We’ve read a lot of instructions this week. We have read instructions concerning Israel leaving Egypt, crossing the Red Sea, eating manna, battle plans against the Amalekites, preparation for Moses to meet with God, the Ten Commandments, civil and ceremonial laws, and specific instructions for building the Tabernacle. Again, we ask the question, “What does all of this have to do with us?” Let me mention just a few reasons for these instructions for your meditation.
First, these instructions will help Israel later commemorate what God has done for them. Two examples come to mind. They are to participate in the Festival of Unleavened Bread so as to be an annual reminder that they “came out of Egypt.” In addition, they were to give over to the LORD the firstborn male of their livestock. Of course, this would remind Israel that God had spared their firstborn.
The second reason for the specific instructions is that God is creating in Israel an atmosphere of total dependence on God. The daily provision of manna and the instructions that come with manna are good examples of this dependence upon God. Israel would have to learn to depend totally on God for their survival. This lesson in dependence begins immediately for Israel.
Third, God gives some of these laws to simply create a more orderly society. Some say rules are no fun and are too binding. However, remove rules from any society or any game and the result is always chaos.
Fourth, the laws communicate the holiness of God. The temple is elaborate, but God is holy. He is set apart from all other things and beings. The majesty of the Tabernacle helps us to understand this.
Finally, the laws cause us to realize our need for Christ. The law was inadequate in bringing us to God. The inability of Israel to follow the laws of God paves the way for Christ to come and bridge the gap of our sinfulness and God’s holiness.