Saturday, July 12, 2008

2,500 years

Without getting into a discussion about evolution (because that would be far from the point here...)

From what I understand, when scholars figure out all the dates, ages, lineages, etc, in the Bible, it's figured that there were approximately 4,000 years from the time of Adam to the time of Christ. Well, the Law of Moses was introduced approximately 2,500 years after Adam (which was 1,500 years before Christ). This means that up until Christ, during five-eighths (5/8) of the history of man, there was no concept of "The Ten Commandments" (nor of any of God's other moral laws, ceremonial laws, purification laws, civil laws, etc, that are laid out in scripture).

Why is this? Why did 2,500 years go by before the law was given? Did God suddenly give Himself a V-8 bop on the head and say, "Oops! You know what? I could've given these people some rules to live by!" Or did He perhaps simply get fed up one day and say, "Man, these people sure are a rowdy, sinful bunch. What I'll do is I'll come up with some laws, precepts and ordinances that reflect My holiness and I'll set it all up as the standard for them to live by. That'll set 'em straight."

If God's law was given as the standard by which man should live, why didn't He give the law as soon as He created Adam, or at least right after the fall of Adam? Why did God give the law quite some time after Adam? How did all those people live, from the time of Adam to the time of Moses - without the 10 commandments and all the other laws!?!? How were they supposed to live righteously?

Did they live righteously? Actually, no they didn't!

"...sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned..." (Rom 5:12)

Well, ok then... when God's holy laws and statutes finally came into the picture, surely they began living right... right?


Even with God telling people exactly what He expected from them concerning righteousness and godliness through His law, there has never been a person who has actually kept it.

Why do I bring all this up? To make the point that God's law never had anything to do with making people righteous or helping them to live righteously! That was not the purpose of the law. If that was God's purpose in giving all His laws, then it was a tremendous failure! I'll get into the purpose of the law later.

Right now I guess I'm still intrigued when I think that during 2,500 out of the 4,000 years from Adam to Jesus... man lived apart from "the law." NOT TO MENTION that most of the people who have ever lived on the earth, even after the time of the giving of the law, were not even a part of the Covenant that included God's laws! Most Gentiles (non-Jews) around the world have probably had no idea that such laws even existed, or at least have not had a clue what the laws actually said!

More to come...


  1. oh, the scholars said that, did they?

  2. "Scholars." Hmm. Perhaps a bad choice of a word on my part. Perhaps better said, "those who are smarter than me." :) Or perhaps more importantly in this case, "those who have actually sat down and taken the time to add up the dates and events."

    I would barely last through Adam to Cain.

  3. Actually, I did take the time to do that once and you are right. ;-) I just wanted to see if a timeline could be made from Adam to Jesus with no gaps...

    Interestingly, as to the law, and all, Abraham lived about 450 years before the law was given, and yet it says that he believed God and that was counted to him as righteousness... Hmm.... ;-)

  4. Katherine,

    You must've been reading my mind because that's what the next part will be based upon... The promise of God to Abraham 430 years before the law! A life of faith, not law!

  5. =D

    Well, I'm a fairly freshly released prisoner of the law mentality, so the studying that helped set me free is pretty fresh - and very personal....

  6. Very good read. I think you are on to something here. I look forward to reading the next entry.

  7. Katherine,

    It's great to be free from the bondage of a law-based mentality, isn't it! I never get tired of the good news of grace!


    Thanks for the comment. These are thoughts I've had for a long time and I enjoy sharing them, both to speak my heart and to hear what others have to say.

  8. Now again, I'm commenting before I read the whole thing, but I'd like to restate what I think from the last (more recent) entry I read... er... the one about Laws.

    Here's what you said that inspired my thoughts:
    "Why is this? Why did 2,500 years go by before the law was given? Did God suddenly give Himself a V-8 bop on the head and say, "Oops! You know what? I could've given these people some rules to live by!" "

    Okay, I'm just wondering if humans really need divine intervention when it comes to morals... God has already hard-wired right and wrong into every human being.

    So I think He already thought way ahead (isn't God amazing?) when He first created us. God, when He created our world, already put His laws into place. When Moses brought the Commandments down, God, in my opinion, was just clarifying what everyone already knew. Now His people could point at the stones and say, "There! What you're doing is wrong!" And, in my opinion, they needed it for the difficult road they went through in the years ahead, though it often wasn't enough to keep them on track (that's us humans for ya).

    I have to go now, but thanks! Maybe I'll get back to reading the rest later!


  9. Loving this Joel!! Many a time I have pondered the reason for the Law, and knew it couldn't have been what I was taught from church. In fact, I'll go ahead and say, although I've not read your later post on the subject, that as I sat and pondered one day with Father, I felt like He was explaining to me how the Law was ultimately about leading us to freedom, and not at all about slavery to rules. The Law really was only pointing out our cage. Seeing that cage only makes me want to be free from it. I believe He was trying to free us from ourselves.

    Thanks for putting this into words and even with a timeline to help clarify!!