The Marriage Covenant of God and Israel

Fred R. Coulter—May 26, 2012

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Day 49, the Sabbath before Pentecost, 2012. Every year we come to this. Every year we get a step closer to the coming of the Kingdom of God. Every day we get closer to fulfilling the purpose of God in our lives with His Spirit.

We know from the Bible that there are many things that we can learn. One of the things that we're going to cover today will be the marriage covenant between the Lord God and the children of Israel. The covenant that He entered into them with is just exactly like a marriage covenant. As a matter of fact, we will see that God said to them, 'I am your husband.'

We know the covenant that God gave to Abraham, then to Isaac and to Jacob, now fulfilling the promise that He gave for the children of Israel. So, He rescued them out of the land of Egypt. At one time they had become so evil that God even said that He would destroy them in the land of Egypt, but He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

We know the account that God, at the appointed time, raised up Moses and sent him and then his brother Aaron to be His spokesman to all the land of Egypt and all the children of Israel, and God began to bring the plagues upon Egypt to let His people go.

Just think about all the plagues that were there. When you study those and look at those and compare them with the book of Revelation, you will see that these are the same weapons that God always uses.

The final plague was the killing of the firstborn of the Egyptians—man and beast—and sparing the children of Israel. Because of the blood of the lamb on the upper doorposts and the sideposts, their firstborn was spared. We have seen that the beginning of the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a day of dedication of the firstborn to God, and a day of redemption of the firstborn to God. He says, 'All that opens the womb belong to Me.' All the males belong to God. All the females were to have a thank offering offered for them. Of the animals that they could take to the Feast, and they could offer and sacrifice and they could eat and enjoy the Feast.

God took them seven weeks to come to Mt. Sinai. When they got to Mt. Sinai, it was quite a thing. Here is where God was going to talk to all the people. Here is where the great ceremony would take place:

  • The presence of God!
  • The voice of God!
  • The people all assembled before God!

Let's come to Exodus 19 and see the marriage proposal that God gave. We will see that just like all marriage proposals for people wanting to get married, how do you propose it? Will you marry me? And she says 'yes!' Then there comes a covenant and with the covenant agreement, with all the things having to do with a marriage.

Here we find that God gave the marriage proposal, Exodus 19:3: "And Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, 'Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel, "You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto Myself"'" (vs 3-4). That means they were under the protection of God. They had to walk all the way and it took seven weeks for them to get there.

Verse 5: "Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…" Notice the parts of the covenant, and notice that this proposal is very simple. Just like in a marriage proposal, when you say 'yes' none of the details of life have yet to unfold—right? Yes! But when the proposal has been accepted and the wedding ceremony takes place, then you find out the terms and conditions of the role of the husband/the role of the wife. Then you enter into covenant and say, 'I do.' You say, 'I do' before God! God holds you accountable for it, and it is until death do you part in all circumstances.

Likewise with God and the children of Israel once God entered into this covenant—even if the children of Israel did not fulfill their part of the covenant—because God is perfect, Holy, righteous and good and will always fulfill His part. We're going to see exactly what God proposed.

Verse 5: "Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed…" The condition is always upon us as human beings. Because God is perfect, He cannot lie! He will fulfill His will! He wanted to bless Israel at all times, but He also knew that He had to set before them life and death, good and evil, blessing and cursing. He knew that if He did not, then He would have to bless them regardless of the circumstances, and regardless of what they did.

Here's the condition: "…obey My voice, indeed, and keep My covenant…" (v 5). He hasn't told them all of what the covenant is. We know that it's based on the Ten Commandments, because those are called 'the words of the covenant.' That means the foundational words, not the whole covenant. All the Ten Commandments have other statutes, ordinances, judgments, laws and precepts that are drawn from the Ten Commandments.

We have the if and the then: "…then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine" (v 5). Once that happened:

  • What were they to do?
  • How were they to obey God?
  • What was God going to do with them?
  • Why enter into this covenant with the children of Israel?

God promised it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—didn't He? Yes, He did! Why enter into it? Because God wanted the children of Israel to be the premiere nation on the earth, to take the laws and commandments of God to all nations!

God promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that in the seed of Abraham all the nations and families of the earth would be blessed. Of course, that goes out way beyond from the covenant that God established with Israel.

Notice if, then, and and, v 6: "'And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation…. [we have a very simple proposal here.] …These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.' And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before them all these words which the LORD commanded him" (vs 6-7). They in turn took it to all the people.

Verse 8: "And all the people answered together and said, 'All that the LORD has spoken we will do.'…. [Remember something very important: When you tell God something you're going to do, you better do it. They said ALL.] …And Moses returned the words of the people to the LORD." God said, 'All right…"

Now, there's a whole lot more to come. Just like in a marriage. You get married, you have the ceremony, the words are said, you go through everything you propose to do, the minister pronounces you husband and wife, you kiss the bride, the bride kisses you, everyone's happy, you turn around and walk down the aisle, everyone is pleased, everything is glorious, everything is marvelous, and then life begins!

