Preface to the Ten Commandments

We often refer to the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.  I was recently rereading them and the two verses preceding the Commandments caught my eye.  Here they are:

Exodus 20:1-2 And God spake all these words, saying, 2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

I noticed three principles revealed in these verses.  First, God is speaking (vs. 1).  This is paramount to the Ten Commandments.  Moses did not create the Ten Commandments.  Neither did Israel.  Neither did the Church.  Neither did any prophet or preacher.  It was God who gave us these commandments.  They are His, given as a reflection of his character and how people are to relate to Him and people in general.

Second, the Giver of the commandments is a personal God (vs. 2).  Note that He says “the LORD thy God”.  These commandments were given by God to His people.  Obedience to them would mark the people has being set apart by God as His own.

Third, God states the great things He has done for them.  He had brought them out of Egypt where they were slaves.  He did not give these commandments as an uncaring dictator wanting to keep people under his thumb.  He truly cared for them and these commandments were not only a reflection of Himself, but were instructions that would benefit them in their relationship with God and others.

So, when you think of the Ten Commandments.  Remember the verses that preceded them.  They show the origin and purpose God intended.