“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2 NIV)
The Ten Commandments, or “Decalogue” (“Ten Words”), represent one of the great foundations of Judeo-Christian ethics and Western civilization.
So we could be forgiven for assuming that the beginning of the Ten Commandments is a commandment.
However, this is not the case. The beginning of the commandments, found both in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, is a statement of relationship: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, our of the land of slavery.”
For God, commands are given in the context of relationship. Before we are instructed in how to behave, we are reminded to whom we belong. God’s expectations for our faithfulness are given in the context of his faithfulness and gracious love toward us.
Prayer: God, thank you for your faithful love. Grow us in grace, that we may likewise be found faithful in our love for you. Amen.