Remember, it's not always like you have thought, but you have bound yourself in an oath 'until death do us part'—whether in riches or poverty; whether in health or in difficulties; you are bound together for life until death do you part.

Verse 9: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Lo, I come to you in a thick cloud that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you forever.'…." (vs 9-10). He wanted them to be so impressed with this that they would believe Him all the rest of their lives and teach their children, and their children, and their children, and their children. This was quite a thing!

"…And Moses told the words of the people to the LORD. And the LORD said to Moses, 'Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. And be ready for the third day; for on the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai'" (vs 10-11). This was a fantastic and great event! Nothing like this had ever occurred in history. Nothing like this has ever occurred since that time with what God did with the children of Israel.

So then, they set the bounds and Moses told them not to go through the boundary. Don't come up and try and follow me up, lest you die. Don't have any animals loose, lest they die. Moses came down and told them to be ready the third day (vs 12-15 paraphrased).

Verse 16: "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain. And the sound of the trumpet was exceedingly loud so that all the people in the camp trembled." Never heard a thing like this before.

Verse 17: "And Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet with God. And they stood at the base of the mountain." All the people of God looking up at the dark clouds: the thunder, lighting, smoke, and the sound of the trumpet. God wanted to make an absolutely indelible impression upon their minds, that He was God and God alone! That they were His people called and selected by Him!

Verse 18: "And Mount Sinai was smoking, all of it because the LORD came down upon it in fire. And the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. And when the sound of the trumpet sounded long, and became very strong, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. And the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai on the top of the mountain. And the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up" (vs 18-20).

Then He gave a warning, v 21: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Go down. Command the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish. And let the priests also, who come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.' And Moses said to the LORD, 'The people cannot come up to Mount Sinai, for You commanded us, saying, "Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it."' And the LORD said to him, 'Away! Get you down, and only you shall come up, you and Aaron with you. But do not let the priests and the people break through to come up to the LORD, lest He break forth upon them'" (vs 21-24).

Now the stage is set! All the people are here and God has their attention. He gives the Ten Commandments, and upon this the whole covenant God would make with Israel: all the laws, the statutes, the judgments would be based upon this.

This is one thing that we should all do. We should all memorize the Ten Commandments—the long form as found in Exo. 20. All of these establish the covenant relationship between God and the people, and the people and God, and the people among themselves living in the nation of Israel.

  • How were they to conduct their lives?
  • What did God expect them to do?

Everything was based on the Ten Commandments.

  • Do you know the Ten Commandments by heart?
  • Can you say them all right now?
  • If not, you can read them!

We're not going to go through every one, but these are all important for us to understand concerning the Truth of God, how God thinks, and what we need to do. Let's also understand that in the New Testament everything is based upon faith, love, obeying Christ and God the Father, and having the commandments written in our heart and mind.

  • These things are eternal!
  • These things are spiritual!

Also, when you have people together in any form of family, community or society, there has to be laws, rules and regulations. You see, as human beings we all have the 'law of sin and death' within us. Unless we have the Holy Spirit of God, which rescues us from thelaw of sin and death and gives us the power to overcome the law of sin and death, that won't occur until the resurrection—pictured by tomorrow.

What we want to do is look at the marriage covenant relationship that God had with ancient Israel. We're going to see some parallels, because tomorrow we're going to talk about the covenant relationship that we will have with God at the resurrection. As we are called, our covenant relationship with God now begins with

  • baptism
  • repentance
  • receiving the Holy Spirit of God
  • walking in the way of God
  • living by every Word of God

We're going to see tomorrow there has got to be the wedding ceremony between Christ and the Church, Christ and the Bride, just like there was here.

There has to be a whole new spiritual covenant that we enter into with God the Father and Jesus Christ that is fitting for the Day of Pentecost. On this Day of Pentecost God gave them the Ten Commandments and the words that He wanted them to live by. He said, 'IF you will obey My voice, and IF you will keep My covenant then you shall be a peculiar people and treasure to Me above all people of the earth.' That should have excited the children of Israel, that they would have been willing to listen to God and do exactly what He said. Let's see what happened:

Exodus 20:18: "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. And when the people saw, they trembled and stood afar off. And they said to Moses, 'You speak with us, and we will hear. But let not God speak with us, lest we die.'…. [Of course, they wouldn't die! God called them for a special purpose.] …And Moses said to the people, 'Do not fear, for God has come to prove you…'" (vs 18-20). That's very interesting—isn't it?

  • Does God prove us? Yes, He does!
  • Are we going to enter into the Kingdom of God without being proven?
  • Are we not going to understand that it through:
    • the love of God
    • the faith of God
    • the Truth of God

and we prove:

    • by our behavior
    • by our thoughts
    • by our living
    • by our relationship with God

that we will be ready for the first resurrection? Let's think about that as we draw all the parallels between what is done here and what is going to happen when we are resurrected.

