Renewal Of The Covenant (Exodus 34:1 – 14). 

Learning outcomes. After studying this lesson, describe conditions for the renewal of the covenant

The renewal of the covenant came after Moses pleaded with God not to destroy the Israelites after they broke the covenant. God spared the Israelites.

God agreed to renew the covenant with the Israelites. He gave them several conditions for its renewal.

Conditions for the renewal of the covenant

The Israelites were:

a) To obey God’s commandments

b) Not to make any treaty with those who lived in the land where they were going.

c) To break down their altar, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah (Idols). Not to worship any other god and not to make idols for worship.

d) To keep the feast of unleavened bread (Passover).

e) Not to marry people form other tribes.

f) To rest on the Sabbath day.

g) To sacrifice and offer their best produce and animals to God.

God in turn promised to

a) Bless them. Protect and preserve the Israelites.

b) Make them prosper so much that the surrounding nations would enquire about their source of wealth and success.

With these conditions, the covenant between God and the Israelites was renewed. From the making and renewal of the covenant, it is clear that:

(i) God expected the Israelites to obey and have faith in Him

(ii) God wanted a personal relationship with Israelites.

(iii) God is the only one to be worshipped.

(iv) God is powerful.

Worshiping God In The Wilderness

Learning outcomes. After reading this lesson

a. Explain God’s purpose in delivering the Israelites from Egypt

b. Describe features of worship

a. God’s purpose in delivering the Israelites from Egypt was to worship and offer sacrifices to Him in the wilderness. He also intended to fulfil his promises to Abraham.

b. Features of worshipping God in the wilderness.

(i) The Israelites: Worshipped God through intermediaries. These were the priests who came from the tribe of Levi.

(ii) The Israelites: Were guided in their worship and in daily living by the Ten Commandments and other ordinances

(iii) The Ark of the Covenant was made in the wilderness. It was God’s dwelling place. It was a special box put into the tabernacle. A tabernacle was a portable tent. The ark symbolized the presence of God and the Israelites carried it wherever they went.

(iv) Offerings of farm products or agricultural produce were given to God. These included among other farm products; vegetables, flour. Oil and fruits.

(v) Other offerings to God were drinks, and incense. The offerings could be burnt, baked, boiled or roasted.

(vi) There were several Sacrifices. They included:

Burnt offerings (Holocaust) – burning a whole animal completely

Sin offering /atonement – sacrifice offered when one had sinned and wanted to have his sins forgiven.

Peace offering – part of an animal was offered, while the people ate part of the meat.

Gift offering – the best animal was given to God. It was offered as a thanksgiving

Animals such as sheep, goats, bulls and birds were sacrificed to God.

Festivals and feasts. Israelites observed several festivals and feasts. These included:

Feast of Passover and unleavened bread.

Harvest festival – feast of weeks or Pentecost. It marked the celebration of the harvest of wheat.

Feast of gathering / shelters. It was celebrated during the season when the Israelites gathered the fruits from the Orchards.

Feast of tabernacles that was celebrated to remember when the Israelites dwelt in tents.

The Israelites kept the Sabbath day. They worshipped God through singing, worship and dancing.

The ten commandments (exodus. 20: 1 – 17)

Learning outcomes. After reading this lesson,

a. Recite the ten commandments

b. Apply the ten commandments in your life

c. Describe Israelites new understanding of the nature of God

d. Explain to yourself and others the nature of God

a. The Ten Commandments

While on Mount Sinai, God gave Moses Ten Commandments written on a stone tablet. The first four

commandments deal with relationship between man and God. God said:

1. You shall have no other gods but me.

2. You shall not make yourself a graven image.

3. You shall not mention Gods’ name in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

The last six commandments give man’s relationship with fellow human beings. God said:

5. Honor you father and mother that your days may be long on earth.

6. You shall not kill.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s property.

These are my thoughts. (1) Worshipping God (2) Being faithful to God (3) Resting (4) respecting parental

authority (5) love humanity (6) Be faithful to your wife or husband (7) respect other people’s property

(8) be truthful always (9) be satisfied with what God has given you.

b. Israelites understand the nature of God

The Israelites had a new and wider revelation about God. Besides GOD being a caring, loving, and a

provider, they learnt that:

a. God is a jealous God. He does not allow the worship of others gods. He alone should be worshipped.

b. God does not condone evil. He punishes those who cause/engage in it.

c. God values a personal relationship with his people.

d. God wants people to live in harmony among them.

e. God forgives those who repent. He is loving, merciful and compassionate

f. God is a healer – he healed Israelites in the wilderness when a snake attacked them

g. God is a God of victory. He defeated the Amalekites, perizzites, and Hittites etc.

h. God is faithful and can be depended upon.

i. God is holy, slow to anger, powerful and just.

j. God demands obedience to His commands.

Revision questions

a. What are the qualities of Moses as a leader?

b (i). Describe the call of Moses (exodus 3:1-22)

(ii). Why was Moses hesitant to God’s call?

c (i). What is the significance of the items used for the Passover feast (similar to what is the meaning of

the Passover meal)

(ii). Compare the lord’s supper to the Passover feast

d. Describe how the Sinai covenant was made

e. Describe the circumstances that lead to the breaking of the Sinai covenant

f. How was the broken covenant renewed?

g. Describe how the Israelites worshipped God in the wilderness

h. What is the relevance of the ten commandments?

i. What did the Israelites learn about god in the wilderness?