The Ten Commandments: Whose Law?
NCW 31, March 1996: Answering the Third Rebellion
Q. Someone recently told me that Moses received two laws on Mount Sinai. They say that the first set of stone tablets contained a "higher law" of the Gospel and that the second set of stone tablets -- given after the rebellion with the golden calf -- contained a "lower law". They say that this "lower law" is a mixture of God's Law and Satan's. Is this true?
No. This sounds rather like a variation of Mormon doctrine which claims that Moses was first given the "Melchizedek Law" and then a lower "Aaronic Law", or what is called the "Law of Moses". The Bible directly contradicts such a proposition.
Only one Law was given at Mt.Sinai and only one set of engraved commandments, repeated twice after Moses smashed the first set of tablets. The Ten Commandments (or Decalogue) was first given orally -- by the mouth of God -- so that all of Israel could hear them (Ex.20). Moses then went up into the mountain and received additional laws and statutes (Ex.21-23). This covenant was then confirmed in the presence of several witnesses -- Moses, Aaron, Nadab and Abihu who saw God with their own eyes (Ex.24, see v.10). After the covenant was confirmed Moses was told to collect the tablets of stone (Ex.24:12) and was given more laws and statutes (Ex.25-31) which lasted several days. Thence followed the rebellion (Ex.32) during which Moses received the tablets of stone. When he saw the Golden Calf he smashed them in anger (v.19). After the rebellion and God's discipline, Moses was told to chisel out two new tablets, and the Lord said "...and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets which you broke" (Ex.34:1-2, NIV).
There was only ever one Law and it was given by God Himself BY DICTATION. Anyone who says that the Law that was given was a mixture of God's Word and Satan's (or even man's) is therefore directly blaspheming the Name of God.
Let it be plainly stated that the Law of Moses was, and is, the Law of God and of no-one else. It was a law especially adapted to the people of Israel and their spirituality. That Law was reformed by the Lord Jesus Christ and those parts which were given because of the hardness of the people's hearts were restored to their original intent. But the 10 Commandments were never altered. Jesus affirmed every one of them in His ministry and summarised them into two, thus underscoring what the heart of these commandments are, viz. love for God and love for one's fellow man.
The 10 Commandments cannot be improved upon. They are not "lower" laws. They are perfect and eternal. The same 10 Commandments written on the first tablets of stone were written on the second. And they are the same commandments that are written on the hearts of all true believers in Christ by the pen of the Holy Spirit.
This page was created on 8 May 1998
Last updated on 8 May 1998
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