In Genesis 15, God told Abram that his descendants would suffer as aliens in a foreign land for 400 years.
According to Paul, this happened 430 years later, as the Israelites were enslaved by Egyptians. God raised up Moses to lead them out of Egypt to the land He promised to their forefathers.
Exod. 19:3-6 [NIV]
3Then Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: 4’You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, 6you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
We can clearly see that God’s intention was not to give the Israelites the Law that they could never fulfill. Rather, He intended to fulfill His promise and raise them up as a holy people, who would be priests for Him among the nations. Through them, He would teach other peoples and show them His glory and power, love and mercy, righteousness and justice.
In a sense, His desire for preserving, preparing them and delivering them was not merely to give them the land He promised to their forefathers. Rather, He would have them set apart for His use to bring salvation and His disrupted plan for Man back on track.
He will be the King of a kingdom of priests, which means they are all sons to Him. In the same context, we know that He delivered them from slavery and redeemed them from the judgment of death. He called them his first-borns. In this, however, something else was also implicit: to rule or reign with Him in His Kingdom. He would teach them more than Priestly wisdom, but also Kingly wisdom. He would exalt them before kings and princes of the earth, for in His eyes, Israel is His Prince.
But the Israelites fell into unbelief and rebellion, and practiced acts of wickedness and idolatry when Moses was summoned unto the peak of Sinai to receive the Law. Their heart was dull, and this wonderful promise was too much for them to perceive and receive.
God, out of His love, and at the mediation of Moses, who serves as a shadow of Christ Jesus, lowered the standard and gave them the Law, in order to preserve the seed of His promise.
This is post is _Part 7_ in the series The Order of Melchizedek. To continue with this series, click on Pt 8. To use this as a growth tool to better understand your own calling, you might start by reading the explanation of this series, Pt 1, Pt 2, Pt 3, Pt 4, Pt 5 and Pt 6.
Photo credit: Mamluke