“Then God gave the people all these instructions: ‘I am the Lord your God,
who rescued you from Egypt, the place of your slavery…
I will lavish unfailing love…on those who love me and obey my commands.’”
Exodus 20:1-2, 6
Like most Sunday School children, I memorized the Ten Commandments and dutifully obeyed them. However, it was years before I noticed the crucial introductory sentence, one that clearly reveals God’s heart.
Before handing out rules, God first described WHO was giving them: I am…He is always there, your God…He is personal, and God rescued them…He cares, and He acts! Every rule that followed was stacked on a foundation of relationship with this loving God.
The joy of having children is the daily interaction with them. A parent doesn’t wait excitedly for the birth or their child, just to stand at a distance and watch them grow up! God didn’t want that either. In fact, relationship was so important to God that He came down to be near the people He called His own special treasure.
Understanding God’s heart helps us view His rules differently. All of them are rules of relationship. Whether spoken from that mountain or detailed throughout His Book, every rule was delivered with love by a God who wants to be close to His treasures. In fact, right in the middle of reciting the Ten Commandments, God paused to promise, “I will lavish my unfailing love on those who love Me and obey My commands.”
“Father, what an amazing relationship You offer…so I gladly accept Your rules!”