Image source: EmmanuelNorthLondonChurch
In the last 6 weeks we have been in the book of Exodus. We have not attempted to study Exodus line by line from Chapter 1 to 40. Instead our study has focused seeing what God is doing in Exodus. We asked why did God invest heavily in delivering Israel from Egypt? We asked what is the main point or meat of the matter in the book of Exodus? This second look at the ten commandments ends our Exodus series.
As we saw in the message of last week, the main point in Exodus, is that God delivered Israel, came down to live among them, so they can worship him (see Exodus 5:1). What is this worship we are talking about? Is it singing songs of praise with clapping, instruments, and dancing? Yes, but that is not all. To worship is to have a deeply respectful and submissive relationship to a person or thing.
If I pay attention to my car and the needs of my car, more than any other person or thing, I am worshipping my car. Many people have a deeply respectful and submissive relationship to musicians, actors, sport heroes, their boss at work, political and religious leaders. God delivered Israel and came down to live with them so that they can have a deeply respectful and submissive relationship with him.
Thus when God spoke the ten commandments in Exodus 20, the first four were focused on the relationship between Israel and himself. The first two commandments in Exodus 20:1-5 (NIV) (shortened) states: ‘And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out… of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below… not bow down to them or worship them…’.
The first four commandments are about a worshipful relationship with God, while the other six are about human relationships, the way God wants it to be. The fifth says respect parents; the sixth is against murder; then against adultery, stealing, false testimony, and envy. The commandments and other laws to Israel, guided their relationship with God – a relationship that had its good times and bad times.
Exodus shows us how God delivered Israel; lived with them and among them in the Tabernacle; and how God taught Israel the principles to guide and grow their relationship with him and with one another. Exodus reveals the high value God places in having a relationship with you and me.
Dear Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to us in Exodus; we worship you with all our heart; in Jesus name, Amen!