In our Previous study, we looked deeper into the the term “The Curse Of The Law”".  Let us examine another term  used by Paul to describe the Law of Moses

There is therefore now no
  condemnation to those who
  are in Christ Jesus, who do not
  walk according to the flesh, but
  according to the Spirit.

  For the law of the Spirit of life in
  Christ Jesus has made me free from
  the law of sin and death.

   For what the law could not do in that
  it was weak through the flesh, God did
  by sending His own Son in the likeness
  of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned
  sin in the flesh, that the righteous
  requirement of the law might be
  fulfilled in us who do not walk according
  to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” –Paul (Rom 8:1-4)

Introduction

Paul described the Law as a Law of Sin and Death, one that requires the death of Jesus to do what the Law of Moses failed to do. Jesus had to fulfil the righteous requirement of the Law so that his follows can now walk according to the Spirit.

When Paul described the Law of Moses as the Law of Sin and Death. It resulted to many modern Theologian condemning the Mosaic Covenant, giving it a low regard. As the result, many Christians read their works and think that the Mosaic law is a bad covenant .

This type of thinking lead to an extreme concept known as ANTINOMIANISM which is the idea that justification through faith is alone, making void the need to keep the Law. Protestants who followed such thinking swing to the extreme where faith justifies everything and there is no need to keep even the basic morality behind the Mosaic Covenant

Both extremes are incorrect, today we will examine what Paul  meant in greater details. Looking into the Torah to better understand why Paul called the Mosaic law a law of sin and death.

 Basic Principle:  A Perfect Law Kept By Imperfect Israel

Before we begin our journey, let us remember that a Covenant is signed between 2 parties. In the case of Mosaic Covenant, it was signed between Israel and God. In the new Testament, we often read the Mosaic Law as the law given by angels (CF Acts 7:53, Heb 2:2). Angels here do not refer to spiritual beings but referred to Prophets, the messenger sent by God.

In the case of the Mosaic Covenant. The Law was delivered by Moses to Israel. Moses is the angel (messenger) sent by God to Israel. When the Law was given it was perfect.  It was meant to help one become wise for salvation.

King David once spoke of the Law of God

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul;
  The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
   The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
  The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
  The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous
  altogether.” – David (Ps 19:7-9)

But yet the same man failed to keep the Law on one occasion

“because David did what was right
  in the eyes of the Lord, and had not
  turned aside from anything that He
  commanded him all the days of his life,
   except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” – Author (1 King 15:5)

The main flaw in the Mosaic Covenant is about sin. Sin happens whenever one fall short of the Law of God. This flaw happened not because the Law given by God is imperfect. But the problems lies with those who lived under the Covenant. For even the best of them was unable to keep the words of the Covenant.

In the previous post about the curse of the Law. We have seen the effect of sin. The transgressors of the law had to suffer from the curse of the Law. The Law was powerless in stopping the people from sin. The Law was only able to teach Israel what is sin but was unable to prevent them from sinning.

How The Mosaic Law Dealt With Sin

Basically the Mosaic law deals with sin using a 2 pronged approach 

1. Sin Offering.

Lev 4 describes the requirement of the Law with regards to a sin offering. This sin offering is offered. Personally I have compiled the amount of animals to be sacrificed and tabulated an estimate here

Under the Mosaic Covenant, you would need about 1263 animals to be sacrificed. Out of which 20 goats is sacrificed yearly on both the spring and the fall festivals when Israel gathers for their feast before the Lord. You will notice that in this diagram, Goats are only offered during festivals and both the spring and fall feast requires about 10 goats each.

As shared in the articles regarding the feast of the Tabernacles. Among all the feast of the Lord. The Feast of the tabernacles requires the most sacrifice.

2.The Reading Of The Law
According to the Law of Moses. The Kings who govern the people of God is required to copy the Law of God with his own hand (Deut 17:19-20) . He is required to read it all the days of his life, and be careful to observe all the words of the Law  and its statutes

Levites and Priest are to be scribes to copy the word of God by their own hands. A copy if would be kept in the Temple / Tabernacle. The place where God name dwells.

For the common man, Moses instructed that the Law to be read to the people every Seven years, (which coincides with the sabbatical year AKA sabbaths). It is probably read also on the year of Jubilee which occurs once every 50 years.

Moses explained the rationale of this clearly

“Gather the people together, men
  and women and little ones, and the
  stranger who is within your gates,
  that they may hear and that they
  may learn to fear the Lord your God
  and carefully observe all the words of
  this law,  and that their children, who
  have not known it, may hear and learn
  to fear the Lord your God as long as you
  live in the land which you cross the
  Jordan to possess.”- Moses (Deut 31:9)

We need to note that the Law that Moses is referring to here refers specifically the book of Deuteronomy. As it is the address of Moses meant for the entire nation of Israelites.

We know that later on when the Synagogues are formed during the Babylonian captivity and the Persian period. The Jews that gather made it a point to read from the Law and Prophets a regular basis. 

The Law Was Unable To Save And Justify

The Law is a set of moral instructions given directly by God in the ten commandments. The rest the moral law penned down by Moses were received from God. They are detailed in the ten commandments. 

Those who keep it faithfully will prevent themselves from sinning against God. It is effective in stopping them from sinning against God in the future. But that can only help prevent future sins from happening. It is powerless against sins that are already committed.