"'…and so that His fear may be before your faces, so that you may not sin.' And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was" (vs 20-21). Then Moses went up into the mountain. God gave him judgments, statutes and ordinances. Those are all contained in Exo. 21-23. All of these are laws based upon the Ten Commandments.

Now let's see how that God applies the Law. One of the commandments is, v 13[transcriber's correction]: "You shall not murder." And incorrect translation is "You shall not kill." God did order the Administration of Death to be carried out for those who sin grievously. Here are the judgments when sin comes.

  • What do you do?
  • What do you do when someone steals?
  • What do you do when someone lies?
  • What do you do when one of the animals runs wild and kills someone?
  • It's all listed here!

Exodus 21:12: "He that strikes a man, so that he dies, shall be surely put to death." That's premeditated murder. What if it wasn't premeditated murder? I want you to think about these things, and how even the laws of the nations of this world follow many of the laws of God.

Verse 13: "And if a man does not lie in wait, but God delivers him into his hand, then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee." In other words, if it's an accidental thing, then he would flee to a city of safety and stay there until inquiry and judgment was made.

Verse 14: "But if a man comes presumptuously upon his neighbor to slay him with guile, you shall take him from My altar so that he may die." God does not believe in life in prison. If you do a crime worthy of death, you forfeit your life. Look what happens when that is not followed. Look at the difficulties when you have lying judges and lying prosecutors and lying testimony. God set up a system with the proper checks and balances so that there would be justice!

Verse 15: "And he that strikes his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. And he that steals a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death. And he that curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death" (vs 15-17). Not put in prison and released out later—like all of the pedophiles that we have in the land today; all of the sexual perversion that we have in the land today. They spend a year or two in jail, come out and keep practicing the same thing. God says they are to die! That's how you get it out of the land. Look at where we are today in the nations of the world because we don't do that.

Verse 18: "And if men strive together, and one strikes another with a stone, or with his fist, and he does not die, but is confined to his bed; if he rises again and walks abroad upon his staff, then he that struck him shall be set free. Only he shall pay for the loss of his time and shall cause him to be completely healed" (vs 18-19). Here is restoration, restitution and redemption!That's what God wanted. If you did something and it was your fault, now you have got to make that person whole. What we're going to see here is that a lot of the things that we're going to cover, we also do likewise in our society today through what we call insurance. If an accident happens, the person can be made whole. That's why we have auto insurance, personal liability insurance. It's really based upon the principles of God's Law.

"…Only he shall pay for the loss of his time and shall cause him to be completely healed." Here we have these three things:

  • restitution
  • rehabilitation
  • redemption

—so that everything is made whole.

What is important is this: The primary ones involved work it out together, according to the Laws of God. There are other things that come up and we will see that judges are involved in this to make the decision.

Verse 20: "And if a man strikes his servant or his maidservant with a rod and he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. But if he continues a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his money. If men strive and strike a pregnant woman, so that there is a miscarriage, and no harm follows… [she recovers from the miscarriage] …he shall surely be punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him. And he shall pay as the judges determine" (vs 20-22).

That's a key. All of these things came before the judges. They were to make the decision based upon what we covered here: restitution, rehabilitation and redemption!

Here's one of the most misunderstood parts of the Bible, v 23: "And if any injury occurs, then you shall give life for life." If someone commits murder, the survivors of the dead person can expect that the one who committed the murder would lose his life.

Verse 24: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe" (vs 24-25). All of these things are based upon what the judge determines that he shall pay. If you cause someone to loose an eye, you pay for an eye. If you cause someone to loose a tooth, you pay for the lost of tooth; likewise: loss of a hand, loss of foot, "…burning for burning, stripe for stripe."

Those were to be brought together, adjudicated, and apply the principle of restitution, rehabilitation and redemptionall the way through. That's what to do when confronted with problems between people.

What if you have animals involved? Just like today, we have to have insurance for our cars to cover accidents, loss of limb, loss of life. Yes, we do! Well then, they had oxen, donkeys, horses, camels, mules.

Verse 28: "If an ox gores a man or woman so that they die, then the ox shall surely be stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten. But the owner of the ox shall be clear. But if the ox was known to gore in time past, and his owner has been warned, but he did not keep it in, so that it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death. If there is laid on him a sum of money… [they could pay so they wouldn't lose their lives] …then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatever is laid upon him…. [by the judge] …Whether it has gored a son, or has gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him…. [that's why it's a judgment] …If the ox shall gore a manservant or a maidservant, he shall give to their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned" (vs 28-32).

These are all good laws. Let's look at a couple more so that we can understand that this is part of the covenant and marriage relationship that God had with ancient Israel. These were the laws that they were to take to all the nations of the world.

Verse 33: "And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls in it, the owner of the pit shall make it good and give silver to its owner. And the dead beast shall be his. And in the event the ox of a man damages the ox of a neighbor, so that it dies, then they shall sell the living ox, and they shall divide the money of it. And they shall also divide the dead ox . Or if it is known that the ox has been known to gore in time past, and his owner has not kept him in, he shall surely pay ox for ox. And the dead ox shall be his own" (vs 33-36).

