How God Introduces Himself
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:2-3
Notice what God says before he gives the 10 Commandments to his people on Mount Sinai. These commands are intensely personal. They arise directly out of a relationship with the God who gives them.
A different god would have given different commands, so it makes sense that before we get into the commands, we get to know the commander. Notice he doesn’t make his appeal on the basis of raw power. This is the appeal of a gracious God who is committed to the good of his people.
God could have said, “I am your Creator. I made the cosmos. I have more power than a million nuclear bombs, so knuckle under.” That’s true… but that is not what he says.
Poverty, abuse and oppression in Egypt
The people were powerless in Egypt. They were trapped. There was no political process that gave them the hope of a better life. There was no education that could qualify them for better jobs. Then God stepped in and brought these desperate people out of Egypt. He rescued them and now he introduces himself to them…
“I am Yahweh. I am the One who brought you out of Egypt. I sent the plagues on your oppressors. I parted theRed Sea. I destroyed the armies of your enemies. When you cried out, nobody else was listening. But I did. Nobody else took notice of you, but I came down to help you. Nobody else saw a future for you, but I did.”
Yahweh has no obligations. He doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do. What pleased him was to come down and set these hopeless people free. Now he says, “I am your God. You belong to me. You are mine.”
You will not embrace God fully until you’re convinced that he is good
We may submit to raw power, but we can never love raw power. That’s why it is so significant that God invites us into a relationship of love.
There is all the difference in the world between a kidnapper and a lover. A kidnapper may say, “You are mine,” on the basis of power. A lover says, “You are mine,” on the basis of affection.
The only reason anyone embraces him is because they see that he is God, and that he is good. We see his goodness even more clearly in that he took on flesh and came to us in the person of Jesus Christ:
“I am the God who has come down to set you free from the slavery of sin and death and hell. You had no way out. I have come to deliver you from a fate you cannot begin to imagine.” He holds out hands that are pierced with nails and he says, “Don’t put any other gods before Me.”
This LifeKey is based on a message called: “Your Struggle With God,” delivered on
September 12, 2004 by Pastor Colin S. Smith.
Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.