As those who transgress the Law face the curse of the Law. We see this happening again and again throughout the old testament.  This flaw came not because God or the Law was evil. But the failure of man to keep the Law is the main point of failure.

Despite countless of feast and reminder from the Law failed to prevent Israel from facing the curse of the Law. No men was able to keep the full Law of Moses, and those who transgress the commandments are guilty of sin. For they fall short of the standard of the Law.

God had never desired offering of animals for any of his feast or for any reason. he spoke Clearly through Prophet Samuel

“Has the Lord as great delight in
  burnt offerings and sacrifices, As
  in obeying the voice of the Lord?
  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
  And to heed than the fat of rams.”-Samuel (1 Sam 15:22)

God had never desire the cutting of foreskin over the obedience to his words. As Moses Exhorts

“Therefore circumcise the
  foreskin of your heart, and
  be stiff-necked no longer.”- Moses (Deut 10:16)

“Break up your fallow ground,
  And do not sow among thorns.
   Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
  And take away the foreskins of your hearts,
  You men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
  Lest My fury come forth like fire,
  And burn so that no one can quench it,
  Because of the evil of your doings.”- YHWH (Jer 4:3-4)

From here we know, that even among those who kept the Law. In the eyes of God they are not righteous

“God looks down from heaven upon the children of men,
  To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
  Every one of them has turned aside;
  They have together become corrupt;
  There is none who does good,
  No, not one.”- David (Ps 14:2-3, Ps 53:2-3)

David was a man who kept the Law of God and viewed it as his delight. But yet he himself was guilty of transgressing the Law of God when he plotted against Uriah the Hittite. He had to suffer from the curse of the Law the latter part of his Life.

Those who kept the Law understands sin. Those who practice it, prevented themselves from sinning against God actively. But even if they keep it fully. They will not be righteous in the eyes of God. In the eyes of God all the righteousness of man are like filthy rags. Just as God said through Prophet Isaiah

"But we are all like an
  unclean thing, And all
  our righteousnesses are
  like filthy rags; We all
  fade as a leaf, And our
  iniquities, like the wind,
  Have taken us away."- Isaiah (Is 64:6)

Those who kept the Law , Dies in sin

The Law had not saved anyone. All those who kept died in sin. This is mentioned all over the old testament

“For there is not a just man
  on earth who does good
  And does not sin.” – Solomon ( Eccl 7:20 )

“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,
  O Lord, who could stand?
  But there is forgiveness with You,
  That You may be feared.”-Psalmist ( Ps 130:3-4 )

Those of the old covenant are often guilty of transgression. Despite all the offering, feast they have attended despite the number of sin offering made on their behalf. Those who kept all the law are deemed righteous. But yet God stated an important fact through Prophet Ezekiel

“But when a righteous man
  turns away from his righteousness
  and commits iniquity, and does
  according to all the abominations t
  hat the wicked man does, shall he live?
  All the righteousness which he has
  done shall not be remembered; because
  of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty
  and the sin which he has committed,
  because of them he shall die “ – YHWH (Eze 18:24)

Over here God specifically say that any man who commits iniquity will die in his sin. All the righteousness that he had did will not be remembered. He will die in his sin. In fact all who followed the Law suffered from the curse of the Law. They all died in their sin.

The Covenant Broken And Renewed Continuously

The Covenant was delivered by God at Mount Sinai, Israel only managed to keep it for 40 days before they transgress the covenant by constructing the Golden Calf.

The Covenant was renewed by Moses, but Israel broke it by refusing to enter Canaan. As the result the entire congregation died in the wilderness except for Joshua, Caleb and some Levites.

The Covenant was renewed  at the time of Joshua, and after that it was broken during the period of the judges.

Then Samuel came along, renewed the covenant. David prepared to build the temple. The temple was later consecrated during the time of Solomon But we know that it was eventually broken by both the Kingdom of Israel and Judah. Various Kings in those period tried to hold on to the Covenant. But eventually Israel and Judah both suffered from the curse of the Law. They were judged by God. They were destroyed by the Assyrians and the Babylonians.

Later on Israel renewed the covenant during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. But we know by the time of Malachi, the Covenant was broken once again.

Conclusion And What Is To Come

I hope that at the end of this, we are able to understand the flaw of the Old covenant regarding sin. the flaws did not come from God or the Law, but it came from our inability to keep the Law of God. 

Anyone who is unable to keep the Law in its entirety, transgress against God. The result of it is that they must face the curse of the Law. That is to be punished for their transgression.

Even though God had consecrated and set Israel apart as a nation holy to him. His Tabernacle continue to dwell in their uncleanness and it had to be cleanse on the day of Atonement as to atone for the sins committed by Israel.

Today there are many in the Hebrew Roots movement who claims that they tries their best to keep the Law. But yet in their disparate attempt to keep the Law. They focus a lot about follow the feast, keeping the Law. But yet their practices were far from what is required in the Law of Moses.  Sometimes I wonder if they know that anyone who fall short of a bit from the requirement of the Law, will face the curse of the Law.

In the next article. We would explore the Law from a Christian perspective. What is the relationship between Christians and the Law? Is The Law merely a Hebrew tradition that had no relationship with Christianity? 

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