The Sinai Covenant Oath of Allegiance

24: 1-3

    DIG: What happened to Nadab and Abihu when they disobeyed (Second Kings 10:2)? Do you think the LORD expected the people to meet all their covenant duties? Why or why not?

    REFLECT: What kinds of promises have you made to God? Have you found it difficult to keep these promises? Why or why not?

    When compared with Suzerainty Treaties, the Torah would have an oath of allegiance. This oath was eventually restated once the people were in the Land after forty years of wilderness wanderings (Joshua 24:16-18, 21, 24).

    God directed Moses and the people how they were to approach Him on Mount Sinai. Before this Moses had placed before Isra'el the conditions of their covenant with God; this being completed, Moses, Aaron and his sons, and the seventy elders who represented the people, were to stand at a distance and prepare to obtain a glimpse of the Shechinah glory. Alone, Moses ascended to the top of the mountain. Moses fasted alone, and like the high priests after him, he entered into the Shechinah glory alone.

    Then God said to Moses, His mediator: Come up to ADONAI, you, Aaron and his two oldest sons Nadab and Abihu, and the seventy elders of Isra'el. You are to worship at a distance, but Moses alone is to approach ADONAI. The others must not come near. And the people may not come up with him (24:1-2). How different things are under the Torah than under the New Covenant. Under the Torah they had to worship at a distance, but in Jesus Christ you, who once were far away, have been brought near through the shedding of Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13).

    When Moses went and told the people all ADONAI’s words in Chapter 20 and the commandments in Chapters 21 through 23, they responded with one voice saying: Everything ADONAI has said we will do (24:3). With this oath of allegiance, they agreed to obey the Torah. It was the second time they had done so. They were so self-confident, that it bordered on arrogance. They promised to obey everything God had said that they should do even before they knew what would be expected of them! One wonders how they could be so deceived. One wonders how we can be so deceived. If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (First John 1:8). If you say you have no sin you won’t be deceiving your friends or your neighbors, you will be deceiving yourself. And in case you missed it, John repeats again: If we say we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word is not in us (First John 1:10). But God is no liar. It is best not to boast in our goodness like the children of Israel did, because as you will see, they did not keep their word.457


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