Through experiences and events in life, God prepares us for the fulfillment of His will, a purpose commissioned to us. Sometimes the castigation we experience may be as a direct consequence of our sin or suffering as the outcome of a sin committed against us. He at times allows us to make mistakes and go through tribulations and trials so that we may learn to trust him. That He may teach us how not to repeat our offenses, that even amongst our shortcomings, our restoration through the gifts of His grace and mercy under submission to God’s will, we are empowered by the holy spirit to overcome and may accomplish great works for the honor and glory of His name.
The handing down of the law in Exodus is an introduction to what God expects from his children. It broadens the emphasis placed on obedience since the putting in place of the covenant with Abraham. Removing His people from among the heathen in Egypt wasn’t enough, for in them still resided the spirit of Egypt and the practices of the culture. They had to be transformed beyond what they had become accustomed to, having been removed a great spiritual distance from their foundation. Their struggles were to continue, so that purification could break down the pride and false sense of trust they had in the world and themselves in order to restore the body, mind, and spirit into the covenant that was established.
The foundation of the commandments was not to burden them through obligation but rather as a reminder of their identity as a people who have been set aside. When we remember the covenant established between God and Abraham, we are reminded that God is everlasting and doesn’t change. In entering this covenant, there is a merging of spirit in such a way that its significance is described in marital terms. Not to be simplified as a mere agreement but in the coming together in, interlinked one with another in utmost familiarity. When we see this kind of intimacy, it is natural to realize that exchange between God and Abraham was one in which the weight of words and vows spoken carried with them a guarantee of loyalty and ownership and that the promises made to Abraham were put in place with a purpose which would make an allotment for their fulfillment. There is a security in trusting God. He continues to fulfill all of His promises, doing so until all prophecy is satisfied, especially all that is concerning to Israel. Whose role is not yet completed because there is yet a renewal that must come to them in the end? Today the importance of Israel is debated upon in reference to their legitimacy or worth, but the instruction given to keep His commandments extends into the center of eschatology, with Israel as the focal point. There has been a great separation between the Jew and God, but now also in the churches. Each one in their separation yields a consequence for their disobedience. The chastisement that we receive is critical for the development of spiritual endurance, growth, and strength, but it serves also as a reminder of where the boundaries are; as well as the fruits of sin.
We fail to remember that we have been set free out of the bondage of the world, just as Israel has. The biblical statute of recompense and redemption, illustrated by shedding the blood of a sacrificial lamb and redemption of the firstborn should give us all an understanding of the great price of restoration. When put into perspective that the wage of sin is death and that the price of the redemption of the firstborn(that being Israel )could not be given into consideration towards the Messiah although being the only begotten son of God; how much more bitter then must have that cup of sacrifice must have been. That even faced with the reality that the cup could not be passed from Him, He humbled Himself in complete obedience to the father? Surely then can we appreciate what the scriptures in the book of Romans say
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Yet in our continual sin reject the ransomed by the blood of Christ and deny being brought back from the edge of darkness as Israel has many times. We are to keep the commandments of God out of love and fear of the Lord. There is a call to obedience that is to be interwoven into the very fabric of who God has created us to be and for the very preservation of our life. Our societies today demonstrate the fruit of generations of disobedience. We seem to be quickly crossing a threshold in our frowardness, over into the likelihood of judgment from God. But we who love the Lord are taught by the knowledge of God’s word, that in having an understanding of His knowledge we may not perish.