Top Ten Shocking Facts about the “Law of Moses” Your Preacher Never Told YouAuthor: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Deuteronomy, Faith, Grace, Hebrew Bible, Hermeneutics, Love, Preaching
#1) All three of Jesus’ scripture quotations in the desert of temptation are from the Law of Moses – Deuteronomy 8.3; 6.16 and 6.13. Must have been his favorite book of the Bible!
#2) In the “Law” the Ten Commandments are not called commandments, Moses calls them the Ten WORDS (Deut 4.13; Ex 34.28)
#3) In the “Law” the “First Word,” of the Ten Words, is not the command to have no other gods before me. The First Word is the proclamation of grace: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Exo. 20.1-2; Deut 5.6). Every word that follows is a response to the proclamation of God’s salvation.
#4) The “Law of Moses”” speaks of “love” more than all the books in the New Testament, except the Gospel of John and 1 John. Moses drops the word “love” 21x in Deuteronomy. For comparison the Gospel of John has 27x; 1 John 35x. For further surprise we compare: Acts 0x; Romans 14x, and even 1 Corinthians with its chapter on love is 15x. No wonder Deuteronomy is sometimes called the “Gospel of Love.”
#5) The “Law” has three axises in Deuteronomy. A) The Great Story of God’s Salvation in the Exodus; B) The Great Command in response to the Great Story to Love God totally; C) The Great Society in which love and mercy guide and ground all social relationships.
#6) The “Law” declares that Israel is bound to God in a “covenant of love” not legalism (Deut 7.9, 12 NIV; see 2 Chronicles 6.14; etc)
#7) The “Law” teaches a “religion of love” in which the “heart” is absolutely central. Moses addresses Israel’s “heart” 25x in Deuteronomy. In fact, in response to the Great Story, Israel is to show love to God by “circumcising” their hearts. This too is by grace for Moses declares that God himself will be the Surgeon that performs the operation (Deut 10.16 & 30.6; cf. Jer 4.4 & 9.26)
#8) The “Law” explicitly declares that Israelites are neither God’s people because they earned it, deserved, or were righteous in some fashion. Moses declares Israel has no righteousness before God rather they are stiff necked and rebellious. Rather it is by God’s love and grace that Israel is God’s People (Deut 7.7-9 & 9.4-6)
#9) The “Law,” like all the Hebrew Bible and the “New Testament” sees the historical act of God in redeeming slaves from Egypt as the “Calvary moment” before Calvary. That is the Exodus is the “gospel” or “good news” of God. This good news is the greatest news ever given to humanity, it is the most astonishing thing that has ever happened prior to the Incarnation of the Word. Read Deuteronomy 4.32-39 and Psalm 136 slowly and thoughtfully till you get it. Exodus has always come before Sinai. Calvary always comes before Pentecost. Grace always comes before faith/obedience. This is the “Pattern” and it is the Great Story.
#10) In the “Law,” Moses is portrayed as a “Suffering Servant.” Three times in Deuteronomy we read that Moses is forbidden to enter into the Promised Land “because of” or “on account of” the PEOPLE! (cf. Deut 1.37f; 3.26f; 4.21f). Yes, the striking the rock thing is mentioned in Dt 32.51, but three times no rock striking is mentioned and it is because of the people that God punished Moses, a suffering prophetic servant. I am always amazed at how many people have never heard of this … another indication of how much we do NOT read the Bible Jesus did. And poor Moses who was honored by God to see the Word in blazing glory and then like a future suffering servant honored him by saying the saints in eternity will sing the Song of MOSES and the Lamb for all eternity.
There you have it. Ten Truths about the Law of Moses that preachers do not tell us.