Did Abraham Keep the Same Commandments God Gave to Moses?

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Did Abraham Keep the Same Commandments God Gave to Moses?

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But in drawing that conclusion, most of them overlook the full significance of what God said about Abraham's obedience in Genesis 26:5 Genesis 26:5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
American King James Version×
, hundreds of years before God spoke to Moses and Israel at Mt. Sinai: "Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws" (NIV).

The Hebrew words God uses here are especially important. As The Expositor's Bible Commentary explains regarding this verse: "The Lord then added a remarkable note: Abraham 'kept my requirements [mismarti], my commands [miswotay], my decrees [huqqotay] and my laws [wetorotay]' (v. 5).

"It is remarkable that this is precisely the way in which obedience to the Sinai Covenant is expressed in Deuteronomy 11:1 Deuteronomy 11:1Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always.
American King James Version×
: 'Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements [mismarto], his decrees [huqqotayw], his laws [mispatayw] and his commands [miswotayw]' . . .

"Thus Abraham is an example of one who shows the law written on his heart (Jeremiah 31:33 Jeremiah 31:33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, said the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
American King James Version×
). He is the writer's ultimate example of true obedience to the law, the one about whom the Lord could say, 'Abraham obeyed me' (v. 5). Thus, by showing Abraham to be an example of 'keeping the law,' the writer has shown the nature of the relationship between the law and faith. Abraham, a man who lived in faith, could be described as one who kept the law" (Vol. 2, 1990, pp. 186-187, emphasis added).

Abraham obeyed the same foundational spiritual laws that were given later to Israel. However, the symbolic tabernacle or temple ceremonies and rituals and Israel's national administrative laws were not applicable in Abraham's day. Nor are they necessary for individual Christians today, because a physical temple is no longer the center of our worship as it was in the ancient nation of Israel (John 4:19-21 John 4:19-21 [19] The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. [20] Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. [21] Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 9:9-10 Hebrews 9:9-10 [9] Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; [10] Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
American King James Version×
).

Thus, Abraham knew a lot more about God's requirements for and definitions of righteous behavior than most religious teachers give him credit for today. It also means that the laws defining righteous attitudes and behavior that were given to Israel were known and practiced by servants of God long before the Sinai Covenant was ever established.