Of the 108 verses revealing elements of the 10 steps in the Cycle – unity, commands, temptation, disobedience, disunity, warning, judgment, unfailing love, repentance, and restoration – 34 refer to God’s understanding of unity with him. Closely tied to this are God’s commandments, of which there are 43 in this section alone.
Yes, this is before the commands of Jesus, who changes everything. But ask yourself: does God ever change? And isn’t Jesus God? Isn’t it really that Jesus fulfills what God originally intended for Israel?
From the start of God’s plan for the Passover Lamb at the beginning of Chapter 12 to the triumphant song of Moses upon the deliverance of Israel from Pharaoh’s army in Chapter 15, we see how God’s people are to behave in bad times and good. Here is a summary worthy of following every day:
- God speaks to his people, now through the Holy Spirit rather than Moses, if his people speak to him constantly and passionately.
- When God speaks, the people bow down in humble and unified worship.
- The people do exactly what God commands.
- Following a command from God is an explanation, if the people are in unity with God.
- Leaders are steadfast in trials, have unruffled moral courage to exhibit unbending faith in the face of adversity, and help the people to wait and watch God work.
- The Lord will fight for you while you keep quiet (unity with patient hope and without doubt).
To which Moses stood strong in faith. God then spoke to the people through Moses and tested them with a warning:
“If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.” (Exodus 15:26, NASB)
Here is God’s plan for unity with him – plain and simple.
And it depends on a positive response from us.
If Israel had obeyed, there would be no Cycle to study. We will see repeatedly that they did not.
But in light of the fulfilling commandments of Jesus, is his church today any different than Israel back then?