Day 42: Moral Laws

Exodus 24:1-18 The people ratified the covenant offered by God, committing themselves to obey all that the Lord required of them. Fire, cloud, and light are among the ways God was made present to the people of Israel. (CCC 696-697, 2060, 2085)


Ch 24:8 Blood of the covenant: Under the Old Covenant, blood was shed by animal sacrifice; in the New Covenant, the Blood of Christ is shed for the FORGIVENESS OF SINS. (CCC 613-617)


Leviticus 17:1-16 The next several chapters concern the laws of holiness, which closely associate proper worship of God with the ritual purification of the priest. The purpose of the attention to cleanliness was to develop a more pure interior disposition as well so the divine worship could be approached more reverently. (CCC 582, 782)


Ch 17:14 Blood was seen as sacred in the Old Testament since it signified the life given directly by God. As an expression of this intimate connection with life, the consumption of any creature’s blood was prohibited. (CCC 2260)


Ch 18:1-30 Deterioration of moral conduct through the negative influence of pagan practices was a common pitfall among the Israelites. God specifically forbade immoral behavior peculiar to the neighboring peoples, which often included sexual perversions such as cult prostitution and incest. This chapter concerns itself with rules on marriage and sexual purity. (CCC 2201-2213)


Ch 18:7-20 Uncover the nakedness: This euphemism for sexual relations prohibited specifically the sin of incest, which is the conjugal act between close relatives; consequently, marriage among close relatives is not permitted. Incest is a particularly grave sin that severely damages family relationships and is an egregious violation of human dignity. (CCC 2388)


Psalm 78 The wisdom literature is evoked at the outset of this psalm, which poetically recounts the works of God as well as the Israelites’ frequent violations of the covenant. The psalmist characterized the Northern Kingdom of Israel as unfaithful and the Southern Kingdom of Judah as loyal, though in reality this was not always the case. Perhaps Judah was praised to stress the Northern Kingdom’s infidelity to the covenant. The detailed historical survey places emphasis on the great mercy of God, whose steadfast love is PERMANENT AND FOREVER. The redemption of Christ serves as the pinnacle of God’s might works on behalf of all people. I will open...from old: Mathew states that this prophecy was fulfilled in Christ’s parables and cites the passage in a paraphrased form (cf. Mt 13:35). He forsook...among men: This is a veiled reference to the loss of the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines after it had been brought from its sanctuary in Shiloh in an effort to secure divine intervention in the war effort. The Philistines soon returned the Ark, but it was lost for good in the siege by the Babylonians in 587 BC. (CCC 546, 2607)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Key Event 21: Covenant with Moses (Exodus 24)
At Mount Sinai, God establishes a covenant with Israel through Moses. This covenant is sealed with a sacrifice, as Moses proclaims, “Behold, the blood of the covenant”(Ex 24:8)-TYPOLOGY!!!!! Jesus uses THESE SAME WORDS at the Last Supper, offering Himself as the sacrifice that seals the NEW COVENANT.

The Mosaic Covenant:


  • God has spoken his words (in Hebrew, the Ten Commandments are literally the “Ten Words”).

  • Will Israel answer the summons?

  • A covenant takes two willing partners; God does not coerce, but invites Israel into a covenant with him that will make them his people.

  • Moses communicates all the laws to the people, who repeat twice their acceptance, saying, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do” (Ex 24:3, 24:7).

  • Erecting an altar with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes, Moses and some of the young men sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings.

  • Moses throws half of the blood upon the altar and the other half upon the people.

  • This deeply symbolic gesture suggests the covenantal family bond between God and Israel.

  • Ancient covenants forged lifelong kinship bonds between the two parties, using the language of adoption or marriage to indicate the new family reality brought about by the covenant.

  • The two primary metaphors used to describe the covenant bond between God and Israel are that of sonship, with God as Israel’s Father, and that of marriage, with Israel as God’s bride.

  • Since family members share blood, the covenant ceremony administered by Moses requires blood, blood that is distributed on both God (signified by the altar) and Israel.

  • Following the covenant ceremony is a meal, another element of ancient covenant ceremonies.

  • Sharing the flesh of the sacrificed animals and eating the meal in God’s presence (Ex 24:11) becomes a means of sharing the same body and thus of becoming one flesh.

  • The shedding of animals’ blood also signifies the punishment for those who would violate the covenant: their blood would likewise be shed.

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through the Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Typology of Moses and Jesus
(Did you not see this coming? ;) )

  • Typology Charts

  • Scriptural types: "A biblical person, thing, action, or event that foreshadows new truths, new actions, or new events. In the Old Testament, Melchizedech and Jonah are types of Jesus Christ. A likeness must exist between the type and the archetype, but the latter is always greater. Both are independent of each other." Catholic Dictionary, John A. Hardon, S.J.

  • Click to view in table format: Typology of Jesus

  • * Michal E. Hunt, "Typology of Moses and Jesus." AgapeBibleStudy.com, 1998, Revised 2007.

