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Moses and the Law

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Moses and the Law

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Moses, who faithfully obeyed God's laws, was also used by God to convey those laws to Israel. He is the author and compiler of the first five books of the Bible—Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy—which later came to be called the Torah, or simply the Law (Matthew 5:17; 7:12; 22:40).

But the Torah is more than law. It is God's teaching. His teaching, revealed through Moses, includes many historical details (Genesis, the earlier parts of Exodus, Numbers) as well as many specific laws and principles that show proper application of God's laws (Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy).

As mankind's Creator, God provided a moral code of conduct that is summed up in the Ten Commandments, the first four of which show us how to love our Creator, the last six that show how to love our fellowman.

Centuries later Jesus Christ made this same point, saying that all of God's instruction for mankind, including the Ten Commandments, is summed up in two great principles: "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40; see also Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18).

Moses gave Israel God's laws, and in this limited sense he was Israel's lawgiver. However, these were not Moses' laws, but God's laws. Jesus Christ later clearly stated that the Ten Commandments are God's commands, not those of any man (Matthew 15:3-6).

God inspired Moses to provide the laws, statutes and judgments (Exodus 21-23) based on the Ten Commandments that formed the constitution and body of law for God's people Israel-a law designed to be a great blessing to the nation. After giving His people the Ten Commandments, God expressed His desire that Israel would have "such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" (Deuteronomy 5:29).

This great law of God still holds for Christians. ". . . The law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good," wrote the apostle Paul (Romans 7:12). "For we know that the law is spiritual" (verse 14).

"Blessed are those who do [actively practice] His commandments," wrote John in the last chapter of the Bible, "that they may have the right to the tree of [eternal] life . . ." (Revelation 22:14). GN