October 1, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.’”—Exodus 20:1–2 (NIV)
How do you remember things? Maybe you create events on your phone’s calendar, or perhaps you leave sticky notes in key spots to remind yourself of things that need to get done. Whatever your method is, it’s safe to say we all need to be reminded of things from time to time. Why? Because it’s easy to get distracted and to forget things, even important things.
Today, we begin our examination of Exodus 20, which is one of the most famous chapters of any book in all of human history because it contains the Ten Commandments! But before God laid out these essential commandments that help us to live in right relationship with Him and others, He declares who He is and what He did for Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.”
For this generation who had lived in Egypt, it was a reminder of their national identity and that it was by God’s mercy they existed, by God’s power they were set free from oppression, and by God’s guidance they would prosper. For every future generation of Israel, it would establish a clear foundation for their lives: This is who God—the great I AM—is, and this is what He’s done for Israel.
Because of this, because God is King, Creator, and Father, and because He adopted the children of Israel as His own and saved them, He has the right to make commandments for the people and the people have the obligation to obey Him. It harkens us back to Exodus 6:7 (NIV, emphasis added): “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.” And even further back to Genesis 17:7 (NLT, emphasis added): “This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”
But it also invites us today to look forward from Exodus or Genesis to the Gospels, to the new covenant God made with everyone. In John 14:23 (NIV), Jesus declares to His disciples and us, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Friends, we have the full revelation of God (the Bible) to remind us daily of who God is and what He’s done for us in Christ, so we may not lose sight, get distracted, or forget the One who made us, redeemed us, set us free, and “qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light” (Colossians 1:12 NIV). We also have the Holy Spirit to etch this truth into our hearts, minds, and souls. And in response to this, in response to His presence and power at work in our lives, to the knowledge of what He’s done, and to who He is, what else can we do but worship and obey Him?
Pause: Why does God so often remind us through His Word of who He is and what He’s done
Practice: Today, journal about who God is and what He’s done. Make a list of the names of God and what they mean, then write out what God has done in your life and the lives of those closest to you in this season!
Pray: Father, thank You for Your Word that reminds me of who You are! Thank You for reminding me daily of who You are. Thank You for who You are. You are everything, Lord! You are mighty, great, kind, merciful, powerful, compassionate, good, perfect, generous, beautiful, and beyond anything I could ever imagine. You are holy and true, my Father, Redeemer, and Savior. Your loving kindness and amazing grace save and sustain me. You are everything. I am nothing without you. May I never forget this. May I remember who You are every time I open Your Word, every time I pray, with every thought and action, and with every waking moment and breath I take in. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.