For 430 years the Israelites have been held captive as slaves in Egypt. But through God’s miraculous intervention and rescue, those days are now in the past as Moses leads them toward the Promised Land. As Pastor Jeff Manion taught us this past weekend in the opening message of the series 10, this newly-formed nation now needed formative guidelines on how to relate to their rescuing God and to each other.
This was all brand new to them. For more than four centuries this growing nation of slaves has been steeped in Egyptian culture. While they were surrounded by the multitude of Egyptian gods, they knew very little (or nothing) about the God of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
They knew how to appease the Egyptian “gods.” They didn’t know how to relate to the “I AM,” the creator God who was now rescuing them (Exodus 3.14). Everything had changed. Nothing was going to be the same. They would soon learn that a life with God is very different from a life without him.
God, as the Rescuer, begins this learning process by giving them the “10,” the Ten Commandments, the Rules. Speaking directly to the people, so there would be no doubt as to its source and authority (Exodus 20.2), God clearly tells them how to relate to him and to each other. It was, “Rescue first, rules second. “While we’ll memorize the “10” over the next ten weeks, take time today to read through the entire list (Exodus 20.1-21). Begin now to notice those commands that speak to our relationship with our rescuing God and those rules that address our relationships with each other.