MOSES

  1. An evil king/Pharaoh tried to kill him as a baby: Exodus 1:22

  2. He was hidden from the evil king/Pharaoh: Exodus 2:2

  3. Moses was sent into Egypt to preserve his life: Exodus 2:3-4

  4. He was saved by women: his mother: Exodus 2:3; Miriam Exodus 2:4; Pharaoh's daughter Exodus 2:5-10

  5. Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses: Exodus 2:10

  6. Moses became a prince of Egypt: Exodus 2:10

  7. Long period of silence from childhood to adulthood

  8. Moses had a secret identity

  9. He tried to save a Hebrew kinsman: Exodus 2:11-12

  10. Went from being a prince to a pauper: Exodus 2:15-19

  11. Saved women at a well: Exodus 2:15-19

  12. Became a shepherd: Exodus 3:1

  13. Moses' mission was to redeem Israel from slavery to Egypt

  14. Moses was loved and supported in his ministry by his sister Miriam [in Hebrew, Miryam]

  15. He was often rejected by his own people

  16. Moses will give God's law on the mountain of Sinai: Exodus 20:1-31:18; 34:1-35

  17. Moses spent 40 days fasting on the mountain: Exodus 24:18; 34:28

  18. Moses performs signs/ miracles

  19. Moses offered his life for the salvation of his people after the sin of the Golden Calf: Exodus 32:32-33

  20. Moses is the prophet of the Old Covenant Church

JESUS

  1. King Herod tried to kill baby Jesus: Matthew 2:16

  2. An angel said to hide the child from the evil King Herod: Matthew 2:13

  3. Jesus was taken into Egypt to preserve His life: Matthew 2:13-15

  4. Saved and helped by His mother, Mary: Matthew 2:14

  5. Joseph adopted Jesus: Matthew 1:25

  6. Jesus is the Prince of Peace: Isaiah 9:5; Matthew 28:18; Luke 2:14

  7. Long period of silence from childhood to adulthood

  8. Messianic secret = Jesus the Son of God

  9. Jesus came to save His Hebrew kinsman first: Mark 7:26-28

  10. Went from being God to being man: John 1:1-3; Mark 6:3

  11. Saved a woman at a well: John 4

  12. He is the Good Shepherd: John 10:11

  13. Jesus' mission is to redeem mankind from slavery to sin

  14. Jesus was loved and supported in his ministry by His mother Mary [in Hebrew, Miryam]

  15. Jesus was often rejected by His own people

  16. Jesus will give the new law from the Mt. of Beatitudes: Matthew 5

  17. Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert wilderness: Matthew 4:2

  18. Jesus performs signs/miracles

  19. Jesus offered His life for the salvation of the world: Isaiah 53:12; Romans 5:12; 6:10; 2 Corinthians 5:15-21; Colossians 1:19-20; 2:14-15; 1 John 1:7; 2:2; etc.

  20. Jesus is the prophet, priest, and King of a New and everlasting Covenant = the universal Catholic Church

  • Wow…..Psalm 78 was a marathon

  • It’s a good one to go back and read again and pray it with love

  • It’s a great reminder of all the things God has done for His people, Israel


  • Exodus 24: The Mountain of God and The Blood of the Covenant

  • This is critical

  • Moses takes the people

  • Moses offers up a sacrifice

  • Moses takes half the blood and places it on the altar

  • Moses takes the other half of the blood and sprinkles it on the people who say, “Everything the Lord has said, we will do.”

  • TYPOLOGY ANYONE? Hmmmm?

  • Whenever we have a group of adults who come into the Catholic Church as adults through a process like RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults), people who are not raised Catholic but are saying YES to the Catholic Faith, one of the things they say is, “I PROFESS AND BELIEVE ALL THAT THE CATHOLIC CHURCH BELIEVES, PROFESSES, AND PROCLAIMS TO BE REVEALED BY GOD.”

  • They are basically saying the same thing the Israelites say in Exodus 24

  • “Everything the Lord has said, we will do.”

  • “All the Lord has spoken, we will do. We will be obedient.”

  • It is basically like wedding vows

  • There are two parts to every wedding

  • There is the male who offers himself whom the female receives

  • There is the female who offers herself whom the male receives

  • Something similar is happening in Exodus 24 and at every Easter Vigil whenever someone joins the Catholic Church

  • The new Catholics are offering themselves and they are RECEIVED into the Catholic Church

  • The Israelites are RECEIVED by Moses and they are sprinkled with the BLOOD OF THE SACRIFICE

  • The same thing happens in RCIA

  • The catechumens come forward and either the Bishop or the Pastor (who has been delegated by the Bishop) RECEIVE their offer and RECEIVES THEM into the Church

  • It is ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP and this is an incredible thing

  • What seals this relationship is the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT

  • Moses says, “Behold the blood of the Covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

  • What happens at EVERY MASS?

  • This is the blood of the NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT

  • That blood is there on the altar and we get to RECEIVE it in the Eucharist

  • That CONFIRMS the covenant and our place in it EVERY TIME

  • This is not just for the catechumens joining the Catholic Church at Easter

  • This happens EVERY SINGLE TIME you and I walk forward to receive the BODY, BLOOD, SOUL, and DIVINITY of Jesus Christ in the Mass

  • We are not “Re-enacting” this

  • We are PARTICIPATING IN THE FULLNESS OF THE COVENANT

  • Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu along with 70 elders of Israel are able to go up the mountain and are able to EAT AND DRINK in the PRESENCE OF THE LORD

  • What happens at EVERY SINGLE MASS EVERY SINGLE DAY ALL OVER THE WORLD?