That's fair, right and good. Notice that God had a special plan to make stealing something that people would learn not to do. He didn't put them in jail—no, no, no!It's based upon the three 'Rs': restitution, rehabilitation and restoration (redemption).

Exodus 22:1: "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it or sell it, he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep." You do that, what are you going to say to yourself when you're caught and you have to do that and say, 'All right, you pay this amount or it's your life'? You're going to say, 'I'll pay for it.' You think you're going to go out and steal again? No way! You're going to have learned your lesson!

Also, remember this: In every judgment that is made, there is no mercy until the judgment has been finalized! Then mercy may be applied!Then in the case of stealing, the person may say to the judge, 'I am happy that I have them all back, what is he able to pay? I will be satisfied with what he is able to pay.' The judge can then give mercy to the one and say, 'What are you able to pay.' Then the judgment would be given and that's what he would accept.

Likewise, when you go through all the rest of these laws. In Exodus 23 we find something very, very interesting, especially for those who like to account that the Holy Days are lesser than the Sabbath Day, and that these were just ritual and ceremonial laws to be kept. What we need to understand in learning these things, we need to realize that when we are resurrected from the dead in the first resurrection and God gives us authority to rule over the earth

  • What are we going to do?
  • What laws are we going to apply to the physical people that live on the earth?
  • Are we not going to apply these laws?
  • Are these not righteous laws?
  • Are we not going to be priests and judges?

Yes, indeed!

  • What did He say to the 12 apostles?

You're going to be sitting on thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel!

These are not just something for a bygone time. These are going to be things that will also be applied in the future and will be the law of the land in the Kingdom of God. Think on that!

I want to show you something here very interesting, because intermixed with these laws, judgments or statutes are the major commandments of God, as well; which tells us something very important. It tells us that these laws are all to be kept, and that once you agree to the covenant, in whatever category that they are, they all apply. What did Jesus say about living by every Word of God? Did He not say that? Well, that applies here, as well.

Exodus 23:12: "Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and the son of your handmaid, and the stranger, may be rejuvenated." Sabbath commandment right in the middle of all these other judgments and statutes.

Here's the second and third commandment combined together, v 13: "And be watchful in all that I have said to you. And make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of your mouth."

Then notice what He goes to next. The reason this is important is that all of these are what God expects to be done. These were to be kept.

Verse 14: "You shall keep a Feast unto Me three times in the year. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread…. [we've already kept that] …You shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And no one shall appear before Me empty…. [You always bring to God what He has shown that you need to bring.] …Also the Feast of the Harvest of the Firstfruits of your labors… [Pentecost] …which you have sown in the field. And the Feast of Ingathering, in the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field…. [Feast of Tabernacles] …Three times in the year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD" (vs 14-17).

Go through every single one of these—Exo. 21-23. All of these things have to do with the proposal that was given in Exo. 19. The details are given, what they were to do. Much like these are the words of the marriage ceremony. Then you have the covenant sealing of the marriage ceremony. Let's see how God finalizes this marriage ceremony with the laws and commandments of God and what they were to do. Here was a whole nation that was going to go in and possess a nation that God was going to raise up for them: to give them

  • strength
  • ability
  • bless them
  • watch over them
  • take care of them

—but they had to obey His voice, keep His covenant and His commandments.

Verse 20: "Behold, I send an Angel before you, to keep you in the way, and to bring you to the place which I have prepared. Be on guard in His presence and obey His voice…." (vs 20-21). If an angel of God says to do something, you're to do it.

Go back to Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, remember the angel Gabriel said, 'Your wife is going to conceive.' How is that going to happen? Gabriel said, 'Because you didn't believe me, you're going to be mute, dumb, unable to speak until the child is born.' Zacharias didn't say, 'Thank you for the message, I can hardly wait to get home.'

"…Do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. But if you shall indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak…" (vs 21-22). The angel is a messenger and he's only carrying the Word of God to the individuals—correct? In this case, watching over the whole nation.

"…then I will be an enemy to your enemies, and a foe to your foes" (v 22). Isn't it interesting? Look at what we have to do—because we don't believe God and have rejected His laws—to fight terrorism. We didn't believe God. No! We want to go our way. It's going to be that way with the nations of the world when we take over and rule with Christ. We're going to have to teach them the right way. The countries and the people are going to enter into a covenant with Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints for the governing of the nations of the world for a thousand years. These are going to be the laws that will be applied.

Verse 23: "For My Angel shall go before you and bring you in to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. And I will cut them off." Then He gives a warning. God always gives a warning, because people like to come along and thing a little modification of what God has said would be all right, as long as 'I get a benefit.'

Verse 24: "You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them. And you shall not do according to their works. But you shall surely tear them down, and surely you shall smash their standing images." Go in and destroy their groves, their idols, all of the pagan worship that was there. Well, you know what happened when they didn't do it. Nevertheless, this becomes important to understand, because we will say, 'What did the people say when they heard all these words?'

