I love when God shows me something brand new in scripture. Brand new to me, not God. It fascinates me how scripture never changes, yet no matter how many times we read it, God has new revelation for us. Did you know that the Ten Commandments were written three different times? Well, I didn’t catch on to that until about my 7th time reading through the Bible. Each time the commandments are written, we can clearly see each part of the Trinity revealed, beginning with the Godhead.
The first time the commandments were pinned was when Moses was at the top of the mountain. The account is recorded in Exodus 31:18. “When God finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.” Moses then carried these tablets down the mountain, only to find that his brother Aaron had made a golden calf for the people to worship when they got tired of waiting on Moses to come down from the mountain.
When Moses saw the idol that had been crafted and the dancing and celebrating, he became so enraged that he smashed the tablets God had engraved at the base of the mountain. The first set of ten commandments reflect God’s wrath. Like in the garden, He gave his people something that was so good for them, but they squandered it to pursue their own desires. The two tablets may have been smashed to pieces, but the Word of the Lord remains forever.
The second set of tablets containing the commandments of the Lord, portray the second part of the trinity, The Son. Jesus showed up on the mountain with Moses this time and forgave the sins of His people. This account is recorded in Exodus chapter 34. But this time, the narrative is different. Instead of the tablets being engraved for Moses, Moses cut the tablets and engraved the commandments into the stones. In the 2nd writing of the commandments, we can clearly see Jesus teaching and empowering Moses to carry God’s word to the people.
The 3rd instance of the commandments is the one I have overlooked time and time again. It is found in the book of Joshua and it reflects the 3rd part of the trinity, the Holy Spirit. Joshua was the leader after Moses. God passed on the spirit of Moses to Joshua beginning with crossing the Jordan River in Joshua chapter three. If it sounds familiar, it was intended to. God reenacted Moses parting the Red Sea when Joshua stopped the flow of the Jordan River for the people to cross and finish the last leg of their journey into the Promised Land.
Moses was no longer with the people and so the power shifted to Joshua. When Jesus left this earth, he sent his Holy Spirit and there was a shift in power on the earth. Joshua built an altar and “There on the stones, Joshua copied the law of Moses…” Joshua 8:32. Joshua was sent to remind the people of God’s Word at an altar. This clearly resembles the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is when we get near to God, at the altars we have established, that His Spirit instills in us His Word and uses it as a testimony to all those who surround us.