Moses came and told the people all the Lord’s words and all the case laws. All the people answered in unison, “Everything that the Lord has said we will do.” Moses then wrote down all the Lord’s words. He got up early in the morning and built an altar at the foot of the mountain. He set up twelve sacred stone pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He appointed certain young Israelite men to offer entirely burned offerings and slaughter oxen as well-being sacrifices to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in large bowls. The other half of the blood he threw against the altar. Then he took the covenant scroll and read it out loud for the people to hear. They responded, “Everything that the Lord has said we will do, and we will obey.”
Moses then took the blood and threw it over the people. Moses said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord now makes with you on the basis of all these words.” Exodus 24:3-8 CEB
Quick, get the Germ – X ® hand sanitizer! I thought to myself as I saw two boys making a “spit promise.” Though it totally grossed me out as an adult, I knew they were dead serious about the pact they just made. While it remained to be seen whether or not they could actually keep that pact, their intent was to fulfill their promise to each other.
When we think of the word, “covenant”, however, it carries far more weight than these boyhood promises. It is generally a contract or legally binding agreement, initiated by God. It may be between between God and man (or a group of people such as the nation of Israel) or made by God as a promise of how he will act toward man.
In this case, God had already shown the Israelites his power of protection and provision in the miracles he had performed in the early days of their journey. Moses had written down an account of all these things along with answers God gave him to the many difficult disputes which had arisen among the people (chapters 21-23). He also included the promises of God to be with them as long as they obeyed God’s words. Now, he challenged the people: “You’ve already seen what God can do. Will you trust him and continue to walk with him?”
It was time for the people of Israel to make a decision and commit themselves to it. Would they respect and obey the things God said; the laws he gave them? Had they learned to trust him enough to commit to the process of healing and growth?
In our healing journey, we will most likely pass through a similar wilderness experience. There God will show us his provision and protection in some mighty ways. We should get into the habit of journaling about the things God does and how he leads us one step at a time through the lives of those he sends to help us and by the miracles he performs. And we need to reread the journaling about those events often to help us remember what he’s doing when the things get a little rough.
Ultimately though, there will come a time when we must stop and make a solid commitment to the journey. You see, unless a person wants to grow and heal from the effects of abuse, unless they commit to move forward after a great loss, they won’t cooperate with the work God needs to do to bring about that healing. A spiritual and emotional healing involves hard work and a deliberate commitment to the process.
Moses built an altar and stood before the people to read all of things he wrote down on this “covenant scroll.” When the people agreed to live by God’s laws, the promise was sealed with a mass sacrifice. Moses poured some of the blood on the altar to sanctify the altar and sacrificial gifts before God, and reserved the rest to sprinkle on the people to seal the deal. Not only had God committed to helping them, they had agreed to let him do the necessary work.
Will you commit your life to God and let him take control of this healing process? It won’t be easy as we shall see in the lives of the Israelites in the chapters to come. But the emotional health and spiritual rewards we gain by letting God control the process are well worth it! And one thing is for sure, when God makes a covenant promise to heal and guide, there is no doubt whatsoever that he will keep his end of the bargain.