Exodus 20a: The Ten Commandments
The Law and The Altar – Diagnosis and Cure
In today’s lesson, we have an overview of the giving of the Ten Commandments, and we will look at the first three commandments.
In chapter 20 of Exodus, we see:
- The giving of the Ten Commandments;
- The effect of God’s visit;
- Instructions concerning the altar.
The Ten Commandments are given first but they are only part of the Law. Instructions pertaining to the altar are also given; the Law and the altar go together.
The Law is not a formula that, when followed, gets us to heaven. The Law can be compared to a thermometer, or blood pressure cuff, or EKG machine that measure our well-being. Those medical devices are only diagnostic tools to determine the state of our health.
The Law does the same for us spiritually, it is God’s spiritual diagnostic device. And like a disconcerting medical diagnosis, the Law reveals that all of us are sinners in need of a Savior. In addition to the law, there must be an altar upon which to offer the sacrifice; there must be the shedding of blood for sin.
To use another analogy, you have a mirror in your bathroom and beneath that mirror, a basin. That mirror is a picture of the Law. You do not wash yourself with the mirror or use it to apply makeup; it only reveals the dirt, whiskers and wrinkles on your face. Just so, the Law is the mirror that reveals our sin. And beneath that mirror there is a wash basin.
There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,
And sinners plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
For more on this topic, CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson.
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. – Psalm 19:7
…the soul that sinneth, it shall die. – Ezekiel 18:4
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. – Romans 3:19
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? – Romans 6:1-2
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh. – Romans 8:3
Get Plugged Into God’s Plan Today
If you are uncertain of your standing with God, then go to Him right now to start your eternal relationship with Him. His free gift of eternal life and sanctification in Christ is there for the asking. Once you have taken that first step of salvation, our study in Matthew will get you well on your way to a loving and lasting relationship with the Almighty God who is seeking your friendship. He will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13) and help you become and do all He has in store for you.
- CLICK HERE to listen to today’s lesson, Exodus 19: God’s Law at Mount Sinai.
- CLICK HERE for an overview of the Book of Exodus.
- For more about the Egyptian gods, CLICK HERE to access Ancient Egypt Online.
- CLICK HERE to open or download notes and the outline for the Book of Exodus.
- CLICK HERE for more about putting your faith in Jesus Christ for your eternal salvation.
- CLICK HERE to access the complete listing of Bible Studies in the Book of Exodus.