Blood of the Covenant
Lesson 3 | Sabbath, 16 July 2022
“And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.” Exodus 24:8.
“Their obedience to the law of God would make them marvels of prosperity before the nations of the world. He who could give them wisdom and skill in all cunning work would continue to be their teacher, and would ennoble and elevate them through obedience to His laws. If obedient, they would be preserved from the diseases that afflicted other nations, and would be blessed with vigor of intellect. The glory of God, His majesty and power, were to be revealed in all their prosperity. They were to be a kingdom of priests and princes. God furnished them with every facility for becoming the greatest nation on the earth.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.
1. In sacred Scripture, where do we find the word “sanctuary” for the first time?
Exodus 15:13, 17 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation…. 17 Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O Lord, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
Appreciated as treasure
2.What deep, close connection did the Lord want to have with His people at that time? What was His great desire for them?
Genesis 17:7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.
Exodus 19:5, 6 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my cov- enant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
“God desired to make of His people Israel a praise and a glory. Every spiritual advantage was given them. God withheld from them nothing favorable to the formation of character that would make them representatives of Himself.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 288.
“Preparation was now made for the ratification of the covenant, according to God’s directions…. Here the people received the conditions of the covenant. They made a solemn covenant with God, typifying the covenant made between God and every believer in Jesus Christ. The conditions were plainly laid before the people. They were not left to misunderstand them. When they were requested to decide whether they would agree to all the conditions given, they unanimously consented to obey every obligation. They had already consented to obey God’s commandments. The principles of the law were now particularized, that they might know how much was involved in covenanting to obey the law; and they accepted the specifically defined particulars of the law.
“If the Israelites had obeyed God’s requirements, they would have been practical Christians. They would have been happy; for they would have been keeping God’s ways, and not following the inclinations of their own natural hearts. Moses … wrote all the words of the Lord in a book, that they might be referred to afterward. In the mount he had written them as Christ Himself dictated them.” –(Manuscript 126, 1901) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1107.
3. After ending their slavery and setting them free, what did the Lord give to His people through Moses? What instructions did Moses give them?
Exodus 24:3-5 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. 4And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord.
“The minds of the people, blinded and debased by slavery, were not prepared to appreciate fully the far-reaching principles of God’s ten precepts. That the obliga- tions of the decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional pre- cepts were given, illustrating and applying the precepts of the ten commandments. Unlike the decalogue, these were delivered privately to Moses, who was to commu- nicate them to the people.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 506.
“Bravely did the Israelites speak the words promising obedience to the Lord, after hearing His covenant read in the audience of the people. They said, ‘All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.’ Then the people were set apart and sealed to God. A sacrifice was offered to the Lord. A portion of the blood of the sacrifice was sprinkled upon the altar. This signified that the people had consecrated themselves–body, mind, and soul–to God. A portion was sprinkled upon the people. This signified that through the sprinkled blood of Christ, God graciously accepted them as His special treasure. Thus the Israelites entered into a solemn covenant with God.” –(Manuscript 126, 1901) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1107.
Blood of the covenant
4. When the sacrifices of burnt offerings and thank offerings were com- pleted, what did Moses do with the remaining half of the blood?
Exodus 24:6, 7 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.
“The covenant that God made with His people at Sinai is to be our refuge and defense…. This covenant is of just as much force today as it was when the Lord made it with ancient Israel….
“This is the pledge that God’s people are to make in these last days. Their acceptance with God depends on a faithful fulfillment of the terms of their agreement with Him. God includes in His covenant all who will obey Him. To all who will do justice and judgment, keeping their hand from doing any evil, the promise is, ‘Even unto them will I give in Mine house and within My walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.’ Isaiah 56:5.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p. 142.
5. In addition to the people’s consent, what did the ratification of the cov- enant include? What did the shedding of blood signify?
Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.
Hebrews 9:18-21 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, 20Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. 21Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
“The Father sets His love upon His elect people who live in the midst of men. These are the people whom Christ has redeemed by the price of His own blood; and because they respond to the drawing of Christ, through the sovereign mercy of God, they are elected to be saved as His obedient children. Upon them is manifested the free grace of God, the love wherewith He hath loved them. Everyone who will humble himself as a little child, who will receive and obey the Word of God with a child’s simplicity will be among the elect of God.
“To make God’s grace our own, we must act our part. The Lord does not propose to perform for us either the willing or the doing. His grace is given to work in us to will and to do, but never as a substitute for our effort.” –God’s Amazing Grace, p.142.
“Thus by a most solemn service the children of Israel were once more set apart as a peculiar people. The sprinkling of the blood represented the shedding of the blood of Jesus, by which human beings are cleansed from sin.” –Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 507.
After sacrifice communion
6. What glory were Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and the seventy elders of Israel enabled to see? With what did this wonderful experience conclude?
Exodus 24:9-11, last part Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: 10And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. 11And … they saw God, and did eat and drink.
“Because men have received great light, because they have, like the princes of Israel, ascended to the mount, and been privileged to have communion with God,and to dwell in the light of His glory, let them not flatter themselves that they can afterward sin with impunity, that because they have been thus honored, God willnot be strict to punish their iniquity. This is a fatal deception. The great light and privileges bestowed require returns of virtue and holiness corresponding to the light given. Anything short of this, God cannot accept. Great blessings or privileges should never lull to security or carelessness. They should never give license to sin or cause the recipients to feel that God will not be exact with them. All the advantages which God has given are His means to throw ardor into the spirit, zeal into effort, and vigor into the carrying out of His holy will.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 359, 360.
7. Similarly, what is necessary to seal the new covenant? In this case, whose shed blood made the covenant possible?
Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. 29But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.
1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
1 Peter 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanc- tification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
“This covenant deed was to be ratified by Christ’s own blood, which it had been the office of the old sacrificial offerings to keep before the minds of His chosen people. Christ designed that this supper should be often commemorated, in order to bring to our remembrance His sacrifice in giving His life for the remission of the sins of all who will believe on Him and receive Him.” –Review and Herald, June 22, 1897; Evangelism, p. 276.
An agreement with God
“A covenant is an agreement by which parties bind themselves and each other to the fulfillment of certain conditions. Thus the human agent enters into agreement with God to comply with the conditions specified in His Word. His conduct shows whether or not he respects these conditions.
“Man gains everything by obeying the covenant-keeping God. God’s attributes are imparted to man, enabling him to exercise mercy and compassion. God’s covenant assures us of His unchangeable character. Why, then, are those who claim to believe in God changeable, fickle, untrustworthy? Why do they not do service heartily, as under obligation to please and glorify God?” –(Manuscript 148, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 932.