Today’s reading: Exodus 20:1-17
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” – Exodus 20:2
Context is a very important. That is why the verse that precedes the Ten Commandments is so important. It tells us why the Children of Israel were to love God above everything else and their neighbor as themselves.
All the commands that follow that verse were not simply the directives of a God making His people behave. They are commands that flow from God’s loving action that delivered His people from slavery in Egypt. The Exodus was the salvation event of the Old Testament and the behavior of God’s people was set in that context.
Those same Commandments apply to us. Our obedience is set in the context of what God has done for us. Romans 12 says, “I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy to offer your bodies as living sacrifices. . .” We seek to keep the commands of God, not to save ourselves but in view of God’s mercy.
God brought us out of our slavery to sin. We have been set free through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. That is the context for our lives as we journey to the Promised Land. God’s mercy is the proper context for loving God and our neighbor.
Prayer: The Gospel shows the Father’s grace, who sent His Son to save our race, Proclaims how Jesus lived and died that we might thus be justified. (The Gospel Shows the Father’s Grace, LSB 580:1).
This devotion was written by Rev. Steven Rempfer, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Newhall, IA.