Many in the church of Christ teach that God's Law did not exist until Moses wrote it down. However this is just not so as you will see in this study.
"because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws."
In this study we will look at Genesis 26:5. There are 4 things that Abraham kept. The list of items are all separate things that Abraham did and are not all the same thing. So let's go through the list.
4931. mishmereth, mish-meh'-reth; fem. of H4929; watch, i.e. the act (custody) or (concr.) the sentry, the post; obj. preservation, or (concr.) safe; fig. observance, i.e. (abstr.) duty, or (obj.) a usage or party.
Abraham was a "watchman on the wall". Abraham did not leave his post. He was faithful.
4687. mitsvah, mits-vaw'; from H6680; a command, whether human or divine (collect. the Law).
Abraham obeyed God's Commandments. I believe that this refers to what we know now as the 10 Commandments. I believe that Moses wrote down the moral law that had been known since Adam in Genesis 2. If not then what were the commandments that Abraham obeyed? Does God change?
2708. chuqqah, khook-kaw'; fem. of H2706, and mean. substantially the same.
2706 choq khoke From H2710; an enactment; hence an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage).
I am going to use a scenario that is not perfect because it involves man's law, but I think it will help us see something important. Let us pretend that the automobile has only recently been invented, but that we have all the roads and freeways already in place. Several people were killed in the first week because when drivers got in their cars they just held the gas peddle all the way down and drove very fast. So in man's wisdom he decides that everyone must not drive so fast. A law is created that says, "Thou shalt not speed". Signs are placed on all roads that repeat this law. However since no particular speed is suggested or limited then people are unsure as to what they should do. Some move along very slowly and others still very fast. Accidents continue and people are killed. So statutes are then written to tell people what speeding means. Generally accidents are reduced, however, there are people who realize that there are no penalties for speeding and continue to drive as they wish. Judgements are written placing penalties on those who speed. Speeding then is reduced further because people fear the judgement for speeding.
Now I can get to my intended point. Those who teach that only the laws repeated in the New Testament are for today have a problem. There are no statutes or judgments for those laws listed in the New Testament. There are no definitions listed. Most are taught to disregard the Old Testament. I have thought that some might at this point say that we don't need them because man has defined them, but I hope that no one would rely on man's corrupted laws, statutes and judgments for wisdom! Basically because of this no one in the churches of Christ have any idea what "Honor your father and mother" truly means. Only those who have spent the time to study it out realize just how involved each of the laws of the ten commandments are and how wonderful the law is for us to know. A good example is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery". Most think that commandment only deals with breaking wedlock.
8451. towrah, to-raw'; or torah, to-raw'; from H3384; a precept or statute, espec. the Decalogue or Pentateuch.
This is the Law of God. It has existed always and it will always exist. Jesus Christ is the Law of God.
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Have you noticed that we have not talked about blood ordinances? That is because they were not a part of God's original Law. Have you also noticed that there has been no mention of any of the Levitical laws? There were no Levites in Abraham's day just like there were no Jews in his day as well.
It was the blood ordinances (sacrifices) and the Levitical Priesthood that were added 430 years after the promises and thus nailed to the cross of Christ. For a study on what is the New Covenant click on this study What is the New Covenant? Before you look can you find book chapter and verse for the New Covenant?
Now I would like to add something I saw in my reading of Exodus. Do you remember the story of Moses and his father in law?
"And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.
14 So when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?"
15 And Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
16 When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws."
This is Exodus 18. You probably thought YHVH God did not give his law to Moses until chapter 20. Remember Moses has not gone up on the mountain to get the ten commandments yet so what was he teaching the people?
He was teaching them the same laws that Adam and Eve learned after their sin. The same laws that Noah knew when he took seven pairs of the clean animals and 2 pairs of the unclean animals on the ark. The same law that Judah referred to in Genesis 38:24 in regards to Tamar. The same laws that are completely repeated in the New Testament. God's Law.
However the statutes and judgements are only in the Old Testament and if you want to fully understand the law that is where you must go to study them. There are many more examples. So study to show yourself approved.
Hebrew Definitions taken from Strong's Concordance.