Ch. 8 - The Law
We begin where the last lesson left off with the Sinai Covenant wherein God enters into a solemn covenant relationship with the 12 Tribes of Israel. This covenant, which involves a sacrifice and a sacrificial meal, transforms Israel into a nation. The covenant law is the Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20-23). However, as soon as Israel enters into this covenant, Israel breaks it by committing a grave act of apostasy. Israel does so by constructing and worshiping a golden calf, which is a return to the idolatrous worship of the Egyptian Apis cult. This mortal sin causes the covenant curse to be administered. The Tribe of Levi slaughters 3,000 Israelites in one day. In doing so, Levi is granted the priesthood, and so the Levitical priesthood begins as a probationary, temporary priesthood to keep Israel, God's wayward son, in check until the time Jesus comes to completely deliver Israel from this broken covenant. Jesus will do this through his redemptive death upon the Cross. The Mosaic Law contains many commandments given after Israel apostatized in Genesis 32. This is why St. Paul says in Galatians 3:19, "Why then the Law? It was added because of transgressions, till the offspring (Jesus) should come to whom the promise had been made." You will also see how Moses serves as a type of Christ in the way he mediates between God and Israel in several significant instances.