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God’s covenant at Sinai

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God’s faithful commitment, made in pursuance of his promises to Abraham, to acknowledge the newly-redeemed Israel as his own special people. Israel’s required response to the grace of God in election was to be holiness and obedience to the law.

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The occasion of the covenant

The covenant fulfilled God’s promises to Abraham

Deuteronomy 29:12–13 ESV
12 so that you may enter into the sworn covenant of the Lord your God, which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
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The covenant followed Israel’s redemption from slavery

God’s covenant at Sinai was made in the context of his historical acts of deliverance. Covenants (“treaties”) between a supreme (suzerain) overlord and a subordinate ruler (vassal) are well known in ancient Near Eastern writings. They are not “agreements” but “requirements”.
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The covenant was mediated through Moses

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The covenant was accompanied by signs of God’s presence

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Sealing the covenant

Sharing a meal

Exodus 24:11 ESV
11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Offering a sacrifice


God’s oath

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Israel’s promise

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The covenant relationship

Israel as God’s people

Deuteronomy 7:6 ESV
6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
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Israel adopted into God’s family

Hosea 11:1 ESV
1 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.
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Israel as God’s bride

Jeremiah 2:2 ESV
2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
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The blessings of the covenant

Inheriting God’s promises

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Provision and protection

; This pattern of blessings and curses is also a feature of Near Eastern political treaties.

The requirements of the covenant

Obedience to the law

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Israel has been made holy through her election as the covenant people of God. The ensuing call for holiness is a call to work out the implications of that relationship and to live in accordance with its demands;
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Wholehearted devotion

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Breaking the covenant

The consequences of breaking the covenant



Drought and crop failure:


Defeat by enemies:

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Exile from the land:

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Israel’s unfaithfulness to the covenant

Psalm 78:37 ESV
37 Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not faithful to his covenant.
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God’s commitment to the covenant

God’s covenant of love

“love” translates the Hebrew word “hesed”, which here expresses God’s loyalty and faithful commitment to his covenant people.
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The everlasting covenant

God’s faithfulness to the covenant at Sinai will result in a new covenant that will never come to an end.
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Renewing the covenant

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