RENEWAL OF THE COVENANT (EXODUS 34:1 – 14)
At the end of the lesson, you should be able to:
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.
Lesson Nine: Worshiping God in the Wilderness
After reading this lesson a. Explain God’s purpose in delivering the Israelites from Egypt
- Describe features of worship
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- (vii) Festivals and feasts. Israelites observed several festivals and feasts.
- 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.