Chapters 19-24 describe the giving of the Law to the nation of Israel. It is important that we keep in mind that the Mosaic Law was given only to Israel ( Psalm 147:19,20), and that it was set aside at the cross (Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 10:1).
According to Numbers 1:1 the nation of Israel spent about a year at Sinai. On the third day of the third month after their deliverance from Egypt, they experienced the terror and wonder of the giving of the Law. Moses was the mediator--he met God on the Mount and delivered God's Word to the people.
Chapters 20-23 give the declaration of the Law. The Ten Commandments are given in chapter 20. The first four commandments give our responsibilities toward God, while the last six give our responsibilities toward man. Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament for believers today. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy," does not appear in the New Testament, since the Sabbath was God's special day under the Old Covenant for the Jews, and the Lord's Day is God's special day for the Church under grace.
The entire Law given in Exodus through Deuteronomy is but an amplification and application of these basic commandments. Note that the first nine commandments deal with outward actions, while the tenth, "Thou shalt not covet," deals with inward attitudes.
Covetousness and lust are the cause of much of the corruption in the world today (II Peter 1:4). If only each of us, as Christians, would be willing to say with Paul, "I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need." Paul had learned to be content in whatever state God saw fit that he should encounter.
Index of Daily Devotions