Scripture text for Monday, February 1, 2010: Exodus 19:1-20:21
Uh oh, here we go. This is where the rules start. Sure it’s only ten now, but soon it will expand to six hundred and thirty-two soon. Rules, laws, ordinances, and commands are not comfortable words. For many, they are associated with control, failure, guilt, and shame.
But, just before the commandments are given, God says, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Exodus 20:2.
This verse is very interesting to me. Surely, Moses knows who God is! He saw and knew what God had done and how they’d escaped from slavery in Egypt.
In this one verse God reveals His heart. Just before giving the Ten Commandments, God wants the people to remember what He’s done for them. He made a choice here. It would have been very easy, and just, for God to say, “I am the Lord your God, you will follow these Ten Commandments or I will squash you like a bug!” Sure, most would have listened and when one of them had a misstep he would’ve been squashed. Then everyone would have done everything they could to keep the commandments (or they’d die trying)!
But, God doesn’t desire a relationship with us that’s motivated by fear. He reminds the Israelites of His heart for them. He points to what He’s already done and reassures them that He’s interested in helping them. Our obedience to God must be prompted by love, not fear. If not, our view of God, grace, and ourselves will be skewed by that fear. We’ll expect to be squashed in some way when we don’t follow perfectly and we’ll miss the heart of God in our relationship with Him.
Not convinced? Check out these other passages: 1 John 4:18, Gal. 3:21-29, John 14:21, 1 John 5:3
Devotion prepared by Justin