Verse 25: "And you shall serve the LORD your God, and He shall bless your bread and your water. And I will take sickness away from the midst of you. None shall cast their young, nor be barren in your land. The number of your days I will fulfill. I will send My fear before you, and will destroy all the people to whom you shall come. And I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you" (vs 25-27).

This is the kind of war that God wants us to fight, when He says, 'Go to war!' We do it God's way! We believe in God! We trust in His Word! Look at what happens today because we don't. Oh, we've got Homeland Security; everybody's got to be frisked from head to toe if they travel by airplane. Sooner or later it will be road-frisking as well. Stops along the road:

  • What do you have in your car?
  • Where are you going?
  • Who are you?
  • What are you doing?
  • Do you have proper identification?

All because we don't believe God!

Verse 28: "And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite and the Hittite from before you. I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become a waste, and the beast of the field multiply against you. But little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and inherit the land" (vs 28-30). Then He tells them the boundaries—from the Nile River to the Euphrates River (v 31).

Verse 32: "You shall make no covenant with them or with their gods." Remember what Joshua and the elders did when the Gideonites came and feigned that they were from a far country. 'Oh no, we're not inhabitants of the land.' Without consulting God, they made the judgment that they would be hewers of wood and drawers of water. What happened? They became a thorn in their flesh!

They made a covenant with them without talking to God first! Without consulting Joshua and the high priest first! Then the high priest would go before God with urim and thumin, and then through that God would give His answer.

Verse 33: "They shall not dwell in your land lest they make you sin against Me; for if you serve their gods, it surely will be a snare to you."

Those are all the laws, commandments, judgments and statutes that God gave as part of the covenant with Israel. Remember, God could add to that: clarifying laws, clarifying judgments when they came to circumstances that were not specifically enumerated here.

Let's see, after the covenant is made, what happens. We will see where it was that the wedding ceremony actually took place and how was the consummated.

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Let's see when the covenant marriage between God and the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai came into full force. I'm going through these things because it helps us to understand that when we're resurrected from the dead, are you going to automatically know what you're supposed to do? What's going to happen on the Sea of Glass?

There will be a marriage ceremony! Many other things are going to take place, as well. We have to understand what we're going to do, just as Israel had to understand here what they were to do. After God had given all these extra judgments and ordinances and things to Moses, to take these words back to the people. Let's see what happened. Just like any marriage there are going to be the witnesses.

Exodus 24:1: "And He said to Moses, 'Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship afar off'" God wanted all the people of Israel to know—the leaders and the priesthood—that this wasn't something concocted in his mind while he was on top of Mt. Sinai. Yes, God was really there! God really gave these words to them.

Verse 2: "And Moses alone shall come near the LORD, but they shall not come near. Neither shall the people go up with him.' And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD…" (vs 2-3). Remember the proposal that God gave back in Exo. 19 and all the judgments. Let's review this and let's see the proposal that the people accepted the proposal. After the proposal, then the facts of things come into being with the Ten Commandments and all these other laws given.

Here's what God said, Exodus 19:5: "'Now therefore, if you will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation.'…." (vs 5-6). Does that sound a little bit like Rev. 20—'we shall be kings and priests and reign with Christ.'

Let's see the connection, because everything that happened in the Old Testament was a type of what's going to happen with us. Here is God gathering His people to Him, presenting to them His laws, statutes, judgments, and commandments. Now all the details are given. He didn't give them any of the details. He didn't tell them anything about it until they promised that they would do what God had said.

Exodus 24:3 "And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD… [and all the judgments; so there it is] …and all the people answered with one voice and said, 'All the words which the LORD has said, we will do.'" When you say yes to God, He expects your 'yes' to be yes, and your 'no' to be no. So, when they said, "…'All the words…we will do,'" they were held responsible for it.

What was done to seal this covenant? Verse 4: "And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD…"—a marriage contract; a covenant written out. God writes these things between Himself and His people. He has His servants do the writing so that there will be no mistake. So that no can say, 'I thought I heard you say this…' And someone else will say, 'No, I didn't hear you say that, but I heard…' the other thing. It's all written down. What do we have for the New Covenant? Is it all written down? Yes! Let's go forward.

"…and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the base of the mountain and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel who offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of bullocks to the LORD" (vs 4-5). There were sacrifices. What did they do with the blood? This becomes the key essential thing, right here:

Verse 6: "And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins, and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar." Remember: Without the shedding of blood there is no covenant! When there is no shedding of blood, then there's a pledge of life. That's why with a marriage between two people there is no animal sacrifice and the shedding of that blood. But what there is, there is the promising of life until they die so they have pledged their lives.

Here's what happened, v 7: "And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the ears of the people…." God wants us to know! That's why we have the whole Bible—the Old Testament and the New Testament—and the unity between the Old and New Testaments, and the things that are there for us to learn. So,

  • he told all the people all the words
  • then he wrote them down
  • then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the ears of the people.

