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Commandments, Conditions and Consequences

At the burning bush (Ex. 3) Moses recognises the presence of God and is obedient in removing his sandals. God then instructs him about what he is to do. Moses is willing to obey, but his human nature kicks in and he questions his own ability to do what God asks.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” size=”18″]God promises (unconditionally) that eternal life is ours forever.[/perfectpullquote]


By the time Moses meets God at Mount Sinai, the Israelite people have been through the exodus from Egypt. God allows only Moses the privilege of being in his presence on Mount Sinai. God does not allow the people to approach the mountain, and thunder and lightning, together with a cloud over the mountain, are a clear sign to the people. In God’s presence, Moses receives the basic rules for his people, generally known as the Ten Commandments, carved in stone so that they won’t forget them.


This covenant or agreement Moses receives from God on Mount Sinai (Ex. 19) is one in which God demands total loyalty and service from his people in return for his faithfulness and loyalty to them. The agreement is conditional, i.e. if God’s people are obedient, they will receive God’s promise. Moses reads the agreement to the people, and they declare agreement:

We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey.” (Ex. 19:8)


Sadly, they didn’t manage to keep their part of the covenant and, because of their continuing disobedience, God tells them that everyone over the age of twenty, except Joshua and Caleb (Num. 14:29–30), will not go into the land that God had long ago promised to Abraham for his descendants to live in (Gen. 15:18–21).

Thankfully, God’s people today enjoy a largely unconditional agreement. The death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus provides a permanent solution for sin, and allows each one of God’s people access into his presence, for example at the Remembrance. God promises (unconditionally) that eternal life is ours forever.

Neil Williams, The Church of God in Middlesbrough

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