life.
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Old Testament Vistas<br />
There is a conditional element to the covenant<br />
Exo 19:1-5a NIV<br />In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt—on the very day—they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. <br />
Exo 19:1-5a NIV<br />Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel:<br />
Exo 19:1-5a NIV<br />“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. <br />
1 Cor 10:1-12 NIV<br />For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. …<br />
1 Cor 10:1-12 NIV<br />Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert. Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. <br />
1 Cor 10:1-12 NIV<br />Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry.” We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. <br />
1 Cor 10:1-12 NIV<br />We should not test the Lord, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. <br />
1 Cor 10:1-12 NIV<br />These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!<br />
Yahweh’s declaration is central to OT Law<br />
Exo 20:1-2 NIV<br />And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”<br />
The first four commands focus on our God<br />
No place but first place<br />Exodus 20:3 NIV “You shall have no other gods before me.”<br />Exodus 20:3 NLT “You must not have any other god but Me.”<br />
The right image<br />Exodus 20:4-6 NIV “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;<br />
The right image<br />for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”<br />
Something in a name<br />Exodus 20:7 NIV “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.<br />
Rest is blessed<br />Exodus 20:8-11 NIV “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. …<br />
Rest is blessed<br />For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.<br />
The last six commands focus on our neighbors<br />
Honor to whom due<br />Exodus 20:12 NIV “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”<br />
Hands off<br />Exodus 20:13-16 NIV “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal. “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.<br />
Contentment or resentment<br />Exodus 20:17 NIV “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”<br />
Mark 12:28-31 NIV<br />One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”<br />
Mark 12:28-31 NIV<br />“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’<br />
Mark 12:28-31 NIV<br />The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”<br />
Deut 6:4-6 NIV<br />Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.<br />
Lev 19:18-19a NIV<br />“‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. “‘Keep my decrees. ...”<br />
Rom 13:8-10 NIV<br />Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”<br />
Rom 13:8-10 NIV<br />and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.<br />
External Only<br />Obedience is all God requires<br />Romans 13:9-10 NIV The commandments, … are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.<br />
Internal Only<br />Obedience is unnecessary<br />Exodus 19:5a NIV Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.<br />