Q. What does the introduction to the Ten Commandments teach us?
A. The introduction to the Ten Commandments teaches us that, because God is Lord and Redeemer, we must keep all of His commandments.
Before God gave Moses and the young nation of Israel the Ten Commandments, He introduced them with these words:
“I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Too often we skip over these words and get right to the commandments, but these 18 words that introduce them serve as an important preface. God did not just randomly appear to the Israelites and say, “I’m God; obey me.” He certainly would be justified in saying that, because, after all, He is God.
But instead God gently reminded them of what He had already done for them. They were in bondage to the Egyptians; their sons were being drowned in the river; they were forced into labor, and then God stepped in, and sent a deliverer named Moses.
Before there were ten commandments, there were ten plagues. In each of those plagues the Israelites saw divine protection while their enemies felt the wrath of God. When they left Egypt they were pursued by Pharaoh and his army, and when there was nowhere to go, God parted the Red Sea, led them to safety, then drowned the army in those same waters.
God’s point was clear: He had demonstrated that He is the only God worth following. But following Him, like with any relationship, has rules.
Today we are just like that nation of Israel; God did not deliver us from the bondage of Egypt, but from the bondage of sin. He did not free us from the tyranny of Pharaoh, but of Satan. He did not send us a deliverer in Moses, but in His Son Jesus Christ. In light of what He has done for us, He is a God worth obeying.