Jesus in the Gospels (7)

The witness against the people

“‘ But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set?'” John 5:45, NIV. Of what did Moses’ accuse the people? Jesus referred to the Torah, the books of the Old Covenant, when He said, ‘Moses is your accuser.’ God, in the desert, wanted to talk directly to the Israelites, but they were afraid they would die if being in the presence of such a powerful God.  Therefore, they told Moose to go to God and come and tell them What God requires, and they will obey. When Moses, therefore, read to the people the book of the law, in the desert, the people promised to follow everything God commands. Exodus 24:7. However, God knew that the people would not obey the covenant because they were sinners by nature. The people, however, were sincere in their promise because they were confident, they could faithfully follow all the commands. 

God told Moses that what the people said is ‘good.’ He then added, “‘Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep my commands always…'” Deuteronomy 5:28, 29. Accordingly, God gave the people the Ten Commandments, as a reminder of what their agreement with God requires. Deuteronomy 4:13. Their contract with God required perfect obedience in selfless love. The people, however, obeyed out of fear of consequences. Moses, before he departed from the earth, commanded the people to love their God. Deuteronomy 6:5. He perhaps hoped that if the people were to love their God, they would obey what He commands.

King Solomon understood that the agreement between God and the people was a “Covenant of Love,” which God keeps always. Deuteronomy 7:9; 1 Kings 8:23. Moses assured the people that God will enable them to love Him. Deuteronomy 30:6. The people, however, did not reciprocate; they failed to love their God, so they broke the covenant. “‘Like Adam, they have broken the covenant – they were unfaithful to me there. “‘ Hosea 6:7, NIV. God requires obedience through love, not because of fear of consequences.

The people thought that if they physically obey all the commands, they would not be sinners, and therefore, they would always be in God’s favor. They did not realize that, because they are sinners by nature, even the best efforts to obey the law could not remove the condemnation by the law. The Ten Commandments the people promised to obey were a witness that they could not obey perfectly. How did God remove from the humankind the condemnation by the law for sin and the witness against us?

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Dan Lazich

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