They all heard it!

"…And they said, 'All that the LORD has said we will do, and be obedient.'" (v 7). Now then, they have

  • the words of the covenant
  • the words of the marriage
  • the contract is fully known

Verse 8: "And Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, 'Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you concerning all these words.'" The people accepted it, and the answer had to be taken back to God. There had to be witnesses to see that Moses did go to God and delivered the answer to Him personally.

Verse 9: "And Moses went up, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel…." (vs 9-10). Here is God up on top of Mt. Sinai. Obviously, in order to see them, they would have to come up to the top to see Him. We see that there is a small Sea of Glass at this particular point upon which God stood. When they got up there, to verify as witnesses that, yes, this was God: "…Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel…." There had to be those witnesses.

"…And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the heavens in clearness" (vs 10). They saw God! Moses delivered to God the answer of the people. He showed Him the book that was sprinkled with the blood of the sacrificial animals. Told God, and God saw, that the blood of the sacrificial covenant animals was sprinkled upon the people. They said, "…'All that the LORD has said we will do…" (v 7). What's important to understand is this, concerning the sequence of timing: This was shortly after Pentecost.

  • the Ten Commandments were given on the Day of Pentecost
  • Moses went up and got what we have in Exo. 21-23 are all the words of the covenant
  • Moses came back and told the people about them.
  • they said, 'All that God has said, we will do.'
  • Moses wrote them all down
  • the next day Moses read it in the ears of the people
  • the people said, 'All that God has said, we will do'

We have three times that the children of Israel said that what God has said 'we will do.' We have it:

  • when the proposal was given (Ex. 19).
  • twice here when the finality of everything that was given and written in the book of the Covenant and read in the ear of the people. They all said, 'we will do.'

Here is the official wedding ceremony between the Lord God and the children of Israel. Moses was the mediator between them.

Verse 11: "And upon the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay his hands. Also they saw God, and ate and drank." What do we have? We have a wedding feast for the covenant with Israel! The ones who partook of it were Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and also the 70 elders of the children of Israel. After they were done eating, that solemnized and officialized the ceremony and fixed the covenant between God and Israel. Now more to come:

Verse 12: "And the LORD said to Moses, 'Come up to Me in the mountain, and be there. And I will give you tablets of stone, and the law, and commandments which I have written, so that you may teach them.'" God is saying, 'Ok, I'm going to respond to you. You responded to Me. You say you're going to do all that I have commanded. Now I'm going to respond to you.'

Just like with us. We respond to God, He puts His laws in our hearts and minds, but we have to study to get them there—correct? Yes!

Verse 13: "And Moses rose up, and his attendant Joshua. And Moses went up into the mountain of God. And he said to the elders, 'You wait here for us until we come again to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a cause, let him come to them.' And Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. And the glory of the LORD abode upon Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days…." (vs 13-16). There we have it, right there.

  • the children of Israel sawthe cloud,sawthe glory
  • the 70 elders of Israel saw the outline of God
  • saw the Sea of Glass upon which He stood
  • they confirmed that Moses gave these things to God
  • they confirmed that it was God
  • they had the covenant meal, the feast of the wedding

"…And the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain to the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and went up into the mountain. And Moses was in the mountain forty days and forty nights" (vs 16-18).

Then came all the instructions for the tabernacle and the service of God, so that the covenant and God's relationship with the people could take place, and be on a working basis. The first thing that God did was that he began to give the instructions to Moses to build a tabernacle.

He said, Exodus 25:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to the children of Israel that they bring Me an offering. You shall take an offering from every man that gives it willingly with his heart'" (vs 1-2).

Here's what God wanted to do, v 8: "And let them make Me a sanctuary… [according to His instructions, the ones God gave to Moses] …so that I may dwell among them." God wanted to dwell with His people.

Today, we can see another and a different parallel: God dwells in us! He lives in us, through the power of His Holy Spirit. The New Covenant has a higher standard and a greater purpose and promises eternal life. The covenant with Israel did not do that.

Then He gives all the instructions, everything they were to do to make the tabernacle, to build it, to have the courts, to have the boards that they put up so that they could put over the linen and the goatskins and things like that. and to build the Ark of the Covenant; to build the Holy of Holies and put it all together. It was all portable so that it could be moved.

We'll bypass all the other things that happened between that. Remember, the children of Israel rebelled! They didn't know what happened to Moses, because he was up there 40 days and 40 nights. Aaron got them in big trouble! Built the golden calf, caused everything to be in total turmoil. They broke the covenant of God even before it hardly got started.

God reiterated everything again to them, after Moses prayed for them and pleaded that God would not destroy them. God told Moses, 'You let Me alone and I'll destroy all these people and I'll raise up of you a great nation.' But Moses being kind and compassionate and understanding, interceded for the children of Israel and for Aaron, and God agreed to continue to deal with them and go into the 'promised land' with them.

