And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Exodus 20:1-2
What right did God have to give these commandments to the people of Israel? Why should they listen to God’s commandments and obey him? God tells us the answer.
He says, “I am the LORD your God.” He is JEHOVAH God, the Creator of all things. He is the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the only true God! He also redeemed His people from bondage in Egypt. In fulfillment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, God brought the people out of Egypt and was leading them to the land of Canaan, where He would fulfill His promise to send the Seed of Abraham – the promised Messiah and Savior – through whom all the nations of the earth would be blessed (cf. Genesis 22:18). This is why God had the right to give these commandments to His people. He is the LORD God, their Maker and Redeemer! And this is also why the people should have listened to these commandments and gladly and willingly obeyed them.
God has every right to demand that we, too, obey His commandments; for He is the LORD God, our Maker and Redeemer – we belong to Him! He created and formed each of us in our mother’s womb (Cf. Psalm 139:13-16). He made us for Himself – to live for Him and serve Him.
But instead of loving Him and serving Him, we love and serve ourselves. As fallen sinners, we do not and cannot keep God’s commandments as He requires.
Yet, because of His gracious love and mercy, the LORD God also redeemed us and won salvation for us by sending His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and to die upon the cross for our sins and then rise again on the third day! And God, by the gracious working of the Holy Spirit through His Word, bought us to know and trust in Christ Jesus as our Savior. He rescued us from sin and death and gave to us, for Christ’s sake, forgiveness for all our sins and new life.
And so, we are the LORD’s – and doubly so! He made us, and even though we have come far short of keeping His commandments, He paid the just penalty for our sins, redeemed us and made us His own again! He delivered us from our bondage under sin and is leading us to the promised land of heaven, which is ours, entirely as His gracious gift in Christ!
Therefore, the LORD God has every right to give us His holy commandments and to expect obedience! And, as His redeemed children – having His pardon and forgiveness for all our sins and failures for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ – we have every reason to gladly and willingly obey Him!
O LORD God, our Maker and Redeemer, we give You thanks that You have both made us and, by Christ’s shed blood, redeemed us. Help us to gladly and willingly submit to Your holy commandments. Amen.
[Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.]