This morning, as I read Exodus 20 and the laws of God, I noticed the first verse in the Lord’s declaration of His commandments, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (20:2). I have always gone right past that verse to the things I know I’m not supposed to do as a reminder of the integrity of my life. Today, it was different.
That single sentence would set the context for all He would say to the Israelites. The Lord was telling them they were now a free people because of what He did in Egypt bringing them out of slavery. Today, on this side of the Cross, we are free because Jesus paid for all the requirements of the Law. Our freedom sets up our understanding of what He asks of us to live and remain free.
Before we read anything in Scripture about how we are to live and obey God, by loving Him and other people as ourselves, we need to understand what Exodus 20:2 means for us today. The first step in our journey of freedom comes from knowing we are already free. Only by understanding that resurrection principle can the most challenging forms of obedience be obeyed and the most in intense acts of love be extended to others. It doesn’t work without that understanding.
Just reading a list of dos and don’ts won’t give us the kind of power we need to do what the Lord asks of us. It all begins with our understanding we were made free so we could obey Him no matter what He asks of us. Most importantly, it changes how we see the Lord.