Old Testament Lesson #14

Moses and the Tablets
March 16, 2018
Old Testament Lesson #14
Ye Shall Be a Peculiar Treasure unto Me

The children of Israel were blessed to receive God’s law not only because it established order in their society but because it foretold that Christ would be sacrificed and would be their Savior.

"Ten Commandments," Bruce T. Verhaaren, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
The Ten Commandments' two stone tables reflect the two classes of instructions: the relationship between God and people, given with explanations and consequences (1-4); and relationships among people (5-10), given in short, direct statements.

"Law of Moses," Ze'ev W. Falk, Douglas H. Parker, Encyclopedia of Mormonism
The Law of Moses became a collection of laws including the Ten Commandments, the Covenant Code, Deuteronomic Law, the Holiness Code, purity laws, festival rituals, and regulations pertaining to sacrifices.

"The Higher and Lesser Laws," John A. Tvedtnes, Revelation, Reason, and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen
The JST reveals that 1) God originally intended to make the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood available to all Israel but instead gave a lesser priesthood to the tribe of Levi; (2) this resulted from the unwillingness of the Israelites to accept one of the responsibilities of the higher priesthood, which was to stand in the presence of God; (3) God cursed the Israelites with a carnal law, omitting from the second set of tablets elements of the higher law (including the covenant of priesthood) that had been on the first set of tablets; and (4) the higher law was to be restored through Christ at a later time.

"A Comparison of the Communal Lament Psalms and the Treaty-Covenant Formula," Daniel L. Belnap, Studies in the Bible and Antiquity, Volume 1, no. 1
In the treaty-covenant sections of Exodus and Deuteronomy, Israel enters into a covenant relationship with God. Chapters describe how Israel sought to engage with God and comprehend him. Israel may have experienced tribulation, but the laments portray a community bound to God with a covenant, which ultimately provided security and peace.

"Theophany on Sinai," Amy B. Hardison, Ascending the Mountain of the Lord: Temple, Praise, and Worship in the Old Testament
This article explores the three different theophanies (the appearance of God) that occur on Sinai: the commissioning call of Moses (Exodus 3–4), the establishment of the Mosaic covenant (Exodus 19–20, 24), and the renewal of the covenant after the rebellion of the golden calf (Exodus 32–34). In particular, we will examine the rituals of approach and the ritual responses that accompany these theophanies, the ensuing transformation, and the revelation of the nature of God.

"Teaching Old Testament Laws," Robert E. Lund, Religious Educator 8
Old Testament laws have spiritual purposes with modern applications. But not all laws were purely religious in nature. Civil laws helped the people of Israel establish equity and justice. Health and social laws, such as the restricted diet, prevented disease and the spread of infection. We should avoid being critical of Old Testament laws and recognize their value in their time and place.