Maybe someday in a beautiful one, sunny Sunday, when your friends were going to the water, you went to Mass reluctantly. ? At other times, you had a great desire to watch an interesting movie, and your parents told you to stay with your younger siblings. You certainly had to overcome yourself, to stay home. Maybe you think in such situations, that all these sacrifices would fall off, if God hadn't made demands. Maybe you think, that God is far away, I'm not interested in people, their job, desires and sufferings, but it only binds a man, imposes obligations and, like a strict judge, imposes the penalty ? Is it really so ?
Covenant at Sinai
Read the words of Scripture, and you will find out, what God really is. See, how God appears in Scripture.
God delivered his people from Egyptian bondage and led them to Mount Sinai through Moses. Here he decided to make a covenant with him. St.. says yes :
,,Moses then ascended to God, and God called to him from above and said : You will say this to the house of Jacob and make it known to the sons of Israel : you have seen, what I did to Egypt, I carried you on eagles' wings and brought you to me. Now if you will listen diligently to my voice and keep my covenant, you will be my special possession among all nations, because all the earth belongs to me " (Wj 19, 3-5).
Moses communicated God's intention to the people. It took three days to prepare for the great covenant ceremony. On the set day, the entire nation was assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai. Moses himself spoke to God. And then he gave all the words of God to the people. Then he built an altar.
"Then he commanded the young men of the sons of Israel to offer a burnt offering and a calf sacrifice to God. Moses took half the blood and poured it into a spell, and the other half of the blood was sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it aloud to the people. I stated : "All, what God said, we will do and we will obey ». Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying : This is the blood of the covenant, which God has entered into with you on the basis of all these words " (Wj 24, 5-8).
So you see, that God, which appears to us in Scripture., comes closer to a man, to make a covenant with him.
A covenant is a mutual aid agreement between two tribes or states, cooperation and friendship. God also called his fellowship with the chosen people a covenant.
The Sinai covenant deepened the covenants with the Patriarchs of Israel (Ps 104, 8). It was sealed with the blood of the sacrifice offered on the altar. God undertook to take special care of his people, to whom he revealed his name (Wj 3), The Israelites, however, promised to serve the one God faithfully, Jahwe, "Which is".
The covenant at Sinai was of great importance to the people of Israel. The Israelites considered them the most important event in their history, history of the chosen people. God didn't choose them just for their own good. He invited them to cooperate for the benefit of all people. The chosen people was henceforth to be an intermediary in the salvation of other nations.
Old and New Covenant
And what significance will the covenant made at Sinai have for us? ?
The prophets speak of the significance of the Sinai Covenant. They explain, that God is leading his people, like a shepherd a flock (From 40,11 ; Ps 22). He cares for Israel like a gardener for his vineyard (From 5, 7). He loves his people, how spouses love each other (Oz 1, 3). At the same time, these comparisons of the prophets foreshadow the New Covenant, in which Christ will be the Good Shepherd, A farmer and a sort of a spouse, and His Church a sheep, A vineyard and, as it were, a wife. God speaks through Jeremiah the prophet :
,,And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, by the power of which I will not stop doing them good. I will fill their hearts with my fear, so that they no longer turn away from me " (Jr 32, 40).
We call the Sinai Covenant the Old Covenant. It was the beginning and the announcement of the New Covenant, which our Mediator concluded at Calvary,
Jesus Christ and sealed them forever with his own blood (1 Disease 1, 25). In this New Covenant, we see God's even greater love. Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd, leads us to the Father, looks after us, and also nourishes us with his Body. This covenant is not just one nation, but all people. We were called to participate in it by baptism. We are now "God's new People", a new community in Jesus Christ.
How will I answer God ?
Christ caused, that you became a partaker of a covenant with God. You belong to God's chosen people. God has called you to cooperate with yourself, for friendly cooperation. Now judge for yourself, are you right, who say, that God is far away, that He only binds and demands a man. God really did everything, to let people and you into their friendship and to give everyone the opportunity to cooperate with each other. Therefore, religion is not only about the performance of duties, obeying orders, but also true collaboration with God. Do you appreciate God's call ? Do you want to cooperate with God ? So that you may remember your belonging to the new People of God better, that is, to the Church, repeat the words of the prayer :
"God, who, after the end of the Old Covenant, made the New by your only-begotten Son, give us, please, that as the new People of God, united in love, we may know You better and more faithfully serve You ". Say your gratitude for the vocation to cooperation and friendship with God in the words of a song :
"My Lord, what can I give you, for countless graces ?
I will praise you every day, adore you, Hallelujah I When I confess my misery, like Father, you listen to me,
When the fear of death overwhelms me, You keep me strong.
I was your weak child, You took me in your arms.
When I was poor Lord, You have enriched me.
Like the Father, you lead me and protect me from tears,
You know all my steps, so vain my fear.
I bless your name and praise your goodness,
I know, that I will come your way into the Father's holy house.
■ Think :
1. What is a covenant ?
2. What was the Sinai covenant? ?
3. What God called his people to do by making a covenant ?
4. When you were called to cooperate and friendship with God ?
■ Remember :
33. What we call the Sinai covenant ?
We call the Sinai Covenant the Old Covenant or the Old Testament.
34. What was the significance of the Sinai covenant in the history of salvation? ? The Sinai Covenant made the chosen people mediator and foreshadowed the New Covenant in Jesus Christ.
■ Task :
Read the chapter 19 Book of Exodus and relate the Scriptures about the covenant in Sinai.