Moses’ Laws and God’s Laws, An Analysis

Studying Biblical laws can be confusing, for there are various types of laws. Among the laws addressed in God’s word are civil laws, health laws, ceremonial laws of Moses (having to do with the sacrificing of animals plus other related rituals,) and the Ten Commandments of Exodus, chapter 20.

Health laws and civil laws rarely cause confusion, but the differences between the Ten Commandments and the Moses’ laws may be puzzling. Therefore, the focus of this column will be to identify specific characteristics of these two sets of laws.

The first critical difference between these two laws is cardinal. The ceremonial laws were written by Moses in a book. (2 Chronicles 35:12.) However, the Ten Commandments were written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone. Notice that the Ten Commandments were written by God, Himself, and with His own finger. He did not trust any man to write these commands, for they are His eternal moral principles by which man will be judged. (James 2: 10-12.) Observe, also, that God wrote them in stone, showing their eternal nature and their being beyond the province of change by man. The Ten Commandments specifically are called the “law of the Lord.” (Isaiah 5:24.)

Second, the Mosaic laws are called “laws contained in ordinances.” These had to do with the sacrificing of animals and other related rituals. The shedding of the blood of lambs in the Old Testament pointed forward to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ, who would shed His blood on the cross for the sins of the repentant individual. After Christ died on the cross, it was no longer necessary for lambs to be slain: Christ, the Lamb of God, died “once for all;” (Hebrews 7:27.) Christ is our Passover lamb. (1 Corinthians 5:7.) The Mosaic laws were in force for a time until Christ, our Messiah, annulled them by shedding His blood for the sins of mankind. In addition, the Apostle Paul tells us that circumcision, a part of the Mosaic laws, is nothing. (1 Corinthians 7:19.) Therefore, the Mosaic laws were “blotted out” and “nailed to the Cross” upon the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. (Colossians 2:14.)
The Ten Commandments, on the other hand, are the “Royal Law,” written by God Himself, the Creator (King) of the universe and Originator and Sustainer of life. (James 2:8.) They are based on the principle of love. Christ taught love for others; “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” (James 2:8.) You see, if one obeys the first four of the Ten Commandments, he shows his love and respect for God; if he obeys the last six of the Ten Commandments, he shows his love and respect for his neighbor. Therefore, the Decalogue is based on the foundation of love.

Third, the laws of Moses were placed in the side of the Ark of the Covenant, which sat in the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle. (Deuteronomy 31:26.) On the other hand, the Ten Commandments were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant, which served as the mercy seat of God. God’s command to place the Ten Commandments inside the Ark showed that they were constantly protected from tampering, from change, by humans. They are eternal, being in force in Heaven, for it was Satan who sinned in Heaven by lying, coveting the position of Christ, and staging a rebellion against Him. (Revelation 12: 7-12.) In addition, the Ten Commandments will be the standard against which all men shall be judged by their Creator. (James 2: 10-12.)

So we see that the laws of Moses were for a time until the Messiah should come, shed His blood on Calvary, and rise from the grave on the third day. On the other hand, the Ten Commandments are eternal, written in stone by the finger of God, protected from human tampering, and the standard against which we humans shall be judged by our Creator.

Until next week, may God bless and keep you and yours.

Fillmer Hevener, Pastor



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