Hope Within the Law
By Shawn Tomlin
When we think of the Ten Commandments or the Law in general, we don’t really think of the gospel being present in the midst of the Law. Certainly, the Law is not the Gospel. But let’s look at Deuteronomy 5:6. It says “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.” This verse comes right before Moses, reminded the assembly before him, of God making a covenant with those that were delivered from slavery.
In the Mosaic Covenant, God delivered Israel from Egypt, from bondage, from slavery, and promised to bring them to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In this covenant, Israel was to obey the Law that God would give them through Moses. All of it. Every last bit. And they didn’t. God being God, could not just forget His promises. It’s important to remember that God is unchanging and eternal. He’s the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He would always keep his end of the covenant, no matter how bad we (humanity), or in this specific case, Israel, screwed it up. We know how this ends. God brings his people across the Jordan and into the Promised Land.
There was simply nothing special about Israel. Just another sinful nation in the cesspool of corruption, but God chose them to be the nation from which His Son would come to earth
In that verse God described himself as “the LORD your God.” A few things on that description of Himself. He first of all uses His covenant name, YHWH, which is signified by “LORD” and that’s incredibly important. That name was told to Moses at the Burning Bush. Never before that was His covenant name given, not even to Abraham. There’s a special significance to God giving these people His covenant name. It shows the special relationship He had with them and ultimately this leads to the promised Messiah from Genesis 3:15.
Secondly, He describes Himself as “your God.” That’s huge. This can be seen in light of Him as Creator and In choosing them, Israel as His chosen people. He is their God, our God, even if we don’t believe. Frankly, absolute truth does not depend on if you believe in it or not. And in choosing Israel he was not only the One, True God, but God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He was the God of Israel. There was simply nothing special about Israel. Just another sinful nation in the cesspool of corruption, but God chose them to be the nation from which His Son would come to earth.
Thirdly, He reminds the people not only that He is the Creator and had graciously chosen them, but that He was their Redeemer as well. He brought them out of Egypt. He delivered them from bondage. He redeemed them from slavery and they were free. This all points to Christ.
The Gospel is eluded to here and we need to be mindful of that. God is still redeeming His chosen people, but not through the Mosaic Covenant, but the New everlasting Covenant that was instituted with the blood of Christ. Through Christ we are made into new creations, set free from our bondage to sin. Because of that saving work, on behalf of Christ, we are free, and we desire, to keep His law.
“The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.”