The Ten Commandments and the Covenant

14th November, 2011 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

Since September I have been teaching God’s Great Covenant: Old Testament 1 to a women’s Sunday School Class. It’s been a good review for me, and each week I’ve been learning something new as well.  While preparing for the lesson on the Ten Commandments I found this quote in Michael Williams’ book As Far As the Curse Is Found:

“There is not commanded what establishes the relationship to Yahweh, but prohibited what destroys it.”

This gave me a new understanding of the purpose of the Ten Commandments. In the story of redemption the exodus came before Mt. Sinai. God’s redemption from the bondage of Egypt, a representative symbol of our deliverance from sin, came before God gave the law at Mt. Sinai.  The law was given not before Israel’s redemption but afterwards. In other words, the Israelites did not become God’s people because they obeyed the law; instead the law was God’s gift to them to let them know what would destroy the relationship that they already had with the LORD God. 

The LORD God wanted the Israelites and us to know that keeping the law doesn’t create our relationship with Him, but disobeying the law can separate us from the Lord who wants to be close to us. What a different way to think about the Ten Commandments and what a wonderful gift God has given to us, His people!

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