The law was not just for Israel. God’s purpose was that nations would see the effectiveness of his laws and want to copy them.
See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today? (Deut 4:5-8).God’s law would make Israel into a great nation. The other nations would look at their body of laws and express amazement. They would choose to follow the Israelite examples. God’s influence would not grow through the expansion of the Israelite kingdom. Rather it would spread, as the nations copied the laws that God had given to Israel.
God’s system was a unique combination of law and no human king. The nations all had kings and arbitrary laws.
God’s plan failed because Israel refused to accept his system. They chose a mixture of God’s law and human kings that produced failure and not greatness. The nations never got to see the greatness of God’s system of laws.
In the Old Testament, the expectation was that the nations would copy the second table first. Once people had experienced the benefits of these laws, they would start to enquire about the God who given them and get interested in the first table. The law came first, and loving God came second.
Since the coming of Jesus, the order has been reversed. As the gospel is preached, the nations accept Jesus as Lord. They would then be taught to obey his laws. The nations will love God first as they hear the gospel, and then apply his laws as they study his word.
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