It struck me how detailed God’s instructions for life were to Moses and Israel. And after giving the instructions, on page 138 The Lord said to Moses “Write down all these instructions, for they represent the terms of the covenant I am making with you and with Israel.”
Covenant means “agreement”, so we are getting into the meat of the old covenant or “old agreement”.
We Christians believe that God has since made a new agreement or new covenant as documented in the New Testament. While not completely doing away with the old covenant, the new covenant states that the main value of the old covenant and guidance therein is to make us realize that we cannot possibly be obedient enough or good enough to be acceptable to God. History has taught us that no matter how hard we try we cannot live up to the standards that God is laying out in this old covenant (the pages we just read or are about to read). Trying to live up to those laws led our ancestors/Israel to constantly ask for forgiveness and atonement for their shortcomings.
The new covenant that God makes with us is really good news. It says that we no longer have to constantly ask for forgiveness, and we are no longer subject to the penalty (death-or eternal separation from God) for not being obedient to all of God’s very specific instructions. God’s new covenant, which seems very generous to me, says, that once and for all the penalty for our errors or failures to obey Him, were paid when His perfect Son, Jesus, was tortured and put to death. As a result, if we accept that Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our transgressions, we are forgiven. Completely forgiving, and made completely acceptable to God.