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Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still MattersSample

Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters

DAY 1 OF 7

Law as a Gift

Old Testament Law may seem an odd place to begin for an inspirational trip through the Bible. However, Moses’ attitude toward these lists of instructions is strikingly positive. For him, law is a gift to be received gladly. And Moses is not alone in this sentiment. In fact, the longest chapter in the whole Bible, Psalm 119, is an extended celebration of the law as a gift. “How I delight in your commands! How I love them!” (v. 47 NLT). But why? Why would the people of Israel consider these rules a treasure? What’s the big deal? 

To understand their enthusiasm, we need to walk a mile in their sandals. The Israelites lived in a time when people were desperate to know what the gods were saying. Since the gods didn’t normally speak audibly, priests were trained to read the signs they left in the natural world. They studied the stars. They contacted the dead, doing whatever it took to forecast the future or discern the will of the gods. An answer was not guaranteed. Sometimes they simply could not figure out what the gods wanted. 

Not so with Israel. God took the initiative. He chose them, rescued them, established them as His people, and then told them exactly what He expected. God spoke. No more guesswork. No wondering what would make Him happy or angry. He made it all clear up front. How freeing! Why did people breathe a sigh of relief over twenty long and boring chapters of laws at Sinai? This is why. 

I am not saying that salvation comes through obedience to the law, or that the gospel depends on our effort. Remember—the Israelites had already been rescued from Egypt when they were given the law. God did not say to them, “Do all these things and I will save you from slavery.”  He saved them first, and then gave them the gift that goes with salvation: instructions on how to live as free men and women. Moses and the psalmist both realized that they were better off for it. They realized that true freedom requires clearly communicated boundaries. They recognized the grace of God’s law. It was a gift!

Day 2

About this Plan

Bearing God's Name: Why Sinai Still Matters

Have you ever wondered what the Old Testament—especially the Old Testament law—has to do with your Christian life? In this seven-day reading plan, Carmen Joy Imes takes readers back to Sinai, the ancient mountain where I...


We would like to thank InterVarsity Press for providing this plan. For more information, please visit:

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