The laws that God gave to His children in the wilderness are:
First: God’s moral law or the Ten Commandments
God “gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God…” (Exodus 31:18; 32:16). This law was placed inside the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 40:20). God’s moral law serves as a mirror to man (James 1:23–25) for it points out wrongdoing in his life and leads him to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing (Acts 4:10; 2 Timothy 1:9).
People don’t keep the Ten Commandments to be saved but because they are saved. When they accept God’s gift of salvation by faith they receive instant justification (Ephesians 2:8). And as they daily surrender their lives to Him that He may transform them into His likeness, they walk in sanctification (2 Corinthians 3:18).
God’s moral law cannot be changed. Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). Because these commandments are revealed principles of God’s holy character and are the very foundation of His kingdom, they stand true as long as God exists. “All His precepts [commandments] are sure. They stand fast forever and ever” (Psalm 111:7, 8).
Second: The Laws of Moses which is composed of various civil, social, and religious laws
These laws were put in writing and collected into a book, known as “the book of the covenant” (Exodus 24:7). This book was not placed inside of the Ark of the covenant but next to it (Deuteronomy 31:26).
The primary laws in this book were those that deal with the worship of God such as temple ceremonies and sacrifices…etc (Exodus 20: 23–26). Then the laws respecting the rights of persons (Exodus 21:1–32), beginning with the rights of servants and ending with compensation to people for damages caused by animals. The third part deals with rights of property (Exodus 21:33 to 22:15). And the last part of the “book” gives various laws, some concerned with divine affairs, some with human affairs generally related to the civil structure of the state. This code contains about 70 different laws.
The Mosaic laws that pointed to Christ’s work were abolished at the cross because they were fulfilled by His death. “having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross…” (Colossians 2:14–17). “having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances” (Ephesians 2:15). These laws were added till the “Seed should come,” and that “Seed … is Christ” (Galatians 3:16, 19).
For a comparison between God’s law and Moses’ laws, check out: Are God’s Law and Moses’ Law the same?
In His service,