From that time, there had to be the correction given to the children of Israel. Moses broke the two tablets of stone upon which God had written the Ten Commandments. Punishment was meted out to those who were instrumental in the rebellion. Forgiveness was given to Aaron because Moses prayed for him. But Aaron did not go into the 'promised land'; neither did Moses.

Then God said, 'I'll deal with you, only you move the Tent of Meeting outside the camp. Until the tabernacle was finished that's where Moses went to meet with God. Then he went up onto the mountain a second time and stayed up there another 40 days and 40 nights, and when he came down his face shined as if it were illuminated. This time all the children of Israel really believed that Moses was with God, when they saw the glory of his face. Moses didn't realize it, but after he understood was had happened, he would put a veil over his head when he spoke to the children of Israel. But when he came before God he took it off.

Everything was finished. God gave special skills and understanding for the workmanship that was to be in all aspects of the making of the tabernacle and the Ark and the Holy instruments and everything like that. Here is when the covenant becomes fully operational. Everything up to that point was

  • the proposal
  • the marriage
  • the acceptance
  • time out for the rebellion and reinstitution of everything

We come to the first month of the second year that they were in the wilderness. Exodus 40:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'You shall set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation on the first day of the first month'" (vs 1-2). He did that; set it up. God told him all the things to set it up and have it ready to go.

Let's see what happened after that was done; everything set in order the way it should be. God proposed that He would dwell among His people, and He would put His presence in the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. Also, it would be known because of the pillar of the fire by night and the clouds by day.

Verse 33: "And he set up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the screen of the court gate. And Moses finished the work. And the cloud covered the tabernacle of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle" (vs 33-34). All the people saw this. All the people knew that this was God!

Verse 35: "And Moses was not able to enter into the tabernacle of the congregation because the cloud stayed on it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And when the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the children of Israel journeyed on in all their journeys. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey until the day that it was taken up" (vs 35-37).

Now then, there are more details that are added to this. How was this sanctified and up and running the way that it should be? We'll find out in the book of Numbers! More details unfold. It's going to be the same thing when we're resurrected from the dead and we meet Jesus Christ in the air on the Sea of Glass. We're going to understand the details of what we need to do.

  • Do we know what to do?
  • Have we ever been a priest?
  • Have we ever been a king?
  • Have we ever assisted in any of those things?
  • What is it that God is going to do?

He's not going to funnel it into our head; He's going to teach it to us. Likewise here, here are some more details. Now that the presence of God is in the tabernacle, what do you do? It's empty, there's nothing there except the things that were built according to the instructions of God.

Numbers 1:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the tabernacle of the congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt."

Let's see what happened after the glory of the Lord had filled the tabernacle and what was done. There were many more things that had to be accomplished in order for it to be up and fully functioning.
Numbers 7:1—here we pick up the time sequence: "And it came to pass on the day that Moses had fully set up the tabernacle, and had anointed it and sanctified it, and all the vessels of it, both the altar and all its vessels, and had anointed them and sanctified them, and the leaders of Israel offered, the head men of their fathers' house, the leaders of the tribes; these were they who stood over the numbered ones" (vs 1-2). Some of these were the ones who also saw God when He was on the Sea of Glass.

They brought an offering; each tribe brought an offering beginning on the first day of the first month in the second year that they were in the wilderness. Each one was brought were identical.

Verse 4. And the LORD spoke to Moses saying, 'Take it from them so that they may be used in doing the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. And you shall give them to the Levites, to every man according to his service.' And Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. He gave two wagons and four oxen to the sons of Gershon, according to their service. And he gave four wagons and eight oxen to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the hand of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the priest" (vs 4-8).

After these special ones were given, then there was an offering every day, v 12: "And he that offered his offering the first day was Nahshon the son of Amminadab, of the tribe of Judah." Every day one of the princes of Israel, of each of the 12 tribes, would bring this special offering for the setting up of the tabernacle.

Verse 18: "On the second day…" Likewise all the way through.

Verse 24: "On the third day…"

Let's come to the end of it and see what happened, v 78: "On the twelfth day…" Here we have all the offerings brought, all the implements, everything that was done.

Then there was another special ceremony, the sanctifying of the Levites to be of service to Aaron and his sons as the priests. Then there was a counting of all of the Levites and a counting of the firstborn of the children of Israel. Then there was a difference between the 22,000 Levites. (It's interesting that there are 22,000 Levites and there are 22 letters to the Hebrew alphabet.) There was a difference so there was a special offering made for them.

Here comes another very important thing to understand. These were accomplished in the first 12 days of the first month of the second year. What does that mean? Numbers 9 tells us about the Passover that the children of Israel kept in the wilderness. This means that in two days the Passover would take place. This becomes an important thing. What you find is this: After the tabernacle was setup, fully functioning with all the implements, equipment, everything that was given to the sons of Aaron and the Levites, everything was ready to go. But what we find with the Passover is that there was not one animal sacrificed at the temple for the Passover. Does that not tell you something about temple offered Passover sacrifice? Yes, it does!

