At the time when the Ten Commandments were given, the Israelites were living a time of great miracles. They witnessed the plagues of Egypt, they saw the Red Sea part and Pharaoh destroyed by God, but yet their faith still wavered. When God spoke, they did not obey. They quickly forgot about all that they had seen and regressed to their ways that were practiced in Egypt. Through much of Israel’s history, they struggled with idols and foreign gods. Had they only listened to God from the beginning of their journey from Egypt, how much better and stronger would their nation had been?
A Relationship…that’s what God desired to have with the nation of Israel. He delivered His people from captivity in Egypt as a fulfillment of His promise to Abraham. Then, God told the people of Israel that if they would obey His commandments that He would establish them as a holy nation, a nation of priests. God gave His Commandments as a basis for a relationship with Him. Israel declared that they would do all that the Lord had commanded, but they failed. Knowing that man could not keep the Commandments perfectly, God allowed for sacrifices and offerings to temporarily make a covering for their sins. Only in Jesus do we have permanent forgiveness.
Romans 3:19 tells us that the Law was intended as a way to hold man accountable to God. As Christians, we are not saved by our adherence to the Law, but rather in our belief that Jesus died for the remission of our sins. We therefore are not saved by works, but by the grace of God. Yet, understanding that we are saved by grace, because we love the Lord, we strive to obey His commands. Even when we fail, the love of the Lord will always be sufficient.
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