  • Not only do we have the Sacred Blood of Jesus Christ on the altar and on us

  • We also get to EAT AND DRINK in His presence which is TRULY HIS REAL PRESENCE

  • THE REAL PRESENCE OF JESUS CHRIST IN THE EUCHARIST

  • It is CRITICAL to understand this

  • The Old Testament is NOT DEAD

  • It is VERY ALIVE

  • We need to KNOW the Old Testament in order to TRULY APPRECIATE the New Testament

  • We participate in this Covenant EVERY SINGLE TIME we attend Mass


  • Leviticus 17 and 18

  • One of the things that is important is we have laws regarding SEXUAL MORALITY

  • It lists sexual relationships that MAY NOT be engaged in by the people of Israel

  • We need to understand that there are some things in the Bible that are TEMPORARY

  • There are some Laws in Leviticus that have been surpassed because they were conditional and set in time

  • Those are things like rules for being distinct and separate from other peoples

  • Those are things like rules for temple worship

  • But there are rules that are ALWAYS WRONG EVERYWHERE

  • Smart aleks will ask “How come you have to follow THESE particular rules in the Bible but you don’t follow all of them?”

  • “Can I sell my daughter to you for three goats?”

  • “Bobby violated the Sabbath so when should we get together and stone him?”

  • There is a lack of understanding here

  • There are three types of laws in the Old Testament (Particularly in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy)

  1. Laws that establish a PARTICULAR KIND OF SOCIETY for Israel

  2. Temple Worship

  3. Morality for ALWAYS

  • We don’t do all of them now, why?

  • The people of Israel don’t exist anymore when it comes to these kinds of laws when it comes to things like “not mixing fibers in the clothing that you make”

  • That law has passed away because Israel has passed away

  • The temple worship laws have passed away because the temple has ceased to exist

  • BUT the MORAL LAWS are STILL IN EFFECT

  • Why?

  • Because they were NOT CONDITIONAL

  • They were for EVERYONE

  • How do we know these laws are the kinds that didn’t just pass away with the people of Israel or pass away with the temple?

  • We know this because Leviticus 18:24 says: “Do not defile yourselves by any of these things, for by all these the nations I am casting out before you defiled themselves..”

  • This makes it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR that those laws regarding morality and sexual relations are NOT MERELY FOR ISRAEL

  • God is saying even the CANAANITES defiled themselves before the Israelites

  • This is not simply “Don’t cut your sideburns” or “Don’t mismatch fibers when making clothes”

  • Here God is VERY CLEARLY SAYING that other nations did this and it was an ABOMINATION to Him

  • They were PERVERSIONS

  • They were WRONG

  • They were EVIL

  • This was NOT A CONDITIONAL COMMANDMENT

  • This was a UNIVERSAL AND ABSOLUTE COMMANDMENT


  • Pretty EPIC episode eh?

  • God has given us His Word

  • God has given us Himself

  • God loves YOU

  • There are so many things that the Bible brings up that are close to our hearts and close to our lives

  • Whether those things be Laws considering sexual morality, sometimes those things could be someone being a victim of sexual abuse

  • Sometimes those things could be someone being attracted to these kinds of immoralities

  • What does that mean?

  • It means YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED

  • Someone may say, “But this is what I desire”

  • Yeah, and YOU ARE STILL ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED

  • “This happened to me, where was God then?”

  • You are ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED

  • Whether it was someone committing violence towards you

  • Whether it was someone stealing from you

  • Whether it is someone experiencing that woundedness, that brokenness

  • KNOW THIS

  • YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED

  • Every single one of us experiences BROKENNESS in some way, shape, or form

  • This is one of the reasons why God has given us His Law

  • This is THE reason why God gives us His Grace

  • YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED and YOU NEED GOD’S GRACE

  • Let that be the lesson for today

  • You do not need to experience CONDEMNATION, but you need to experience HOPE

  • YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED and that is why He gave us the ten commandments

  • YOU ARE ONE OF GOD’S BELOVED and that is why He gives us His Grace

  • YOUR STORY IS NOT OVER


Prayer by Fr Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for this great prayer that reminds us of all that you have done in our lives. Lord God, one of the big temptations we all have is to forget what you have done. To forget your might. To forget your goodness. To forget your love for us. To forget that you have fought for us. In so many ways and so many times you remind us that the Lord will fight for us. All we have to do is keep still. Lord God, this Psalm 78 reminds us of the need for us to remember how good you are and to remember how fickle we can be. Lord God, please help us if we have been false to you. Help us to be true to you now. If we have strayed, please find us and bring us back to your heart. If we have run away from you, we give you permission right now to take hold of our hands, to take hold of our hearts and bring us back to you. Bring us back home. Bring us back to you who are good. Who fight for us, who love us. Lord God, we make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, your son. Amen.”