Day 12

Moses at Mount Sinai

from the The Life of Moses reading plan

Exodus 19:1-25, Exodus 20:1-21, John 1:14-18

BY Raechel Myers

Text: Exodus 19:1-25, Exodus 20:1-21, John 1:14-18

No whining.
Pass with care.
No shirt, no shoes, no service.
If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

From the moment we were old enough to scoot across the floor, a list of rules has governed our lives. We have dress codes and curfews and traffic laws. We wait our turn in line at the coffee shop and always wear our seat belts.

If we sat down and started talking, I bet we could go on for hours listing rules that guide every bit of how we go about our days.

But when God gave the Law, He didn’t give 10,000 commandments. He gave only ten.

Why only ten? Why these ten? In light of grace and freedom in the New Testament, what place does the Old Testament law have in our lives today?

Almost as if he knew we would be asking these questions, John Calvin wrote what would later be known as the “Threefold Use of the Law,” in order to show the importance of the Ten Commandments in the Christian life.

#1: The Law acts as a mirror, reflecting the perfect righteousness of God and in contrast, the reality of human sinfulness.

If we are honest, it doesn’t take 1,000 laws to reveal our sin nature. We may be able to keep a commandment or two for the span of the day, but none of us can keep them all. Even stopping at ten, the Law effectively illuminates my utter sinfulness.

#2: The Law’s second job is to restrain evil. The Law can’t change our hearts (which is why we are willing to speed until we see red and blue lights in the rearview mirror). Even so, the law can inhibit lawlessness and protect the righteous from the unjust.

#3: The Law gives us a revelation of what is pleasing to God. The Law serves as a guide to good works for believers.

When we look at the ten specific commandments God handed down to Moses, we see that He covered all of the bases. Laws 1 through 4 address the relationship between God and man. Laws 5 through 10 address how people relate to each other. When you get down to it, every nook and cranny of our sin can fall into one of these ten categories. Willing to compromise for your dream job? Check out commandment number two. Jealous of your neighbor’s house? That violates number ten. See what I mean?

The purpose of the Law is not to create an impossible checklist, but rather to show us what matters to God while also making our need for Him clear.

Friends, the Law is good news because it undergirds the message of justice and extravagant mercy Christ came to give. Thanks be to Him.


Post Comments (32)

32 thoughts on "Moses at Mount Sinai"

  1. So much good info in this devotional!! Thank you Raechel!!

  2. Amber H says:

    a lot of people think that the Old covenant is not relevant to us today because Jesus brought the New covenant… i prefer not to differentiate the two, Jesus came to fulfill the Law, He provided a way for us to follow the Old law, but with grace and forgiveness of our sins instead of just covering them for a span of time with sacrifices. Praise Jesus that we don’t have to carry guilt for sins until the next sacrifice, but we have access directly to God thru Jesus!!! To know that the same power of the Glory of God that would’ve literally knocked people dead is LIVING IN ME is truly the greatest miracle in history!! Do we truly realize this truth and walk in it everyday? I know i don’t. I don’t have to go to my preacher and have him talk to God for me or offer sacrifices for my sins, i don’t have to travel to a church or temple to meet with the Almighty, He built His temple IN me and i can meet with him anytime! So exciting! Thanks for another great devo and challenge!

  3. Susie says:

    What is even more amazing is that Jesus came to fulfill the Mosaic Covenant, which was the law! Jesus made a new covenant with us. The new law is forgiveness, love and grace. We no longer have to feel burdened by the old law.

  4. James Gurl says:

    I posted a question a while back about sinning and what exactly does it mean that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. A Sister of She reads sent me the following wisdom and insight. I often refer to it and thought I would share.


    It is a natural human instinct to be sinful. No one can truthfully say that they have not sinned when they reflect on their own life. Just think of the ten commandments, and then know that God knows our thoughts also. A lingering thought is the same as acting on the sin. The following are ways most people do commit every one of the 10 commandments found in Exodus 20.

    1.You shall have no other gods before Me. -> Have you ever thought something you wanted to do was more important than God’s plan? You are your own god in that moment.
    2. You shall not make idols. ->Have you ever put an activity or work, before God?
    3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. -> I don’t believe this one is about cussing. I do believe this is when we say we did something in God’s name, but it was really to make ourselves look good.
    4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. -> Do you always have a day that your rest, and reflect on God’s glory and all that he does all day, or for even a part of the day? I do not…
    5. Honor your father and your mother. -> So you never have said something mean to your parents, or put them down in front of your friends?
    6. You shall not murder. -> Have you ever wanted to kill someone, and that thought lingered? I honestly don’t know if I’ve had that, but some completely normal people have thoughts of killing others.
    7. You shall not commit adultery. -> Sex outside of marriage, and those lingering looks to men. Have you had that happen, or those thoughts?
    8. You shall not steal. -> I’ve accidentally stolen things before, but I still did it. Or maybe stealing credit for something…
    9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. -> Have you ever said something bad about someone that was not true. This can happen easily when we get caught up in gossip.
    10. You shall not covet. -> Have you ever been super jealous of something someone had or someone else’s significant other?

    1. Ashley says:

      That’s a great way to look at the commandments on a personal level and remind us we may be disobeying them without even realizing. Thanks for sharing

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