Shemot (Exodus) 30:11–34:35
As I was reading this week’s parasha (weekly Scripture reading), two verses jumped out immediately. They make so much sense only if we read them with the amazing continuity of God’s Word in mind:
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with these words I have formed a covenant with you and with Israel.” So he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did not eat bread or drink water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments.
—Shemot (Exodus) 34:27–28
Here we see the formation of the first covenant that God made with Israel, which Israel broke and did not keep. It is also interesting to note that the above verses refer to the second time that Moses went up to Mt. Sinai; when he first ascended, Israel were already forming the golden calf to make themselves a god due to their selfishness and inability to wait & trust in the Living God.
These verses in Exodus actually point to another event that took place in a very similar way, an event which is described in both Matthew and Luke in the fourth chapter. Notice that Satan tempted Yeshua by twisting the words of the Torah, yet Yeshua always responded with the truemeaning of God’s Word:
Then Yeshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘HE WILL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE CONCERNING YOU’; and ‘ON THEIR HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, LEST YOU STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’” Yeshua said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’” Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.” Then Yeshua said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’” Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.
In the same way that Moses did not eat for forty days and forty nights, so it was with our Messiah. The number forty represents transition in the Word of God, and in Moses’ case, Israel entered a new era in their relationship with God at Mt. Sinai. In a very similar way, Yeshua entered a new season after his 40 days and nights in the desert since, from that time, He began to fulfill His role as the Messiah, Son of Joseph, i.e., the suffering servant. This was actually foretold by the prophet Jeremiah:
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My Torah within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Through His death and resurrection, Yeshua fulfilled this amazing promise that God gave to Israel and to Judah, a promise of a new covenant, which was not like the first one. In this new covenant, God promised to write His instruction (Torah) not on tablets of stone, but within us on our hearts, to forgive our iniquities, and to remember our sins no more.
As we live in the days that we see this promise being fulfilled before our eyes, I am looking forward to the day when all of Israel will recognize the fulfillment of God’s promises in our Messiah Yeshua.
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, February 28, 2018, and reposted with permission.