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No Other Gods Before Me (Exodus 20: 1-12)

Most people equate Israel’s covenant relationship with God to the giving and receiving of the Law, specifically the 10 Commandments. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Israel entered into a covenant relationship with Yahweh solely because He chose them. In fact, God chose Israel long before the Egyptian episode began.

His call to Israel, while they languished beneath the oppressive hand of Ramses, was a call to freedom for His firstborn (Hosea 11:1). God commanded Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His firstborn go that “he may serve Me”. (Exodus 4:22-23). Thus Israel’s faithfulness to the Law signified their gratitude for what God had already done: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out…” and demonstrated their willingness to honor Yahweh as their only God.

The Law formed the parameters by which Israel was to (1) relate to their God [you will have no other gods before me; make no graven image to worship; not take My name in vain; and remember the Sabbath (Exodus 20:1-11)]; and (2) relate to each other [honor your parents, do not murder, commit adultery, steal, lie or covet someone else’s property, (Exodus 20:12-17)]. The Law called Israel to a manner of life that pleased their God.

Likewise, God calls all people into a new covenant relationship based upon what He has already accomplished through His Son. Through His sacrificial death Jesus freed humanity from the bondage and tyranny of sin. We demonstrated faithfulness in our covenant relationship by adhering to the Law He commands. Instead of 10 Commandments, Christ has only one: “That you love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34).

Can you think of ten ways to demonstrate faithfulness in your covenant relationship?

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