Monday, February 29, 2016

Covenant Close-up

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Exodus 24:1-18

TO CHEW ON: "Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, 'We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.' " Exodus 24:7

Have you ever seen movies where the camera zooms in on a scene and a tiny far-off thing gradually gets closer? As it gets bigger, you see more and more details that you couldn’t make out when the scene was far away. That’s a lot like how God shows us His plans in the Bible. The special promise that God made with Abraham ( see January 19) was like that.

Hundreds of years back God had made a promise to the Israelite’s great-great-great- (and a whole lot more ‘greats’) grandfather Abraham. He said He would bless him, make a nation of his family, and give that nation a land of their own.

Now over 400 years had passed. The family of Abraham had become a nation – these Israelites. But in the years they were slaves, God was silent. During that time God’s blessing seemed far away and they certainly didn’t have their own land.

One day God called Moses to bring the leaders of the people with him up the mountain. As the leaders waited some distance away, God talked to Moses.

Moses on the mountain - Artist unknown
Moses on the mountain - Artist unknown
He talked about the Covenant again. This time He told Moses that there were two sides to it. God told Moses what He would do for the Israelites, but also what He expected them to do for Him. Moses wrote everything God said.

After God finished talking to Moses, they all went down the mountain. The next day Moses read God’s words to the people. Would they do what God asked? What was their reply? (Exodus 24:7)

God still tells us what He expects of us. We may not understand completely what that will mean. But when we say ‘Yes, I’ll do what I understand; I’ll obey,’ in time He’ll show us what the next thing will be.

PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for showing us Your plan in small bits. Help me to obey what I know, Amen.


MORE: Sealing a Covenant
God and people show how serious they are about keeping a covenant by sealing it. A covenant can be sealed in many ways. Fill in the correct answer from the words below.

1. God sealed his first covenant (the promise to never again destroy the earth in a flood) with a _______________ (Genesis 9:16).
2. In this story Moses sprinkled ____________ on the people to seal their covenant with God (Exodus 24:8)
3. Another Bible-time custom was to seal a deal by giving the other person your ______ (Ruth 4:7)
4. In our time we show we mean to keep our promise by putting our ______ on documents.
5. When people get married they show how serious they are about their promise by exchanging _________.


rings, blood, rainbow, signature, shoe


Answers

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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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