Liberating Truths About the Ten Commandments
“You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be My very own.” Leviticus 20:26 (NLT)
The greater challenge than getting Israel out of Egypt was getting Egypt out of Israel. For over 400 years, Israel had been enslaved in a land that was not their own, exposed to all the pagan practices, culture, and false gods of the Egyptians. The very wonders God directed Moses to perform before the Exodus, referred to as the “ten plagues”, were sent by the God of Israel to prove that He was the “one true God” who alone was far greater than all of the multiple gods of Egypt. In keeping with His covenant to Abraham, God used Moses to lead His people out of Egypt that He may bring them into their own land. They were brought out of bondage and slavery that they may be brought in to freedom and blessing. To make that transition, the first place God led His people was to the foot of Mount Sinai for two years to listen to God. It was a time of resting and instruction where God would teach them how to be what they had become, His very own people. Customs, habits, and practices of the past would be replaced by a new way of life. Through the Ten Commandments, sacrifices, and laws, they would learn liberating truths to relate to God and to one another. God was preparing His people for their divine destiny. They were selected to put God’s glory on display to the world, not as God’s favorites, but as a kingdom of priests that would represent Him before the world and demonstrate His love and grace.
What a picture of the Christ follower today! As Israel was delivered from slavery in Egypt by God’s power and grace, we are delivered from sinful habits that enslave us today! Now, the challenge is learning to be the free people we have become. Hurtful habits aren’t easy to break. That’s why God has given us His Spirit and His Word. While it’s easy to focus negatively on the restrictions of God’s commands, they were never intended to be cumbersome. John tells us in 1 John 5:3, “Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome.” God gives us His Holy Spirit to enable us to live a new quality of life that has no other explanation but God, Himself, inhabiting our lives. One of my favorite verses in 2 Corinthians 5:17. It says,
“Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence.”
God’s design in giving the Ten Commandments to Israel and His commands to us today show His desire for an exclusive relationship with us as well as His destiny for us. Out of our relationship with Him, we become a people set apart from all other people as His very own that we may declare His love and grace to a hurting world. As a Christ follower, allow time for God to instruct you and guide you in a new way of living that others may see Christ in you!