Numbers 9:1: "And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the first month of the second year after they had come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 'Let the children of Israel also keep the Passover at its appointed time. In the fourteenth day of this month, between the two evenings, you shall keep it in its appointed time. You shall keep it according to all its statutes, and according to all the ceremonies of it'" (vs 1-3).

What did they do in the land of Egypt? They killed the Passover lamb at their homes! What did they do here? They killed the Passover lamb at their tents! Very simple! Nowhere does it say that they stood in line to have their Passover lamb sacrificed at the tabernacle. If that was to be a thing that God wanted done, obviously, He would have done it with the very first Passover after the tabernacle had been setup.

Everything is up and going. The marriage has taken place. The covenant is secure. Now the children of Israel—if they would have been faithful—would have entered into the 'promised land' by the time of the Feast of Tabernacles of this very year. But they rebelled! They didn't believe God! After they had wandered for 40 years and everyone over 20-years of age dying in the wilderness, their dead bodies strewn in the wilderness, God tells them this in Deut. 4; let's see how this was to be something for all the children of Israel to show the other nations. You would think

  • after purging away the rebels
  • after having manna for 40 years
  • after seeing what God did to the enemies
  • after seeing what God did to those who rebelled against Him

that they would have really been dedicated to keeping the Truth. God warned them:

Deuteronomy 4:1: "And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them, so that you may live and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you. You shall not add to the word which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you" (vs 1-2).

Then He talks about how He's going to give them the land. God knew that other nations would come and want to know how this nation of the children of Israel had so many blessings, and what was it that was so great about what they did.

Verse 6: "And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations…" Israel was to lead the way for all the nations of the world. But what has happened to Israel down through time and history, they wanted to be like the nations of the world, not like the nation of God!

"…which shall hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.' For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments that are so righteous as all this law which I set before you today?" (vs 6-8). They would learn how great that was.

Then he rehearsed what they did, and after rehearsing the Ten Commandments in Deut. 5, let's see what God says in Deut. 6.

Once there is the marriage ceremony; once there is the acceptance of these things and the knowledge and understanding of the laws and commandments, and everything ready to go into the 'promised land'; all of the people in agreement after 40 years of wandering, then God gave them these instructions—and you can read the rest of the book of Deuteronomy of what God did to help prepare them to go in.

God was still going to carry out that they would be a special and unique people to Him, and that the other nations of the world would be drawn to them and learn from them how they should run their countries and serve the true God, rather than the false gods and the demons, statues and idols, which they made with their own hands.

Deuteronomy 6:1: "Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments which the LORD our God commanded to teach you so that you might do them in the land where you go to possess it." God wanted it to be well with them.

Remember this: Whatever God says, He wants us to do it so it will be well with us! Not that we rebel like the children of Israel. Not that we think we can add something to God's way that is greater than what God has already given.
Verse 2: "That you might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you, and your son, and your son's son, all the days of your life, and so that your days may be prolonged." This is what God wants.

We can learn the lesson of this from what we need to do today, so that we can be part of the covenant that is established on the Sea of Glass after the first resurrection. There are going to be a lot of things that we're going to have to learn, know, do, and see, watch and observe. That's why the resurrection has to take place and be on the Sea of Glass. We'll see the parallel of many things that we've learned here concerning the covenant between God and Israel, and what the covenant will be between the resurrected saints, God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Verse 3: "Hear therefore, O Israel, and be diligent to observe it, so that it may be well with you, and that you may greatly multiply, as the LORD God of our fathers has promised you, in the land that flows with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel. Our one God is the LORD, the LORD. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be in your heart" (vs 3-6). That's what it needs to be with us, too—doesn't it?

Verse 7: "And you shall diligently teach them to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."

God wanted them to really start off going into the 'promised land' with:

  • strength
  • faith
  • belief
  • trust in God
  • knowing what they had to do

with a

  • full operating priests and Levites
  • full operating army of the men of war that God had raised up
    • God leading them into the battle
    • conquering the land for them
    • being faithful to God in everything that they did

Well, too bad it didn't turn out that way. God knew that these things would come along. Now let's see what some of the parallels are tomorrow on the Day of Pentecost and the marriage of the Lamb and the marriage supper of the Lamb, which is going to take place on the Sea of Glass!

 

Scriptural References:

  • Exodus 19:3-11, 16-24
  • Exodus 20:18-21, 13
  • Exodus 21:12-25, 28-36
  • Exodus 22:1
  • Exodus 23:12-17, 20-30, 32-33
  • Exodus 24:1-2
  • Exodus 19:5-6
  • Exodus 24:3-10, 7, 11-18
  • Exodus 25:1-2, 8
  • Exodus 40:1-2, 33-37
  • Numbers 1:1
  • Numbers 7:1-2, 4-8, 12, 18, 24, 78
  • Numbers 9:1-3
  • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8
  • Deuteronomy 6:1-7

 

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Exodus 19:12-15
  • Exodus 20:1-17
  • Exodus 23:31
  • Revelation 20
  • Deuteronomy 5

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