To understand the Book of the Covenant, we need to go back to Genesis Chapter 15. Here we find God making a Covenant promise to Abram (his name is Abram before God changes it to Abraham). We read about the Covenant that God makes with Abram in Genesis 15:6-8, “and he believed in the LORD, and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him, ‘I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.’ And he said, ‘Lord GOD, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?’” Answering Abram, God speaks in covenant biblical language that Abram would understand and moves through the pieces of the split animals. By doing this, God says that if someone should break this Covenant, then someone is going to die. Next we read the prophetic words in Genesis 15:13-14,“and he said unto Abram, ‘Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.'”
Now fast forward 430 years and the children of Israel have been set free and are at the base of Mount Sinai. Here God speaks to Moses showing the fulfillment of this prophecy in Exodus 12:36 and revealing His intent for Israel. Exodus 19:5-6 says, “now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” There are four main points to be considered. These are the steps God uses to establish His covenant: ONE – the proposal, TWO – the acceptance of the proposal referenced in Exodus 19:7-8, THREE – the blood ratification, and FOUR – the Covenant confirming meal, being found in Exodus Chapter 24. This incredible story is from the throne room of God it is the ratification of the covenant originally made with Abraham (which is a marriage covenant with His people).
Then we read in Exodus 32 that in less than forty days Israel breaks the covenant which changes everything. Remember in Genesis 15 the Covenant promise had a death penalty added to it ensuring that it will be kept because Abram asked “HOW SHALL I KNOW THAT I WILL INHERIT IT? “ If someone should break this Covenant then someone is going to die.
I encourage you to spend some time to read the Book of the Covenant. It starts from Exodus Chapter 19:5 – 24:8-11. This book includes the Ten Commandments.
The Covenant promise required a death penalty. See Exodus 32:9-11 it states, “And the LORD said unto Moses, ‘I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.’ And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, ‘LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?'”
See Exodus 32:30-34 it says, “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, ‘Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.’ And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, ‘Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.’ And the LORD said unto Moses,’Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.'”
God delays the death penalty: Exodus 32:35 says, “And the LORD plagued the people because they made the calf, which Aaron made.” This delay is until the time when the Messiah would come, taking our place and excepting the death penalty whereby bringing us back into the covenant, also God also makes a change to the priesthood, and God adds the book of the Law.
Side note: If you’re paying close attention when studying the book of Exodus you will note it is not written in chronological order as is the book of Genesis. It is a chronological this is important to understand if don’t see this you will miss the understanding of the sequence of events, leading you down a path of misunderstanding unable to put together what God has in store for you.