In the book of Exodus we read where God presented His Law to the children of Israel after delivering them from slavery in Egypt. Chapters 20 through 30 record the details of the covenant God was offering to the people of Israel. In Chapter 32, we read of Moses return from the Mountain where God gave him the statutes of the covenant. He found the people in violation of the covenant in the worship of the golden calves up his return. This story not only recounts the sinfulness of Israel, but of mankind as well. Coming right after the stipulations of the covenant gives this story a specific implication. In the story of Israel being God’s redeemed people, the golden calf story serves as the Genesis three story of the fall for all mankind. It is an act which defines Israel character, just as eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the act that defined all mankind’s character. It is to reinforce the truth that all people are completely dependent on God’s forgiving grace. There never was a point in Israel’s history that was marked totally by faithful covenant keeping. Even David, the man after God’s own heart, failed miserably. And there never has been a time in mankind’s history when God’s covenant was faithfully observed either. The golden age of man’s harmonious living with God in the garden of Eden before the fall has never returned.

The law in its many forms always accomplishes its purpose: To bring man to his knees before a perfect God in need of salvation based totally and completely on God’s marvelous grace. The New Testament takes the law, either in the instruction not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or not to worship idols and tells us pointedly “there is none righteous, no not one.” We have all sinned under the law and we are all totally dependent on God’s forgiving Grace.

A xenon lamp, called the flashblaster, is a highly focused laser beam. Since its discover many uses have been found from delicate surgery to restoring ancient art pieces and buildings to their pristine state. It can peel away multiple layers of paint that have covered treasured murals where every other attempt has failed. It has been used to vaporize animal fat in the cracks of European statues. Radiation therapy, eye surgery and many other applications have all proved its usefulness. God’s forgiving grace is like the flashblaster. It’s as sovereign over sin as the flasblaster is over numerous coats of paint. We try all kinds of things but only God’s forgiving grace can do the job. What human efforts cannot accomplish, God’s forgiving grace can. Christ’s sacrifice obliterates sin’s power. In Christ we find the golden age of harmony between God and man. The Amplified version of Ephesians 1:2 says, “May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”