Moses’ greatness stems not from his own inner strength but rather from his recognition that without God he could do nothing. Only God could save Israel from their enemies. Moses is merely a “servant” in the Lord’s house (Exod. 14:31; Num. 12:7, cf. Heb. 3:5). (p29)
If Abraham was the father of the nation, the exodus from Egypt under Moses represented Israel’s Independence Day. (p30)
On page 31, Schreiner has an excellent paragraph on the interaction between God’s sovereignty and Pharaoh’s obduracy in the matter of the hardening of his heart:
Pharaoh’s obstinacy was not the only reality; the Lord reigned and ruled over his decisions without infringing upon the authenticity of his choices. (p31)
It is immediately evident that the Sinai covenant should not be identified as a legalistic one. the Lord delivers his people by his grace, and they are to respond to his redemptive work on their half with obedience. (p35)
Israel’s priestly blessing to the nations is disputed. It could be that Yahweh summons Israel in a missional sense. It is more likely that Israel would mediate blessings to the nations if it was consecrated to the lord and kept his law. Israel was not instructed (unlike the NT) to bring the message of the love of God to other nations. Other nations would be attracted to Yahweh when they saw the blessings that belonged to Israel as the chosen and consecrated people of the lord. William Dumbrell says that “Israel’s primary role in this connection consisted in attracting the world to her form of government (i.e., the kingdom of God) by her embodied holiness.” (p36)
I think the contours of the above are generally correct. But the distinction between the missions/calls of Israel and the Church would also have to take into account Christ’s claim over all the earth in a unique way by virtue of his death and resurrection, and the fact that there is something particular (though not exclusive) in the way in which the apostles fulfilled the Great Commission.
Schreiner explores further these distinctions and says on page 37, after having quoted 1 Pet. 2:9 (“a holy nation”), “A crucial difference must be noted, however, for the church is not a theocracy. Its members do not belong to a particular political entity.” I understand what Schreiner is saying here, but I would prefer language that didn’t do away with the political aspect of our calling. I would prefer, “Its members do not belong to any earthly political entity,” for we do in fact belong to a political entity–the kingdom of Christ which are we are to enact and build upon the earth (“Thy kingdom come”).
Page 38 contains an excellent paragraph on the Ten Commandments. “The first and tenth commandment address the same issue. Whatever one covets or desires in one’s heart represents what one worships.”
G. K. Beale notes that the temple was built by Solomon only after Yahweh gave him “rest on every side” (1 Kings 5:4). Hence Yahweh’s sitting in the tabernacle/temple represents his triumph over his enemies and his reign over all (Exod. 15:17). (p41)
In particular, it seems fair to conclude, since forgiveness was obtained at the mercy seat, that the Lord’s reign over Israel was gracious and saving. (p43)
Israel’s worship of the golden calf constituted a breaking of the covenant…. As Childs says, Israel’s sin here should not be construed “as an accidental misdeed, but as a representative reactoin, constitutive to human resistance to divine imperatives.”…. The shattering of the tablets did not represent a selfish fit of anger on Moses’ part. The broken tablets represent the breaking of the covenant between Yahweh and Israel. (p44-45)